Kurzfilmfestival Köln, Kunsthaus Kat18, 20.-23.11.2014
I curated this show for the 2014 Cologne Short Film Festival. GLOBAL VIRAL maps transnational media flows and global image economies in the digital age. With the increasing interconnectedness of global cultural production (a phenomenon Arjun Appadurai has captured in his concept of ‘media scapes’) the unilateral moment of the USA as a quasi-monopolistic provider of pop-cultural content came to an end. The separation between cultural center and the periphery has since eroded: The ‘next big thing’ can come equally from South Korea as from South Africa. New sites of production emerge, new actors enter the arena and more and more people make a living from the economic or political contextualization of images. The digitalization of the media has not only increased the mobility of images, it has also democratized the means of their production. New forms of bricolage have appeared, as have new forms of propaganda. Suddenly, strange alliances form, for example when Deso Dogg, a former rapper from Berlin-Kreuzberg suddenly begins to post videos on his YouTube channel in which he condemns the West and calls on his fans to join the Islamic State. Or new lines of tradition and exploitation chains emerge, e.g. when Nigerian Nollywood-filmmakers produce remakes of US-Horror movies that circulate not only in South- or East Africa but also in the migrant communities of London, Paris, or Berlin. The artistic positions gathered in this exhibition use these image flows as their raw material. They investigate, manipulate and re-interpret global media flows with exactly those tools digitalization has to offer.