The W:OW Art Film & Video Festival

The W:OW Project – We Are One World
was launched 2017 as a media art project directed and curated by Agricola de Cologne to be realized in an exchange between virtual and physical space (online/offline) – the Global and the
Local, dealing with the most essential question of human existence, eg. the survival of the human species on planet EARTH. The project is covering a wide range of digital artistic media (moving, interactive and static images, and non-visual media like soundart) to be released in different presentation formats during a period of several years – the online/offline W:OW project core, the travelling W:OW Art Film & Video Festival and the virtual and physical W:OW exhibition in different constellations (digital & analogue media).

W:OW – We Are One World
– that‘s a statement of self-confidence, a real existing positive value and philosophical knowledge, however, an Utopia only, but no real existing practice. As a topic, it is therefore not reduced to some essential issues like ecology, biodiversity or sustainability but the whole bandwidth of issues based on compliance with human rights, mutual respect, equal rights, equal access to education and equal chances for all, the freedom of movenment, freedom of the word, art and sciences which however are guaranteed just by a few democratic constitutions, but practiced in real even on a more marginal scale.

If we are truely one world, then whom does it belong to? Governments? States? Corporations, industrial companies, banks? Individuals? Or probably the citizens of the states, the inhabitants of the earth, that is, mankind? Or does it belong simply to life, and it is mankind as the only intelligent structure being able to take its responsibility for protecting the entire biological life in all its facets against any exploitation and misuse at the expenses of the Whole, no matter what biological system it is, whether the human, animal or plant life, the rainforest or the deep sea, or the meadows and streams before our own doorstep?

Without supranational administrative structures which would have the power to set through these fundamental rights for all inhabitans on Earth and solve the global threats, without the knowlege, that each individual on Earth has to take its individual responsibility for the Whole on a local scale, it will be a very long, probably too long way to overcome all the manifold threats preventing that the Utopia may come true – nearly all of them are –

human made
– that’s also the basic keyword: just to name some threats – the exploitation of the natural resources to the shortnotice profit of just a few globally acting corporations destroying the natural environment sustainably– the global warming and the climate change as a result of this misuse taking a dramatic impact on the environment and the nature as the living habitat enforcing people to migrate, threatening animals, plants and the biological systems with extinct, making the resources of fresh water shrink on all continents which has the huge potential for military conflicts in future , the military conflicts of the Present to the benefit of some totalitarian regional powers like in Middle East, Africa or Ukraine enforcing people to migrate after persecution and expulsion, or the overwhelming globalization as a result of the rapid development of new technologies, making people anxious they might loose their identity and privileges, and populist political movements try to manipulate and misuse the emotional uncertainty of these people and destroy all the real civilizational achievements made during the past decades and centuries, by reviving most destructive ancient nationalistic, extremist, fascist and even terrorist ideologies which have the potential to catapult the human civilization back on an pre-industrial stone-age like state, while the true problems of global and local nature leave, however, unrestrained escalating.

Based on the two maxims „We Are One World“ and „The Global meets the Local“, referring to the biggest and the smallest nucleus alike – the planet as a whole and the smaller geografic and social unities like the continents, regions, country, town, village, community , tribe or family or nature as a biological living habitat – each one representing a cosmos of itsown: the smaller the unity, the more people feel emotionally affected being willing to take personal responsibility, the bigger the unity, the more the common world and taking responsibility for it becomes an Utopia.

The dynamically structured W:OW Project has to be considered as such a sample cosmos, a progressive and experimental common world on a small scale in which the participating instances (artists, curators, etc) are taking a particular responsibility for the “Whole”, as well as for each other. In this way The W:OW Project is representing for them the platform for approaching the Utopia by developing concepts, asking questions and giving answers through the creative works to be incorporated.

As a global networking project between artvideoKOELN & The New Museum of Networked Art and associated networking partners, „The W:OW Project“ is inviting cultural activists like artists and curators from all over the world working in different disciplines to reflect (critically) Present and Future of our planet as the place where life as such, the amazing diversity of a magnificent nature and the human species had the chance to arise with all the civilisatory achievements based on humanity, empathy and creativity, expressed for instance, in art, the sciences and a free and open society –

W:OW – We Are One World.

Both core statements are manifesting themselves also in the W:OW Project presentation formats. While the online/offline core is standing for the Global, as as a basic component of all presentation formats, The W:OW Art Film and Video Festival is standing for both – the Global – by travelling around the globe – and the Local by making stops at many local venues – allowing the multi-facetted exhibition of moving images via screening, projection and installation

Besides the diversity of a global and local media art creation, The W.OW Project would like to present a diversity of curatorial concepts, as well as how students (schools, artschools, universities) reflect “We Are One Word” in a collaborative context. Therefore, another call is inviting globalwide curators to prepare curated contributions in moving, interactive and static images on one hand, and collaborative projects (video and poster) on the other hand.

But the curatorial aspect gets a particular local dimension. While THe W:OW Project core does not include physical objects, the “exhibition” as a presentation format may be a way to do so. Local curators may be invited to prepare a physical counterpart to the globally oriented W:OW Project core, which allows them to realise their individual curatorial concept by including local artists – the Global meets the Local – and confronting or integrating different artistic media (analogue & digital) – “Art is indivisible” – as another core statement.

We Are One World.