Weimar is a little city in Germany famous for its cultural heritage. Despite its population of just about 65 000 people, the cities’ cultural heritage is vast and the history can be traced back to 889. In the 18-19th centuries it was an important cultural centre of Europe and has been home to Goethe, Schiller, Liszt and Bach. Bauhaus School and movement were established in Weimar in 1919.
Now, a new videomapping event takes place here and looks beyond the mere geometry of objects to explore the possibilities of reflecting the spirt of the place.
Genius Loci Weimar is an exciting international festival for multimedia facade projections and site-specific audiovisual performances. Unlike erratic claptrap, Genius Loci Weimar approach focuses on an intensive analysis of history, habitat and the architectonical composition of the place.
This focus is easy to explain: the festival founders Stefan Kraus and Hendrik Wendler are addicted to video and architecture and like the mix of history and possibilities of projection mapping to tell new stories in such cultural context.
Stefan Kraus is a media artist and together with Baha Hamdemir they form a VJ art group “MXZEHN – 25 Masterpieces per second” since more then 10 years. With Genius Loci Weimar he wanted to create a festival, where he really would love to play and create art of projection without commercial pressure. Hendrik Wendler is the creator of “MXWendler FXServer and Stage Designer“. Since 2004 his software makes amazing and impressing projection setups possible in theaters, clubs and – of course – on facades. They met at Bauhaus University in Weimar, where they studied architecture in the 90s and have created Genius Loci Weimar as a festival, where international projection artists could tell the story of the place on site and meet other VJ and projection artists.
Stefan and Hendrik organize Genius Loci Weimar 2013 together with 4 team members experienced in theatre, architecture, media and urban design, culture management and urban culture. The events’ symposium and the Genius Loci Club are curated in cooperation with local partners like Bauhaus University and the Gaswerk – a trendy subcultural cultural spot in the classical city.
The festival was launched in 2012 and became an immediate success. The artists come in touch with the festival via the competition. Together with the local cultural network Genius Loci Weimar offered a nice cultural mix between Goethe´s classic and contemporary art. The first projection location was Fürstenhaus, which houses the main building of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music.
Nerdworking’s international team consisted of nearly 20 artists and created an incredible historical fairytale “Under an Alias” that shows the multicultural setting of Weimar’s spirit in the past and in the presence. It won the last year’s competition.
Besides the work of the award winners, other works of well-known international projection artists such as VJ Fader (USA), Dirk Rauscher (G), RDV Collectif (FR) and MXZEHN (G) were presented together with talented musicians and local artists at the building and later in the Genius Loci Club. The local feedback from the inhabitants, Weimar’s mayor and the media was great and this year the festival is embedded officially in a touristic campaign called “Weimarer Sommer” and many tourists and spectators coming specifically for the event are expected.
2013 will mark the expansion of Genius Loci Weimar in time and space: three historic facades will be animated. The festival is being expanded to include a program with competition, symposium, workshops and exhibition in cooperation with the Bauhaus University Weimar, “Weimarer Sommer” and MXWendler.
Audiovisual Academy is proud to be selected as one of the festival’s partners and we will be covering this year’s competition and event in our blog and in social networks.
The competition 2013
Genius Loci Weimar seeks for innovative ideas for the facade-projection festival held from 5th-11th August 2013.
Until the 15th of April, participants apply with a 30 sec videoclip explaining the main design concept for one of the facades of the historical buildings: Wittumspalais, City Castle Courtyard, Main-Building Bauhaus University. The three winning artists will be awarded a totaling prize money of 45 000 Euros to create a 10-15 min long high-resolution audio-visual production, which can be presented in the form of video mapping on the respective facades on the evenings of 9th-11th August.
The most important requirements for the Genius Loci Weimar competition are:
• An innovative design in the form of an audio-visual video mapping, with particular observance paid to the Genius Loci.
• An individual, original and sophisticated handling of the spirit of the location with respect to the history and architecture.
• The deliberate omission of erratic gimmickry and showmanship, intrusive clichés, and careless historical retelling.
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We would like to thank Maxi Kretzschmar, one of the Genius Loci Weimar 2013 committee members for the contribution of this article and all her invaluable help.