Video Art Festival Miden
Gruppo Sinestetico Sassu Antonio
Data di Pubblicazione martedì 5 luglio 2011

Quando Dal 7 al 9 Luglio 2011
Orario lun - dom dalle 18 alle 22
Dove Kalamata - Greece

More dynamic than ever Festival Miden is ready again to present an intriguing selection from the global production of video art by young and aspiring artists. A production that the festival follows systematically 7 years now, giving its audience the opportunity to obtain a holistic view of an art form that is evolving unexpectedly, rapidly and diversely at this very moment. Kalamata's video art festival, that this year reached more than 1000 submissions from all around the globe, promises a 3 day fest of worldwide contemporary video creation while at the same time suggesting a unique survival guide to extreme overflow of images we face today. Festival Miden 2011 will take place 7-9 of July at the picturesque neighbourhood of the Historic Centre of Kalamata, Amfias square, with free entrance for the public, combining with its unique way the popular Greek summer open cinema with contemporary art. In its 3 day events, Festival Miden will present 189 selected videos from 45 countries. They represent the most sharp and interesting thoughts, aesthetic explorations, experimentations and questionings, as well as expressive forms and trends that are “happening now” in the most uneasy minds worldwide, transcending boundaries or restrictions. The screenings include the themed video art programs “LOL”, “THIS IS WAR”, “TRAUMA”, “HYPERFORM”, “MONOBALANCE”, “A LAST INSTRUCTION TO THE GRASS”, “CHARGE A SOUL”, “DARK FORWARD”, “FEELING LUCKY” and “LOCAL CALLING”. Also, this year Festival Miden will present tributes to some very interesting foreign festivals, art groups and curators such as Oslo Screen Festival (Norway), All Art Now (Syria), Cyberbrothers (Russia), Videoplay (Argentina) and CologneOFF (Germany). Furthermore, several interesting parallel events are scheduled, including a special screening of the themed program “Come to Life” at the Archaeological Museum of Messenia, an introductive lecture about Video Art History by Gioula Papadopoulou at the Municipal Conservatory of Kalamata, while the closing event of the Festival will be the special audiovisual party set “The New Style”, in which DJ Blue Lagoon from the well-known Greek art group Kormoranos mixes on stage music and videos that he and his partner Haris Lagousis have edited. The Festival's Program Every year Festival Miden sets certain themes and focuses its curatorial selection in specific concepts. Festival Miden 2011 is curated by Giorgos Dimitrakopoulos and Gioula Papadopoulou while Margarita Stavraki curates “Hyperform” and the parallel event “Come to Life”, and Maria Bourika curates “Trauma”. The full program of the Festival follows. Screening A: CHARGE A SOUL From the impressive and weird 3D animation of the acclaimed Greek group NOMINT as well as the young Hungarian Balazs Szabo, to the archetypical pixels of Martha Koumarianou and then to the infinite transformation of style and on to even more expressive tools. “Charge a Soul” may mean a charge with energy or may suggest an actual or metaphorical charge that has to be paid. It is up to the viewer to find it out through a colourful yet equally dark journey to possibly the most popular technique of the moving image.
LOL In times of multiple dead ends and despair, good sense of humour becomes more subversive than ever. An abbreviation (Laughing Out Loud) that signified the beginning of “internet slang” as it was born exclusively on the net and in mobile texting, lightens up utterly different neurons in the brains of 16 video artists, with equally diverse consequences. Last March the word LOL was added in the Oxford English Dictionary. History is written as we speak, it seems to be implied by all artists. But do we actually realise it ?
MONOBALANCE A butter cow for a Zen poem. Acrobatic balance exercises in a “cylindric cube”. A water spill runs through a city while life rolls smoothly. The calm charm of a boy moulding clay objects in a stroboscopic whirlwind of images. An unusual way to serve breakfast. Thrown bags that come to life drawing us to unexplored abandoned areas of the city -and the mind. Sisyphean repetitions of “it” and the “self”.
Unexpected explorations, explanations and interpretations of the world, acrobatic studies, balances of the mind and semiotic games on perception, vision, communication, post-modern culture and linguistics. Endless references, metaphors and displacements in a selection regarding the sensitive equilibrium of human existence and the fluctuations of life. Like stepping on one leg...
HYPERFORM The program focuses on the penetration of performing art elements in videoart, especially referring to actions, performances and dance. In any case, the diverse elements coming from performing arts give a special character to the content and the form of the videos.
In the popular “videodance”, the elements of dance become the ground of the video creation. The movement, the pose, the gesture, the expression and the rhythm of the bodies intersect with the moving image and are choreographed in the 2dimensional space of the screen. Dance seems to gain another ally (or rival…). In the cases where elements of actions and performance form the video, the identification of the self, the body and its action become the starting point. The iconography used is usually raw, in contradiction to the decorative, and often hedonistic, spirit of other versions or forms. It is worth to be noted that the boundaries of the above forms are often obscure, since video art chooses to deal mainly with the contemporary language of performative arts, where the boundaries are indistinguishable anyway and the loans between performative arts are a usual phenomenon.
