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formatLabor (das; -s, -s) formatLabor (das; -s, -s) is a laboratory that puts new forms of media use and communication to test and develops experimental medial formats.

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: formatLabor
: Texts
: Diskurs: M.E.D.I.E.N.
: blog

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*Areas of theory

*Digitality & Formats

*Experimental Formats


*Material aesthetics

*Minoritary / Minority

*New Method as collective technique


*Operative Epistemology

*Possibility-space of digitality

*Starting point

*The Third Field


*Why experimental Formats?


Traditional theatre and performative test arrangements
in presence need the uncompromising dictatorial individual vision.


The laboratory

: formatLabor thinks itself as laboratory of medial formats, as a physical and virtual space of medial exploration and as an open experiment of the artistic-scientific crossover; it is linked to the platform Diskurs: M.E.D.I.E.N. and the open Internet-Colloquium "Toward an Integral Theory of Media". In the formatLabor new forms of media use and of communication are put to the test and experimental formats in different media are developed.



*Why experimental Formats?

*How is collectivity feasible?


: formatLabor


The formatLabor explores communications and of the use of media: social and media formats, and investigates their epistemological, cognitive and aesthetic meaning.

In particuliar we are interested the relationship between author and method, in formations of knowledge and the consequences of the universal media convergence.

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The forms of communication and of the use of media limit and guide the possibilities of our knowledge, determine our doctrines (cognitions) and the forms of our aisthesis and aesthetics: Social and media formats therefore present an important part of the [historical a priori].

In modern age the media formats were determined by systems of writing down : the historical a priori was strongly determined by the media hardware and was understood as [medial a priori].

The formatLabor is neither about developing new formats for the mass media in the first place nor only about creating artistic advanced forms but about pure research of media and social formats in epistemological, cognitive, aesthetic and structural-practical dimension.

Together with the universal media convergence and the digitalisation of nearly all cultural data, and the monopoly of data transfer by networked computers in the process of formation a new media space of [communicative] differenciation comes into being, which is to be investigated in theoretical and practical ways. Besides the book, the one-to-many transfer media (Radio, TV), the press and the interaction in presence a new area is coming into being in which social and medial formats mix and differenciate. We are talking about a “media supported public” in which social togetherness and cultural production coincide (clubs, mailing lists, alternative video projects, Wikis, blogs, free radio stations, interactive TV projects, podcasting a.s.o.)

The formatLabor represents an invitation to joining the project work. The events arranged by the formatLabor are often more like open work meetings. They are places of shared production, of live-recombination of material, a think tank, and a place of contact for artists, musicians, concepters und other creative people.

The formatLabor is realized in cooperation with the Kulturserver der Länder, the Freie Universität Berlin, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Universität der Künste, and is linked with the Plattform Diskurs M.E.D.I.E.N. and the internet colloquium Toward an Integral Theory of Media.


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What are formats?

Are there examples for experimental formats?

Send an e-mail with your question!

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The formatLabor experiments with different formats like video and audio installations, open screenings, radio sessions, live TV, theory disco, scenic readings, mini radio, narrative Vj-ing, temporary architecture and sound arrangement, with New Music as palm court music or with theory theatre. In our events we also present or perform format experiments, which in the traditional sense do not belong to any kind of theatre (i.e. book-, journal-, radio and collective writing projects) or which are hold in other places (i.e. performances in public space, passer-by interviews a.o.).


::the collective

The group formatLabor is a collective of theorists and artists of different areas who work with interventions in public and half public space since the 1990s. One of its best known actions „Ein sehr kurzes Stück für Bankdirektoren“, which was performed in banks, was always – although sponsered by the ministery for science, research and culture – finished by a police operation. Today the formatLabor is especially about connecting scientific and artistic methods.


Participants up to now in
salons of the fromatLabors (2005-2006)

Andrés Fuentes Cannobio (film-maker, cutter), Bernd Ternes (social philosopher), Daniela Butsch (video artist), Dolly Tschad (artist), Manuel Bonik (artist, DJ), Mari Cantu (film-maker), Matze Schmidt (media activist), Mic Mikina (media artist), Michael Brynntrup (experimental film-maker), Mike Riemel (artist, photographer, DJ), Ola Lewin (artist), Oliver Lerone Schulz (philosopher, media activist), Pit Schultz (Medienaktivist), Stefan Heidenreich (media theorist), Wolfgang Ernst (media scientist), Katja Eydel (A-Clip), Klaus Weber (A-Clip), Michaela Caspar (performer), Séan D.C. Marquard (musician, DJ), Dimitris Tzamouranis (artist)

Different groups are working on projects and some of them are still looking for people who want to take part. There will be installed a data bank for Berlin where as well projects present their concepts as individuals may enter their profile.
Important projects: Realisation of the internet platfo: Diskurs: M.E.D.I.E.N., the publication project „Wozu Medientheorie?“ and cooperation on the conception for the formatLabor.

