In our increasingly digitized, technology driven world, next to scientists and programmers, it is artists, who create alternative visions for a more sustainable and just society. Collaboration between these communities helps us to reflect on the impact of new technologies on society. If Europe wants to take a different technological path from China or Silicon Valley, whilst opposing nascent anti-democratic movements, it should focus on the creative, communicative, critical and unifying potential of the arts. Through support for emerging artists we can contribute to secure a tolerant and democratic future for citizens of Europe. The European Media Art Platform (EMAP) was founded for this purpose.
The basic idea of the program is to enable European media art organisations and artists to collaborate on projects and consequently to create closer bonds between these organisations. The unification and extension of Europe, triggered by the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, has created new problems to be faced as well as new opportunities for cooperation and exchange. This period of transition has been characterized on the one hand, by the challenge to become more 'European'– which generally has meant, more homogenous – and, on the other, by a desire to define what constitutes national and regional identity, in order both to retrieve a sense of traditional cultures, now lost; and to consider how respective national and cultural identities might enrich and enhance one another, as opposed to being divisive.
EMAP/EMARE offers an opportunity to work within these bounds, as defined by the individual artists, which enables the latter to develop their own projects within a new context, and thereby give something back, in turn, to their host organization.
This process of encouraging artists' projects and building stronger links between media organizations is enhanced by the rapid development of networked technologies and also reflects the moves towards integration taking place throughout Europe.
The artistic works produced at EMAP/EMARE help us to reflect the new technologies and sometimes even create alternatives to the tools of the big high-tech corporations.
The various new technologies now coming to the fore require a relatively high degree of know-how and, although each individual organization has its own unique set-up, facilities and staff, opportunities for the exchange of information and skills give a further boost to the programme. Sharing insights, facilities and knowledge also fosters greater efficiency when dealing with scientists or the international media market (issues such as TV broadcasting, co-productions, co-funding, etc.) and the art world (festivals, museums, galeries, etc.).
EMAP is always on the lookout for new associated partners, so European media centres with an interest in joining should please contact us! Associated partners benefit from shared information, invitations to workshops, conferences and festivals EMAP is organising, they can apply for EMAP artists presentation fees and have access to our submission and research database http://call.emare.eu.