TRAUMA Through these works viewer gains an understanding of experiences exploring mental space on painful memories. How memory, even through the experience of “the other”, affects ourselves and our social reality. Most of contemporary videos seem haunted by questions about traumatic experiences, using the human body to represent memories of mental pain. Image and sound capture oniric scenarios, symbols and myths where the emotional or physical trauma affects the personality -sometime pleasures the ego. What we choose to remember or forget on a personal fight of our existence.
THIS IS WAR “Who decides who’s good or bad? Who decides who could stay alive or die? Who is the next victim? The calm before the storm… are they all illusions?” wonders Wei-Ming Ho from Taiwan in the video “Self-destruction for eternity”. Her approach seems childish, almost innocent. But could it be that a child’s question points out the most apposite interpretation of what war is? In “This is War” program 15 video artists present their own interpretations, approaches and visions of war. From the anticapitalist references insinuated by Chiara Balsamo, to the fathomless hypocrisy of the powerful countries, to the true pawns of war. “Men women children. Run cry fall die, be armed. And start again.” notes Marie Magescas from France. And on to the protest graffiti of the Wall in Palestine, to a 2010 demonstration in Egypt forerunner of the Egyptian uprising in 2011, to the legendary Odessa staircase… In a form of a tribute to one of the oldest and most unresolved issues that torment the planet in various forms –armed conflicts, clashes, wars in real and cyber spaces, walls that rise in cities and neighborhoods, walls that divide the mind and the soul– the program is supplemented with the parallel screening of “Behind Words” –a selection of Syrian artists curated by Abir Boukhari– and the presentation of the “Folded-in” project by art groups Personal Cinema and The Erasers, in which they explore the concept of war and borders in social networks through the experiment of an online game. Screening B:
Festival Miden introduces a new program which it wishes to establish in an effort that aims to create a communication network between artists that are connected or related to Kalamata (the birth city of the festival) in any way. A continuous and constant Local Calling, the only case in which geography becomes a criterion.
“A last instruction to the grass” is a screening program dedicated to ecology, nature and environmental sensibility in video art. The title is borrowed from a poem by Robert Lax entitled “Just midnight”, which inspired a video by German artist Susanne Wiegner that is included in this selection. The program is co-produced by Festival Miden and the Centre for Environmental Training of Kalamata.
OSLOSCREEN FESTIVAL: Video Art from Norway Oslo Screen Festival is an international festival for experimental film and video art happening in Oslo every two years. It was organized in autumn 2008 and spring 2010 at Filmens Hus, each time with a duration of three days. The aim of the festival is to establish a platform for video art in Norway for both Norwegian and international artists. The festival’s wish is to break boundaries in the selection of video art and visualize a wider cultural diversity of expressions and forms. The purpose of the festival is to inspire the artistic and cultural environments in Norway and to stimulate the audiences’ consciousness of the world around.
This program shows nine Norwegian productions. The focus is on works that seek their own language through subjectivity and experimentation, with emphasis on the diversity of culture, technique and theme in Norwegian contemporary video art. The presentation of Oslo Screen Festival in Festival Miden 2011 is supported by the Norwegian Embassy and the Norwegian Institute at Athens.
CYBERBROTHERS: CybercinemaV2 Cyberbrothers is an interesting meeting point on the net for an international community of creative people with the intention to act like a living, evolving organism, which welcomes all kinds of creative activity. It is an initiative of a group of Russian artists motivated by the desire to create, to be heard and valued, and -most importantly- to be among people with similar interests.
Cyberbrothers is an Internet portal that provides hand-picked original, innovative and interesting video and audio materials but, furthermore, it is a platform of exchange and communication aiming to create unique, exciting social environment, develop new ways of expression and communication and shape a new culture. In this frame, they have also developed Audiovisual Academy, a comprehensive educational program for new media and audiovisual studies, which consists of various educational activities - both online and offline.
In Festival Miden Cyberbrothers present Cybercinema V2, a selection of Russian videoartists and animators.
Compelling images of high aesthetic quality where the excessive power meets almost inevitably with darkness and weakness. Oddly and unlike to what one might expect, lightness and playfulness coexist so naturally but also so revitalizing as a breathing. What is happening? But also what has happened?
Silvio de Gracia and VIDEOPLAY present in Festival Miden 2011 a special program entitled [Hyper Body], introducing a series of video-performances where artists explore the most extreme possibilities of subversion and manipulation of the body.