Meeting. The formatLabor organizes events in irregular rota. The formatLabor is not a closed group. The formatLabor doesn’t have a fixed program, but every evening has a topic. The formatLabor forms itself by the events. If you want to take part in the planning, please register here. [sign up]

Experimental formats. The formatLabor focusses on the spring open experimenting with alternative formats.

: Salons

The formatLabor organizes different events, lectures, colloquia and seminars, exhibtions, liveshows and performances and Salons.

newsletter of present events


formatLabor 2.3:

What means format here?
- Convergence of media, difference of formats -

TESLA Salon | Tuesday | May 9th 2006 | 20:30
with Stefan Heidenreich, Pit Schultz and Till Nikolaus von Heiseler



formatLabor 2.2

If TV shoots me, then I'll shoot TV!
An evening with the video artist Michael Brynntrup direct and medially splintered

Thursday | April 13th 2006 | 20:30 | TESLA Salon



formatLabor 2.1:

Films and conversations
Rosehill - feature film by Mari Cantu
Besides Marci - documentary film by Gusztáv Hámos
Followed by discussion with the director of Rosehill

Thursday | March 16th 2006 | 20:30 | TESLA Salon



: Internet colloquium
Toward an Integral Theory of Media IV: Theatrical Media & Operative Reason

Starting WS 05/06 the open internet colloquium "Toward an Integral Theorie of Media IV - Theatrical Media & Operative Reason" takes place.
[sign up]


Ja -
Soundart in public loos
a project of the

„We live in a world of colourful surface, a world of acceleration and of sensation. In this world we have quicker and quicker to differentiate betweenthat what is of any interest for us and that what is not. The area which is hidden by that is growing. In our installations we try to make the invisible to be seen and the not-heard to be heard.” (Sophia Nabokov)

In the Gemäldegalerie (Kulturforum, Berlin) from November 17th 2005 to February 15th 2006 the sound installation „Ja“ by Michaela Caspar, Sophia Nabokov, Till Nikolaus von Heiseler and Dolly Tschad could be heard.

The installation „Ja“ consists of a nearly uncut take and represents a subjective acoustic part of the life of the single parent, Michaela Caspar. Besides other actions she visits her mother in hospital. Her mother suffers from aphasia, caused by a stroke, and is only able to say one word: Ja.

The installation makes the „not heard“, the excluded, that what falls through all grids, to be heard by the visitors of the Gemäldegalerie. It takes place on the loos and is part of the project In-KLO-sion / Exklusion.

With friendly support by Kortwich Film - Ton - Technik (technique of installation) and many thanks to Martin Donner (mastering).


What is emanzipation? e-mail to my friend Gusztáv Hámos (pdf)


The Overheard
How would it be possible to think against the own thinking? (pdf)


:Ästhetik des Wissens
formatLabor I

Theatrical Media & Operative Reason
8. Nov. 2005 | 20:15

18:00 Audiolounge: Sounds & Samples
20:15 Ästhetik des Wissens
(main event)

What relations exist between medium and theory? Are media in principle ready for theory? Is the medium audio-visuality able to reflect itself as a medium in medium? What relations exist between knowledge and aesthetics? Can video be an instrument of theory and reflection? What will the audio-visual media be like twenty or thirty years later? How stands video to other static picture giving processes? Which possibilities present themselves for an aesthetic which rather focusses on the process than on the result?

Wolfgang Ernst, Bernd Ternes, Oliver Lerone Schultz and Till Nikolaus von Heiseler discuss the ability of theory of media and present German and international video artists. The singer and performer Michaela Caspar and Séan D.C. Marquardt show “Without title 23”. This work breaks up the redundancy of picture and sound track with the help of live elements and accident operations.

