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Support for WWVF

2004-05-19

Below is my letter of support for the World Wide Vide Festival.

To whom it might concern.

I was invited to World Wide Vide Festival in 2001 together with Reinert Mithassel teaming up as the artist collective Fata Morgana exhibiting the installation Ekkofisk at Baby World Wide Media Lounge. Ekkofisk was a hybrid of physical installation involving an aquarium video surveillance and real-time sound synthesis. During our stay both me and Reinert were impressed by the professional and helpful assistance from the festival. The festival succeeded to be at the same time a large festival offering a rich and varied program reaching a big audience and creating an intimate and friendly atmosphere for the visiting artists. We both felt it to be a great honor to be invited to participate in the program.

I consider the Netherlands to be one of the most vibrant and exciting places in the world for new media art. The Netherlands is home to a number of internationally acclaimed media labs e.g. Steim Waag V2 and de Balie and also some of the most important international new media festivals e.g. World Wide Video Festival Dutch Electronic Arts Festival and Next Five Minutes.

When the Norwegian Art Council in the late nineties wanted to better facilities for new media artists in Norway they looked to Netherlands for inspiration on how to organize it. The Netherlands has managed to encourage a diverse environment encouraging several media labs and festivals with different profiles. From abroad I have the impression that this has caused a dialectic and dynamic process that has resulted in The Netherlands being at the forefront of current development in new media art. In Norway we have adopted this way of thinking with very good results by creating a de-centralized structure with media labs situated in different regions of the country and at the same time formally collaborating within a national network. As a former manager and artistic director of sound arts at BEK Bergen Center of Electronic Arts and also as a member of the board of the Norwegian Production Network for Electronic Arts I’ve been deeply involved in this development. In this perspective the possible discontinuation of World Wide Video Festival will not only be a loss in itself but also have a strong and negative influence on other organizations and festivals.

One of the main challenges of new media arts in the future will be to mature and to a larger extent integrate with the art world in general. There’s a need to balance the hype of current technological development with the ability to read current trends in a larger perspective. Compared to other branches of new media art video art has a relatively long tradition and thus might lead the way. The retrospective exhibition during WWVF 2003 is one example of how World Wide Video Festival is contributing to this.

I kindly appeal to the Dutch Art Council to reconsider their position and ensure that the important work carried out by World Wide Vide Festival can be continued.

Yours sincerely

Trond Lossius
Research Fellow in the Arts
Bergen Academy of Fine Arts Norway
http://www.bek.no/~lossius

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