Raindance. Research and Development in Video Art and Media Ecology
 The drawing shows the cover of the magazine "Radical Software". You can see an old TV set in front of a sky. The screen shows a parachute jumper.
Sat, July 01, 2017 11 am – 6 pm CEST, Symposium

As part of the exhibition »Radical Software. The Raindance Foundation, Media Ecology and Video Art«, the ZKM is hosting the »Raindance. Research and Development in Video Art and Media Ecology« Symposium on Saturday 1 July 2017. It will reunite the former members of the Raindance Foundation – video artists Frank Gillette, Beryl Korot and Ira Schneider as well as Hollywood producer Michael Shamberg – for the first time in a joint discussion group and will present lectures by renowned media theoreticians and scholars. The symposium will be moderated by Davidson Gigliotti.

In the early 1970s, the »Raindance Foundation« established itself as a pioneering protagonist of radical media critique and the promoter of a new democracy in the era of electronic mass media. Through theoretical and practical, experimental investigations of the medium of video, the aim was to create the prerequisites for individual self-determination and the construction of a democratic community. 

Inspired by theoreticians such as Gregory Bateson, »Raindance« developed the concept of a »Media Ecology«, a model for the description of the environment as an information-processing system, in which technical, social, psychological and aesthetic aspects are finally able to be handled as a whole. The »Radical Software« journal founded by Raindance in 1970 anticipated the future of the internet society with the words, »power is no longer measured in land, work or capital, but by access to information and the means to distribute it«. According to the claim, other social systems and individual lifestyles could only be developed by establishing alternative, decentralized information structures. 

Not least due to confronting workable models and methods to analyze and design an environment that is characterised by electronic communication media, these theses and experiments of the »Raindance Foundation« have a topical relevance for the current technological developments and accompanying social challenges, such as the relationship of social media and democracy, security, monitoring and individual freedom. 


11 am–11:10 am

Welcoming Speech Peter Weibel

11:10 am–11:20 am 

Introductory Speech Margit Rosen and Judith Bihr

11:20 am–11:30 am

A Brief History of »Raindance« George Barker 

1:30 am–12:15 am

Artistic Research. Interactive social experiments in art and science Elisabeth Fritz (University of Jena) 

12:15–12:30 pm 

Coffee break 

12:30 pm–1:30 pmExhibition tour 
1:30 pm–2:30 pmLunch Break 
2:30 pm–3:45 pm

All Hail the Cybernation?— archiving and organizing with cameras and ANTS
Elizabeth Coffman (Loyola University Chicago)Ted Hardin (Columbia College Chicago)

4pm – 5:30 Uhr

Discussion Panel
Former Members of the Raindance Foundation 

Frank Gillette, Beryl Korot, Ira Schneider, Michael Shamberg (via Skype)

Moderation: Davidson Gigliotti

5:30 pm–6pm Concluding Remarks George Barker, Judith Bihr, Margit Rosen


Organization / Institution
ZKM | Center for Art and Media