Through the use of the body in shocking and intense actions, these works reveal unexpected situations of psychological and physical tension. Most of the videos present a body subjected to high stress states, involved in activities that require contortions, unusual movements, effort and resistance. By manipulating the body in a hyper body dimension, artists can develop new forms of experimentation that articulate surreal approaches, absurd visions, and the crudest forms of a poetics of carnality. At the same time this type of work shed light on contrasting emotions that force the viewer to rethink their own emotions and thoughts in relation to extreme experiences of the body in the context of performance art. Silvio de Gracia is an artist and independent curator based in Argentina and also founder and director of VIDEOPLAY Project, a curatorial instance of interchange with festivals and events devoted to the diffusion of video art and action art. In the frame of VIDEOPLAY, he has organised several festivals like PLAY - International Video Art Festival (2004/2006), INTERFERENCIAS – International Action Art Encounter (2005/2007), Man in transit – International Video & Performance Festival (2008) and Transvideoplay Festival (2010).
3 years now, Festival Miden collaborates with German artist & curator Wilfried Agricola de Cologne and his unique online “mobile” festival CologneOFF and the online platform VideoChannel. CologneOFF, founded in 2006 exclusively for the net as an online film festival, developed meanwhile a strong physical component via its physical screenings, projections and exhibitions worldwide, and changed in 2010 its name into Cologne International Videoart Festival. It is unique in its kind, since it is no conventional festival. It has no static festival location, but it is organised in form of a media art project, which gives its founder and director Agricola de Cologne all freedom to set through his artistic ideas of creating via global networking. This year, Wilfried Agricola de Cologne presents in Festival Miden a program entitled “Lines, colours & emotions” a selection of videoart from Latin America. The presentation of Cologne OFF in Festival Miden 2011 is supported by the German Embassy in Greece.
How lucky are you when you can live a moment for 6 minutes? What images of your neighborhood would you send to outer space? As a dead fly, how do you appreciate the fact that you are becoming art along with all the other dead flies of the summer? How lucky are you when you can marry the horse you love? How do you feel when the barbed-wire fences of a prison reflect on your well-polished car?
All Art Now and Abir Boukhari present “Behind Words”, a selection of videoart works by Syrian artists. Abir Boukhari is an independent curator and she is also the founder and the creative director of All Art Now, a private cultural, artistic and social initiative supporting young Syrian contemporary artists, which has organized various local and international art events. One of its biggest annual activities is to hold a festival for new media art in Damascus. This year’s festival was postponed due to the recent ongoing conflicts in Syria. For this reason, Festival Miden presents “Behind Words” in the frame of (and in a dialogue with) “This is War” program. Furthermore, “Behind Words” is a curatorial selection that deals with another kind of protest, regarding the relationships between the genders. The curator finds that the best way to create a reformation in relationships in the oriental Arab countries is by opening the circle of discussion and expressing their real feelings about each other. Abir Boukhari writes about the concept of her selection: “The Syrian society has suffered in the past of much and big difference between Male and Female in the whole level starting from the practice, scientific, culture, politic and even the religious sides. The great universal evolution in the world reached all the life and creates new human relationships to provoke one of the most sensitive issues; it is the woman and her role as a human being.” “Behind Words” is an artistic and cultural project aiming to authorship a conversation between Man and Woman and create a kind of open discussion cycle about gender through video art from 5 female and 5 male artists.
In the frame of “This Is War”, Festival Miden invites Personal Cinema and The Erasers to present a video-navigation to their online project Folded-In ( Folded-In is a project about the notion of borders, the conflicts they raise, and the different ways through which they are represented in the social networks of the web 2.0. Folded-In is a 3D multiuser online videogame, which attempts a detournement of the representational space of YouTube, by transforming it into a gamespace, and by respectively turning the selected videos and the tags into game elements. Users are asked to cross borders, conquer and map territories evaluating the data they watch. Opposing sides and territories are fluid and subjective. The Folded-In project is an effort that wishes to contribute in the semi utopian idea of the creation of the thoughtful gamer. Can we liberate ourselves from prejudices and beliefs? Personal Cinema Personal Cinema calls for the emergence of both representation and distribution systems that are responsive to the local, the individual, and even the unprofitable. The group organizes projects and events that engage the critical mind of the public, suggesting alternatives to the new global homogeneity. It focuses attention on problems that concern the local territories and tries to explore the different cultural characteristics that constitute the social identity of the individual. Moreover, it works to develop public contexts for minority groups to express and represent themselves.
The Erasers The Erasers are a group whose work is based on the integration of various seemingly diverse elements such as: live cinema, improvised music, performance actions, the internet, and installation techniques. The erasers are an open circuit: they are as few or as many as each project demands and they all function within the free association that the erasers are. The erasers search for the possibility of presenting their work to an open and unbiased audience has led them to work under various pseudonyms, some of these being: the Instructors and the Curators.

