Tess Martin’s travel blog:
I flew into Vienna yesterday morning, and was kindly picked up by Holger Lang, one of the professors at Webster University Vienna campus. The event here was sponsored by them as well as by ASIFA Austria, the local ASIFA chapter that I’m happy to say seems quite active and interested in experimental work. The Inter-Action screening (animations from Seattle) was held in a nice multi-purpose room inside the MuseumsQuartier – this is one long building that used to be the court stables, but has now been converted into a number of museums like the Leopold Museum (Austrian Expressionists), MUMOK (modern art) and Kunsthalle (contemporary art). There’s also an architecture centre and dance centre, a children’s museum and a children’s theatre. But better than all that is something called quartier21, which is basically an umbrella organization that helps fill all the little nooks and crannies of this big building with small shops and studios for local arts initiatives – so you’re walking down a hallway and there’s all the interesting installations and shops scattered about – really inspiring.
My screening was held in a multi-purpose room called Room D that can be booked by different organizations, including ASIFA Austria. It holds about 40 modern plastic seats, and has a nice bar area. The event went very well! I’d say we had about 35 people (mostly either Webster Vienna students or ASIFA people, but a bunch of general public as well). Right at the end a group of thirty-five 15 year old students on a school trip came by with their teacher – they were from a small village and the teacher was making sure they got exposed to as much art as possible on their trip. They had planned to attend the screening but were very late. So I screened five of the films again for them while the previous audience mingled in the bar area. It was a pleasure talking with Holger, and Stefan from ASIFA, and some of their media students about different inspiring films, trends in the festival world, etc.
Below is a slightly over-dramatic video about the Museumsquartier, but it gives a good feel for it: