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Message Europe / Expeditions into nocturnal Essen

Co-operation in a video project by artist group Die Fabrikanten in the night of 13./14.7.2006 


Photo from the Novi Sad project night


Wolfgang Preissinger, of Die Fabrikanten, with Karl-Heinz Mauermann on top of Schurenbachhalde (re-naturalised slag heap), Essen

Expeditions into nocturnal Essen

The European Cultural Capital of 2010 receives visitors from the Cultural Capital of 2009: together with artists from Essen, members of the group Die Fabrikanten, from Linz, set out on a nocturnal expedition into the city and, within the European City Project „Botschaft Europa“ (Message Europe), compile a video log book of their experience.

For about one and a half years, the Linz office for design and communication culture, 'Die Fabrikanten', have been working on their project „Botschaft Europa“ (Message Europe), a series of nocturnal video log books devoted to European cities. In this, they focus on cities related to their own home town, which is characterised by its industrial past: second- or third rate cities with little tourist attraction and without the flair and the cliché image of a great metropolis.

A first video log book was made in, and on, Linz; since then, the travellers from Linz explored the nocturnal sights of Novi Sad (Serbia), Liverpool and Thessaloniki.

In company with residents of these cities, in teams of two, 'Die Fabrikanten', armed with video cameras, roam through the city between sunset and dawn. On this tour, they are guided by their local partners who select sites to visit, and explain the personal, or general importance of these urban spaces - be it Hope Street, Liverpool's red light district, the banks of the Danube at Novi Sad, or Thessaloniki.

Night is the stage, video the medium, the images and moments are atmospheric, commonplace, unique, contradictory, lovely, atypical and typical.

In Essen, among others, artists Karl-Heinz Mauermann, Ralf Haarmann and Johannes Gramm set out with the city explorers from Linz, offering them insights into the cultural topography of the Ruhr.

The raw video material resulted in video log books for downloading in the web, approximately 15 minutes each, and a film „Botschaft Europa“ (Message Europe), approximately 70 minutes (released at the end of 2006), featuring the relations of people and sites in European cities.   




office for design and communication culture  

Die Fabrikanten are concerned with communication culture. In this, Die Fabrikanten build upon thought conceptions derived from the fields of the arts, the sciences, and also from economy.

Repeatedly, Die Fabrikanten are concerned with the phenomena and rules of the game of human communication. One example is their TischTransaktion (table transaction), in the course of which project kitchen tables from private households are exchanged among the owners. Next, following the tables, the owners themselves, as well as the festival audience, set out and start paying visits. Communication on a quite elementary level. Projects like Netrip explore the potential of media like video or internet. A handful of volunteers, like cyber monks, retreat into a monastery where they spend several days in complete seclusion, in a bare cell. Their only link to the outer world it a computer with access to the internet, which at that time had by no means reached its present distribution.

With special passion, Die Fabrikanten devote themselves to borderline exploration - spatial as well as cultural: be it in their research on tables above a sea level of 2.000 m, or on a frontier walk along the conflict line between Palestine and Israel. Other work projects lead them to Turkey, Israel / Palestine, to Serbia and the Czech Republic, as well as the USA.

In all their variety, their is a common characteristic in all the works by Die Fabrikanten: all of them are communicative projects based on curiosity, the spirit of adventure and a delight in experimentation.   


The film TRIVIAL EUROPE (after its release at Novi Sad / Serbia in December 2007) was shown, in April 2008, within the DIAGONALE film competition, Graz (1. to 6. April 08), as well as at the CROSSING EUROPE film festival, Linz (22. to 27. April 08), and will be sent on to further international festivals.

The trailer may be viewed here.