Parallel events
“Come to Life” is a special program, curated by Margarita Stavraki that will be presented at the Archaeological Museum of Messenia for 1 week (8-16/7/2011), during the official opening hours of the museum. Margarita Stavraki writes about the concept of this presentation: “The archaeological space and ancient myth become inspiration and action of art in the selected series of videos. Space comes to life through the search of bodies at the residues of time and stimulates the activation of memory. From the other hand, the emersion of myth through time is translated to poetic images and rhythms, and it swings between truth and dream.” LECTURE: An introduction to the history of video art
Festival Miden organizes an introductive lecture about Video Art History by Gioula Papadopoulou at the Municipal Conservatory of Kalamata (Friday 8/7/2011, 8 p.m.). Gioula Papadopoulou studied Painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts and holds an MA in Digital Arts from ASFA. She has presented her work in several group exhibitions and festivals in Greece and abroad and she is a founding member and curator of Video Art Festival Miden.
Blue Lagoon (Dimitris Rokos), resident DJ of the well-known Greek art group Kormoranos, has performed in numerous events of the group and others, along highly acclaimed international music acts such as Zita Swoon, Ohmega Watts, DJ Mehdi, The Fiery Furnaces, Steve Aoki etc. Ha has also performed in some of the most interesting dance bars and clubs of Greece and major Greek festivals like Synch, Reworks, Plissken and Kalamata’s International Dance Festival. At Festival Miden he will present a live audiovisual party set titled “The New Style”, mixing on stage music and videos that he has created with his associate Haris Lagousis. This will be the closing event of the Festival (Saturday 9/7, after the screenings) and it will take place at Beach Bar Hobo, at Santova. Festival Miden Since 2005, Festival Miden has been gradually established as one of the most successful and interesting video art festivals in Greece and abroad and has been a significant point of cultural exchange for Greek, European and international video art. The main purpose of the festival is the free presentation, promotion and development of Greek and international video art and new media art, in times dominated and defined by image and technology, creating a new, alternative, peripheral meeting point for emerging and established video and media artists from Greece and all over the world. In this frame, Festival Miden has presented screening programs, exhibitions and collaborations all over Greece, while collaborating with various art groups, art schools, art spaces, organisations and other festivals in Greece and internationally. The festival is founded, organised and curated by a team of contemporary Greek artists, who are all linked with Kalamata since childhood. It is an independent initiative, realised by Sea Level (Urban, Non-profit Organisation) and supported by Kalamata’s Historic Centre Organization, the Messinian Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the Municipality of Kalamata and the Centre for Environmental Training of Kalamata. All screenings and events organized by Festival Miden are open to all audiences with free entrance. The festival's motto is “Start from zero” (Miden means “zero” in Greek). Info: and Creative team Festival Miden 2011: Curators: Giorgos Dimitrakopoulos – Gioula Papadopoulou Curator of “Hyperform” and parallel event “Come to life”: Margarita Stavraki Curator of “Trauma”: Maria Bourika Curator of tributes & collaborations: Gioula Papadopoulou Technical support, DVD authoring-editing: Stavros Kapetis Poster-catalogue image: LIAO Chi-Yu.
In times of multiple dead ends and despair, good sense of humour becomes more subversive than ever. An abbreviation (Laughing Out Loud) that signified the beginning of "internet slang" as it was born exclusively on the net and in mobile texting, lightens up utterly different neurons in the brains of 16 video artists, with equally diverse consequences. Last March the word LOL was added in the Oxford English Dictionary. History is written as we speak, it seems to be implied by all artists. But do we actually realise it? 1. Nenko Genov, Where is your head, Bulgaria 2010, 6.54 - 2. Jeroen Nelemans, Red Alert, USA 2008, 1.42 - 3. Jose Salas, Totes Kino, Germany 2010, 4.32 - 4. Boe-lin Bastian, Jellies (Coupling Series), Australia 2010, 4.13 - 5. Stefan Adamski, Induction, Poland 2010, 3.16 - 6. Chiara Balsamo, MI2 from outer space, Italy 2010, 2.32 - 7. Yuliya Lanina, Dodo-Valse, USA 2010, 2.46 - 8. Eva Olsson, Repeating itself, Sweden 2010, 3.42 - 9. Christin Bolewski, Universal tourist, Germany 2010, 7.46 - 10. Jenn Berger, Cheeta, USA 2009, 0.43 - 11. Rudolf Costin, O dada, Romania 2010, 1.43 - 12. Joacélio Batista, If I ask myself, Why do my lips refuse to answer?, Brazil 2010, 3.00 - 13. Timo Wright, Self-Portrait, Finland 2010, 2.19 - 14. GRUPPO SINESTETICO, This is art, Italy 2007, 0.30 - 15. Wolf D. Schreiber, 60 seconds out of humour, Germany 2010, 1.00 - 16. MOBTIK, Departure 09:15, Germany 2010, 0.05

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