We are very pleased that the first ISEA conference in Germany is taking place in North Rhine-Westphalia and it is with good reason that it is being held here. Artists have been experimenting with TV, video and new communication technologies in the various fields of art since the 1960’s and it was precisely in this region that the first major exhibitions of video and media art were presented. Since then the involvement in media art in North Rhine-Westphalia has been diverse and varied. Media art is a focus of the training, education and research at the Academy of
Media Arts in Cologne, the Art Academies in Münster and Düsseldorf, as well as art-focussed colleges. Presentation sites are at museums, private collections and art associations that are dotted through the entire region; for example, the Bonn Videonale and the Hartware MedienKunstVerein Dortmund. Under the motto ‘Media Art promotes Media Literacy’, concepts of intermediation have been developed and implemented here as well as at organisations like the Animax Multimedia Theatre in Bonn and the SK Culture Foundation Cologne. North Rhine-Westphalia supports media artists with stipends, assistance for exhibition projects, conferences, the implementation of the Marler Video Art Prize, the Videonale prize and sponsorship of young artists. The Nam June Paik Award, now an internationally acclaimed prize, is awarded by the Art Foundation of North Rhine-Westphalia. The exploration and presentation of media art is also the focus of the imai – intermedia art institute in Düsseldorf. Of particular importance in North Rhine-Westphalia is the co-operation and networking of the various media art organisations of the medienwerk.nrw, which was founded in 2000 and has around twenty members, from ‘A’ for Animax to ‘Z’ for Zeitkunst e.V. The goal of the network is to politico-culturally anchor more
firmly the growing field of media art and to expand the framework of its presentation, production and distribution. Against this background, it is logical that in the European Capital of Culture year RUHR.2010, the International Symposium on Electronic Art should be held in North Rhine-Westphalia with the financial support of the region. With great interest and high expectations, we are looking forward to the planned events – a series of conferences, concerts and performances; art in public space projects; stipend programmes placing artists in research institutions and high-tech companies in North Rhine-Westphalia; and the E-Culture Fair 2010, an exhibition in trade show format with projects by artists and creatives. We extend a very warm welcome to international visitors in Dortmund and the entire Ruhr region and wish ISEA2010 RUHR great success.
- Hans-Heinrich Grosse-Brockhoff, Secretary of State for Cultural Affairs North Rhine-Westphalia