Call for applications

Videonale.17 – Festival for Video and Time-Based Arts

Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn, Germany
Deadline: 30 June 2018

Videonale.17 – Festival for Video and Time-Based Arts


Videonale.17 – Festival for Video and Time-Based Arts invites artists from around the world to submit their work on the theme Refracted Realities for the competition of the festival, which will take place in Bonn, Germany from February 21 to April 14, 2019.

Around 35 works selected by an international jury will be presented in an exhibition at Kunstmuseum Bonn as individual presentations. The opening is accompanied by an extensive four day festival program, featuring panels, lectures, discussions with the artists, performances, workshops and master classes. One of the works selected for the exhibition will receive the Videonale Award of the fluentum collection, worth 5,000 EUR.

Deadline for submissions: June 30, 2018
Apply now at:

In optics, “refraction” refers to the bending of a beam of light, a change in direction which occurs at the moment when it passes from one medium to another. Through refraction, the light wave alters course, changing the way we perceive the objects it illuminates in the process. This optical deviation requires us to repeatedly correct our gaze, comparing the beginning and end points of our perception with reality, and bringing the object we see clearly into focus.

In its figurative sense, refraction refers to a critical reflection on the means and channels of visualization, and by extension the possibility of a rearticulation of our view of things—how they are, were, or apparently always have been. The technical medium of the camera lens, which frequently mediates between us and the things we perceive, plays a central role here, since it significantly influences the degree of refraction. It can act to concentrate light waves in a single direction, or to deflect and realign them. It can provide new images for old narratives, or create new narratives with new images. What possibilities exist to allow media in general, and artistic media in particular, to engage critically with their own dominance? What artistic strategies are currently being developed to create alternative points of view, and to integrate new perspectives? Which visual languages are available to the artist?

Videonale is looking for works which confront the language of the technical medium critically and speculatively, productively and destructively, paradoxically and disruptively, calling into question the political, cultural and social narratives which it creates. Videonale is looking for works which develop alternatives to the dominant categories, allowing us to see objects in a new or different light.

“Visibility is not transparency. Rather (…) visibility is itself a claim that must be carefully examined: in acknowledging what is seen, and newly seen, we need to be equally vigilant about what is not seen, or no longer seen.”[1]

[1] Paula A. Treichler, Lisa Cartwright, Constance Penley, “Introduction: Paradoxes of Visibility.” In: Treichler, Cartwright and Penley (eds.), The Visible Woman. Imaging Technologies, Gender, and Science. New York and London 1998, p. 3.

The competition is open for all types of experimental moving-image-based works:
-Single and multi-channel video
-Video installation / video sculpture
-Virtual Reality projects

There are no restrictions on the duration of the work submitted, on the geographical location of the artist, or on their age. The work submitted must, however, have been completed after Januar 1, 2016 and each artist or artist collective may submit only one work.

Submission fee
An administration fee applies to all works submitted (payable during the registration process via Paypal)
Until May 31, 2018: 15 EUR
From June 1, 2018: 20 EUR
From June 15, 2018: 25 EUR

Videonale on tour
Following the exhibition at Kunstmuseum Bonn, the works displayed at Videonale.17 will be presented in other international institutions as “Videonale.17 on tour.” Locations in the past include the Central House of Artists in Moscow, Russia; the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts in Taichung, Taiwan; the Insa Art Space in Seoul, Korea; the National Gallery of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo; MONA Inner Spaces in Poznan, Poland; ArtVilnius, Lithuania; CCA/ Freedom Park Lagos, Nigeria and others.

The Videonale
Founded in 1984 in Bonn, the Videonale is an international platform for video and time-based arts. With an exhibition of works submitted for competition as well as a festival program, it has been presenting the latest developments in moving image and time based arts for over 30 years. The focus is on young international artists, complemented by established representatives of moving image art. In 2019 the 17th edition of the Videonale will take place.

Videonale.17 is supported by (as per May 2018):
City of Bonn; Ministry for Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
The Videonale Award is supported by: fluentum collection
Preferred Logistics Partner: DHL

c/o Kunstmuseum Bonn
Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 2
53113 Bonn

T +49 228 692818
F +49 228 9085817


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