Manuel Bonik, Mic Mikina e.a. organize the theory disco on the topic, where the stage situation as well as the aesthetic and topic concentration of the production of the first part deconstruct themselves by and by and finally dissolve. In the second part the before taken materials are manufactured and feedback and redemption loops created in which not only the taken persons but the medium itself appears as an element of forming and is becoming an protagonist.

The event is also like an open work meeting, it is a place of joint production, of live recombination of material, a think tank and a place of contact for artists, musicians, concepters and other creative people. Guests may bring video and audio tracks relating to the topic as well as videos which put to the test new ways of production or experimental formats.

"The formatLabor is a place, where you may present or develop further model-like, artistic or scientific, media practical or theoretical projects and where you may win comrade-in-arms." snab




: projekts

The permanence of the Crisis in Relation to the Whole of its Petrification

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Diskurs: M.E.D.I.E.N.
plattform for media & emanzipation

The platform Diskurs: M.E.D.I.E.N. is a local internet platform for Berlin/Brandenburg with global orientation. It is a resource for the storing and retrievability of materials relevant for discourse. The platform shall have the function of common, topical centered public archives and grant the accessibility of knowledge. It puts information about discoursive events in Berlin and Brandenburg at disposal and opens lectures taken in a professional way free of charge on open-source-basis.


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Untitled [23]
by and with Michaela Caspar, Séan D.C. Marquardt, Dolly Tschad and Till Nikolaus von Heiseler

20:30 "Untitled [23]" performance with Michaela Caspar (voice) | Séan D.C. Marquardt (noise guitar)

21:30 "Martyrs and mercifulness" Guided tour with Prof. Dr. Bernd Lindemann (Director of the Gemäldegalerie)

Linked with the sound art installation “Ja” which could be heard for three months in the Kulturforum, the Gemäldegalerie presents the performance “Untitled [23]”. The installations taking place on the loos of the Gemäldegalerie (part of the series In-KLO-sion/Exklusion) as well as the performance are interventions of the artists’ and theorists’ collective formatLabor into the museum space of the Gemäldegalerie. In this approximately 45 minutes lasting performance the Chicago sound artist Séan D.C. Marquardt meets the Berlin singer and performer Michaela Caspar and both for their part meet the not-heard tape of the installation and a text random program especially programmed for the performance. ”The specifique composition,“ writes Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ernst, ”of theory discourse, media art, operative transfer, feedback by the guests/the public, real time projections of the discourse ... can be described as very successful on the whole.” In the performance ”Untitled [23]“ the relationship between text and body, theory and narration, language and aphasia, signal and sensorial nature is reflected. With the help of live elements and automated accidental operations in the forming and the acoustic recycling of sounds and noises, which engage with each other, the redundancy of picture and sound track is broken up.

The performance takes place in artistic as well as in scientific contexts.


What sense does it make to combine two formats?

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formatLabor develops new artistic scientific and mass medial formats. These formats can be situative (consisting of different constellations of presence) or medial, all of them can be interactive or implement a one-to-many-structure.

The creative being on his own is often confronted with the alternative either to fit into a given cliché or not to find any connection or possibility of realizing.

"Untitled [23]" by and with Michaela Caspar, Séan D.C. Marquardt, Dolly Tschad and Till Nikolaus von Heiseler on 17 | 11 | 05

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Songs & Sounds of Love & Death

Michaela Caspar & Séan D.C. Marquardt in the King Kong Klub


In irregular intervals the formatLabor arranges open production meetings.
Every evening consists of two parts. The first part is about the performative aspect of media, it is about integrating - with the help of media - the absent, the usually excluded in a medial production, it is about the discoursive linking of presence and absence, of immediacy and medially arranged, it is about linking theatralic and medial elements. In the second, the operative part the materials taken in the performative part are manufactured and feedback and redemption loops are created, in which not only the taken persons but the medium itself appears as an element of forming and is becoming a protagonist. That is why the operative part consists less in medial arrangements but rather in the arrangement of the media themselves. In the dynamic of shifting between and inside the different representation schemas and medial routines the stage situation as well as the aesthetic and topical concentration of the arrangement of the first part is by and by deconstructed and dissolved.

You should be prepared for surprises.

"Each form of distribution will usually be linked with a possibility of contribution." dolly

Individual authors and groups of authors may on their own authority occupy slots in space and time. It would be possible that in the framework of an event or in its context a regular format develops.

Every individual evening has its topic and gains its form substantially through the people involved.