sound:frame 2012 'substructions'
Vienna, Austria
festival for audio:visual expressions 12. - 22.4.2012 // exhibition MAK - 12.-29.4.2012


Entitled ‘substructions’, 2012 sees the sixth edition of sound:frame for the first time putting forward for discussion a general framework of audiovisual tendencies and works.  Themes like cultural economy, positioning in the context of art and sustainability will be examined with regard to the system “festival” and will then be put up for discussion in the settings of exhibition, conference and supporting programme. Economic, artistic, as well as social and ecologic parameters will be demonstrated. An internal glimpse on the sound:frame festival and its community will be sharpened by presenting different perspectives and overarching expertise of related and seemingly distant disciplines. A technical basis will be fixed in place for the creative work, whereas as to content the artistic positions will get absolute freedom. Due to this it will become apparent which consequences a substruction of audiovisual tendencies has and can have on creative realisation. As basis for further development the concepts and insights of both the exhibition and discourse programme ‘substructions’ should be analysed and discussed.

By now, sound:frame is able to have recourse to a substantial wealth of experience. In the early days it was a priority to give something new a try, to explore limits and boundaries and to assess places and contexts in regards to their potential. With reference to content-related, financial and organisational issues it is important to accurately estimate external factors, to consolidate one’s own structures and to successively adjust them to the known requirements. After five years of experimenting and growing sound:frame takes this logical step and consciously adapts itself to its given parameters. The festival is becoming shorter and more compact, venues are becoming more assessable. Artistic freedom and diversity come to the fore, while at the same time the programme is realised in a grounded and secured setting.

The support of a project becoming apparent on the surface is a rare occurrence. The result presents itself, the substruction stays obscure. However, the base frame is equally important as the programming. No festival without know-how, a 60-strong team and funding. No artistic installation without a competent technical partner who understands concerns. In 2012 sound:frame wants to make conditions which are rarely in the focus of attention more transparent and in the process concretely discuss the construct “festival” and generally debate current cultural tendencies. 

At the end of 2011 an exciting discussion was developing in the visualist scene. In the course of this, key questions like evaluating the definition of the term “visuals” were emerging again. Many protagonists from various parts of the Viennese and Austrian scene have adopted diverse definitions, therefore a classification of visualisation into subgenres makes sense. sound:frame began as a classic VJ festival, however, the AV genre and the collaboration of different artists from various divisions has become more and more important. Because of this, different tendencies within the VJ scene and the positioning of sound:frame festival in this growing field will be discussed over the course of the program me.


As an artistic focus of this year’s exhibition at Vienna’s MAK, the gallery on the museum’s upper floor will feature an extensive room installation, which will be contextually put to use by audiovisual artists.  Adapting to a certain base frame has its advantages and disadvantages: the restricted choice of instruments entails security in both technological and financial terms. Content-wise, it is important that the works preserve their independence. Fundamentally, the content and aesthetic approach, chosen by the artists to make the installation their own, is in the foreground.


Alongside the artistic part the exhibition presents, in a theoretical mediation, a perspective on various disciplines and hence generates a range of topics, of which the limits are already defined in round table discussions in the months preceding the festival. These round tables are documented beforehand and will then be presented in the sound:frame exhibition at MAK. Three subject areas show interview segments and expert statements, and furthermore offer selected theoretical texts.
1. Festival is… (in cooperation with coded cultures)
Together with another important Viennese media festival - coded  cultures -  a discourse programme is curated, which  gets to the bottom of the system “festival”. What might a festival be able to offer for an international community? Which formats should a festival include? Should the construct festival even be questioned? Which substruction is necessary to realise a reasonable festival? Which structures have to be given or created?
2. Positioning in the (artistic) system (in cooperation with departure)
Alongside experts from such areas like Creative Industries, economy, law, art and politics the question of positioning of audiovisual, intercreative tendencies and festivals in an artistic/creative context or system is proposed. Are audiovisual artists able to establish themselves in the system of visual arts? Are visuals to be treated as part of “applied arts”? Is it possible for a multidisciplinary multimedia festival to clearly define and position itself?
3. Economic and ecologic sustainability in relation to works of multimedia festivals and community (in cooperation with Biorama)
Current tendencies regarding the efficient dealing with required resources are discussed together with experts from such areas like ecology, sociology and economy. Questions concerning affordable steps for audiovisual or multimedia festivals to become sustainable in a both economic and ecological sense are in the centre of attention. Which developments could forward certain institutions or artists?


In the course of the departure conference 2012 key subjects of the exhibition “substructions” will be discussed in open forums and presentations.
Experts from various areas are invited to present their perspective. A focus on the system “festival” and, especially, the international platform sound:frame is crucial here: What can a Viennese festival accomplish in regards to the international community? What might be the contributions of an audiovisual project towards sustainability? How can audiovisual artists work with creative commons licences more accurately? Which kind of art sector can be opened up? What substruction has to be predefined in order to exist realistically and future-oriented?
13.4./ 14.4.2012 ::: MAK – Auditory


On two weekends - Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays - selected Viennese locations host, as is usual, a progressive and comprehensive audiovisual live programme.
For the first time, the programme concentrates on three locations - MAK (museum for applied arts), the coproduction house and performance theatre ‘brut’ and the club ‘Fluc’. As always, the premises will be visually redesigned. Apart from special AV acts the programme features international and national music live acts and DJs, as well as visual live shows and installations.
The first items on the programme will be announced at the end of January 2012.


Natasha Tomilova
international communications
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