garage is a cultural production initiative based in Berlin and used to be a festival from 1997-2005 in Stralsund/Germany.
garage was founded in 1997 by Gesine Pagels and Carsten Stabenow as a festival and a platform for contemporary art and culture. From 1997-2005 the festival presented new concepts in production, presentation and discussion of cultural content and acquired a reputation within the discussion of art and new media.
Every year artists, musicians and theorists were invited to develop and realise innovative projects during the festival. The focus was always on the search for possibilities of art and culture to contribute to a social and cultural developing process.
garage used to be first of all a producing festival with a focus on the support and production of new, not yet realised concepts for and during the festival.
With Stralsund the festival found a basis that with its quietness and interesting infrastructure of the old city harbour worked ideally as a laboratory for intensive production, work and exchange – the attraction of the festival for many artists, producers and curators was also based on the short distance to the audience, the possibility for direct adjustment of artistic production with the public.
Even though the attempt to grow to an internationally perceived festival was combined with a contextualisation and presentation of important (and perceived) artists and positions, garage always tried to develop autonomy and profile, through programmatic positioning and selection of topics, through courage for the unfinished, for experiments and artistic risks.
The presentation of work in progress projects and the general communicative-productive character, within a relaxed context, became the trademarks of the festival. The possibility to present a project, to discuss and develop it without pressure and even so to be part of a widely perceived event, made the festival attractive.
The networking and cooperation with similarly working institutions in the European and international context was an important factor for the development of the festival in the last years. There were co-productions and artist exchange with such renowned institutions as Mutek Montréal, Public Netbase Wien, Kunstradio Wien, Büro Copernicus, Time’s Up Linz, European Media Art Festival EMAF Osnabrück, transmediale and club transmediale Berlin, Mikro.org Berlin, the international short film festival interfilm Berlin, Singuhr Hörgalerie Berlin, tesla Berlin and others.
garage was operating from Berlin as a production hub and has strengthened the model of productive support, artistic project development and presentation. This was expanded with new formats, in different places/contexts and with a widened idea of networking.
garage + tesla = dock
In 2009 we co-foundet DOCK-berlin - a initiative for art and media in Berlin with the aim to create a new backbone for production in the field of art and technology, carrying on the idea of TESLA - medialab and garage.
dock represents a new type of media lab and operates as a networked platform with many local, national and international partners but without a huge administrative overhead. The production of media art demands a high degree of flexibility from its players. Their development leads a fast paced independent existence which the cumbersome instruments of institutionalized event locations could hardly do justice. dock develops a flexible, non-static form of institution instead of trying to run a permanent house with its own infrastructure. The production and presentation of projects in the field of new technology always involves a lot of resources, specialised technical needs and extremely varied requirements. This is best realized in cooperation with an existing network of micro-labs, research facilities and places of production.
dock produces and supports artistic projects by providing production residencies for artists, researchers and curators, localising resources and finding partners in science and research. Beside of this, dock organises workshops, lectures and symposia. As our main interest with founding dock is to develop and test new formats for the operational modes for a media lab, our strong focus will be on new forms of collaborative praxis in production, presentation/display, distribution and mediation.
dock is operated by Carsten Seiffarth & Carsten Stabenow.