17 March 2018 – 13 May 2018

The presentation for the 25th anniversary of the Videokunst Förderpreis Bremen (Bremen Award for Video Art) will be held in the GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst. The three selected works present various issues in the context of capitalist and neo-liberal mechanisms.

WORKERS4 from THE RANDOM COLLECTIVE reacts to current trends in our society: man versus machine, artificial intelligence, cyborgs and big data raise questions about the role of humans in our era and also who controls whom and how. As the world becomes more networked, control measures are being created, damning each and every individual to complete transparency. Whoever controls information and access also controls the needs and desires of people. THE RANDOM COLLECTIVE comprises 19 artists from all over Europe who met in an experimental video lab and created an opera in five acts. The joint effort patches together theatre, composition, song, dance and visual anthropology, along with processes of writing, staging, filming and post-production. The scope of the project was defined in guidelines in advance and all participants changed roles in a half-hourly cycle: the cameraman becomes performer, the cook manager, the stage designer director, etc.

40h, max. 2 Monate by Stefanie Schroeder came out of the artist’s participation in a programme sponsored by the German employment office: Optimization measures for entrepreneurs – Need and situation-oriented skills acquisition for eligible self-employed individuals. The film oscillates between a PowerPoint presentation and video essay, its script based on interview excerpts, hand-outs and correspondence from the programme, together with fragments from dream diaries. The work examines questions such as: What does optimisation mean? Which language is used? How am I described as an individual, formed, and possibly deformed? The film weaves together spoken text combined with photos, video sequences, screenshots, video clips and tutorials, using (amateur) actors and objects to create a film collage.

Through the use of slow pans and steady stills, Hallstatt by Julia Weißenberg approaches the picturesque lakes-side setting of the Austrian mountain village Hallstatt. But a closer look shows the vegetation to be subtropical, with some of the signs in the village using Chinese characters so that the video no longer seems to depict anything “real”. The combination of images from the Austrian Hallstatt and the Chinese copy of the eponymous village located in the Southern Chinese province of Guangdong raises questions about the original and the replica as well as authenticity in the context of globalisation and hyper culturality. The film uses 3D animations, here a partial replica of the village architecture, to visually explore these issues.

The exhibition has been created in cooperation with Filmbüro Bremen and is curated by Sarah Maria Kaiser.