The Media Art Agency 235 MEDIA
Its significance with regard to the conditions of production, economizing, and internationalizing media art
Date01.01.2015 - 01.01.2018
From its beginnings in the early 1980s, the media art agency 235 Media has crucially influenced the national and international development and spread of the emerging field of video and media art. It was taking shape not within the established art world but came out of subcultures on the basis of media utopias and also in close connection with the musical culture of the 1970s and 1980s. In the meanwhile, media art has not just arrived in museums and set processes of economization in motion. From its beginnings to the present, it has produced numerous influential innovations both with regard to the production of art and to forms of presentation, dissemination, and distribution. The latter can be illustrated particularly well using the example of the history and activities of 235 Media, because it has followed “from the inside out” central developments of media art.
Its activities included—to name just a small selection—the distribution of media art via television, publishing the magazine Video Congress, building international distribution structures, and participating in festivals and exhibitions (Videonale 5; vision.ruhr, etc.). In addition, even before the Internet existed, 235 Media employed artistic strategies of networking with its Electronic Café International (documenta IX, Biennale di Venezia, etc.). Through its work on production, distribution, and curatorial processes, 235 contributed to or initiated them and, operating with a goal of “democratizing the arts” in the spirit of Walter Benjamin, has itself become a substantial component of the history of media art.
The IMAI Foundation represents the ideal site for this ambitious research project, because when the foundation was founded in 2006, it received from 235 Media its immense archive of video and media art, exhibition documentation and other audiovisual formats, and extensive previously unpublished material. The media art archive of the IMAI Foundation thus offers an incomparable and thus far little explored store for the implementation of this project.
- Dr. Renate Buschmann (director)
- Dr. Jessica Nitsche (post-doc fellow)
- Hiroko Kimura-Myokam (research fellow, until 2016)
- Angelika Gwozdz (research assistant, until 2017)
The Cassette Underground
A research project about archiving the alternative distribution channels of the cassette underground in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Fringe of the Fringe
A conference that seeks to bring together queer-feminist and antiracist strategies for archiving and cataloging the audiovisual documents of punk, postpunk, new wave, and industrial.
The video art channel IMAI-Play relies on a participatory presentation of the videos from the IMAI archive and invites users to curate, comment and discuss their own video programs.
Video Online Archive
cataloging/ presenting/ communicating
A project as part of the eHeritage funding program of the BMBF
Video Art Distribution
This international conference addressed the interactions between art production, art market, and exhibition activity for media art.
Two-year long-term archiving project at the imai foundation.
Case Studies on Restoration
Methods for the long-term preservation of media art installations.