Irony in Media Art

Subversive interventions

EMAF 2015, Bastian Hoffmann "Eden Was Never So Close"

Addressing topics with irony, satire and humour is an artistic strategy frequently applied in the media arts, the spectrum of which is practically as broad as that of the fine arts. Irony doesn’t only serve to provide tongue-in-cheek entertainment, but also as a means of analysis and criticism. Playfully walking a line between sculpture, action and performance, artists use irony to express social criticism which places emphasis on economic and social circumstances.
To this end, they “seize on” material from the media, which they rearrange and subvert for their own purposes. With titbits taken from everyday life and consumer culture, the artists comment on the balance of power and the distribution of wealth in society. And now that new media has established itself firmly in the art world, this approach has increasingly become an artistic strategy. In their works, artists rely on the effectiveness of irony to illuminate the impact of media technologies on social interaction and personal identity. In this way, they frequently overstep boundaries, question values and break taboos.
The exhibition “Irony in Media Art” presented some 25 works by internationally renowned (media) artists such as Istvan Kantor and Paolo Cirio ─ accompanied by performances, talks, films, workshops and educational programmes. The exhibition was integrated into the programme of the European Media Art Festival in Osnabrück, one of the most important forums of international media art today.

Artistic director: Ralf Sausmikat, Hermann Nöring
Artists: Roee Rosen (ISR), Christian Falsnaes (DAN), Paolo Cirio (IT), Christian Jankowski, Phil Collins (GB), Istvan Kantor (CAN), Emily Vey Duke & Cooper Battersby (CAN), Annette Hollywood, Georg Klein, Meggie Schneider, Marcello Mercado (BRA/D), Bastian Hoffmann, Antonin DeBemels (BE), Ruben Aubrecht (AT/D).


European Media Art Festival

Lohstraße 45a

49074 Osnabrück (external link, opens in a new window)