\\ netzspannung.org\ Workshops\ CAT Start


Statistics Tool



CAT - Communication Of Art And Technology

Meeting of experts on 16 September 1999, MARS-Exploratory Media Lab, FhG Institute for Media Communication, Sankt Augustin, Schloss Birlinghoven, Germany


A study completed at the FhG by the MARS Lab team coordinated by » Monika Fleischmann and » Wolfgang Strauss in 1998 sets out a vision for a competence centre for culture, art and the new media of a type that has not yet been seen in Europe. This competence centre is to link up design-related and artistic disciplines that work with the new media - such as audiovisual art, architecture, design, theatre and music - with education, research and business. The CAT project - which stands for Communication, Art and Technology - was defined as an interface that benefits the users and developers of new information technologies as well as artists, designers, cultural institutions and also the economy.
The goal of the workshop was to examine the parameters developed in the CAT study and to put them into concrete terms, taking account of the experience of the experts.
You can download the CAT study for further information (only available in German):

» CAT Studie  


The meeting of experts confirmed that the development of a network for providing information on art, culture and the new media would be an important tool in promoting digital culture. This network should be conceived as a communication, service and working platform that uses documentation, observation and networks to ascertain the current availability of capacities and skills and contribute to shaping them by means of its own specialist research areas. A lively exchange of information is to stimulate innovative collaborations and create synergies between business, art, culture and the new media.
As an information pool on media culture and a network of artistic, scientific/technical and theoretical skills, CAT should also contribute to supporting the younger generation working in the information technology disciplines and in art-related fields.

Statements from experts:

Axel Wirths, MEDIA GmbH, Cologne
» [CAT should] lead a discussion that would make clear what industry and science can gain from art and should help to demonstrate the flow of material from art into business and marketing. «

Sha Xin Wei, Stanford University, USA
» The problem of combining art and industry is an unsolved problem in the USA too. For example, Silicon Valley is a » media art desert « ; there are only a few » Artist in Residence « programs, for example at Xerox PARC. Art serves mainly only to illustrate technology. (Xerox PARC is now being sold off, March 2001)
[CAT should] examine traditional themes such as visualisation, interfaces, databases etc. from a different viewpoint.
[CAT should] create synergies between aesthetic, scientific and philosophical experiments. The product would be the » transformation of people « and the works of art that resulted would only be an index of the work that had been done. «

Harald Schütz, Art Commission of Deutsche Welle radio station and HA Monitor, Cologne
»[CAT should] should not only be a new information window, but also allow a new level of evaluation that would put »users« into a position to ask questions.«

Dr. Ludger Hünnekens, Cultural Group of German Business, BDI, Cologne (1999), now managing director of Allianz Kulturstiftung, Munich
»[CAT should] be a connection point for combining and bundling available knowledge. A long-term model for CAT would be a public-private partnership with public management and close links with industry.«

Participants in the meeting of experts

Invited Experts

Min. Dir. Prof. H. R. Friedrich
Director-General for Higher Education, German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Bonn
Prof. Andreas Henrich
Media Design, Kunsthochschule für Medien (Art College for Media), Cologne
Dipl.-Ing. Manfred Holder
Head of Export, Alcatel, Bonn
Dr. Ludger Hünnekens
Managing Director of the Working Group on Cultural Sponsoring, Cultural Group of German Industry at the Federal Association of German Industry (BDI), Cologne
Philipp Klein
Press Information and PR at KOMED GmbH, Cologne
Dr. Wilfried Matanovic
Head of Division for Art and Sport in Education, BMBF, Bonn
Wolfram Nieders
Eastern Europe Network Systems, Alcatel, Manager for Central Asia
Uve Müllrich
Member of world music group "Die DISSIDENTEN", Munich/Berlin
Dr. Danièle Perrier
Managing Director of Künstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral, Bad Ems
Madeline Ritter
Production Manager, Tanz Performance, Cologne
Telerik Schischmanow
Corporate Development, debitel AG, Stuttgart
Prof. Dr. Dieter Schütt
Centre of Information and Media Technology, Siemens AG, Munich
Harald Schütz
International Media, Art Commission of Deutsche Welle radio station and HA Monitor, Cologne
Dr. Norbert Spitz
radio + visual communication, Munich Goethe Institute
Torsten Stapelkamp
Computational Design, Gesamthochschule Wuppertal (Wuppertal College)
Eva Stein
Public relations, Internet editing, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
Sha Xin Wei
Mathematics, History & Philosophy of Science, Stanford University, USA
Axel Wirths
Curator for Media Art and Managing Director of 235 MEDIA GmbH, Cologne

Members of the CAT team

» Monika Fleischmann
Head of the MARS-Exploratory Media Lab
» Wolfgang Strauss
Media Artist and Architect
Elisabeth Kaliva
Student of Computer Science
Jasminko Novak
Computer Scientist
Claudia Valle
Communication Scientist

The details about the institutions and functions of the participants are valid as of September 1999.