Under the Radar, 2015
The 5th edition of the international symposium "Under-the Radar" took place in Vienna from March 6th to March 8th 2015. This annual conference is organized by Holger Lang, faculty at the Webster Vienna's Media Communications department. The conference is designed for researchers, artists, students, independent filmmakers, scholars, newcomers and people who enjoy working at the verges of media design, production and study – that could be in animation, experimental film, narrative shorts, documentaries, music-videos and media-art. As previous years, the symposium was organized in collaboration with the local organization of independent animation artists, ASIFA AUSTRIA. In addition, this year the City of Vienna contributed to the funding of the event.
After a warm welcoming address by Dr. Arthur Hirsh, director of Webster Vienna Private University, the informative and entertaining opening reception at Webster's new campus introduced participants and guests to the dense program of this year's conference. The evening continued with the vernissage of an exhibition by Augusta and Kalle Laar at Sternstudio Gallery near Webster Vienna's new campus. During the day on Saturday and Sunday the symposium featured international scholars and artists, presented to an attentive audience at the MuseumsQuartier.
The accompanying film program at the Top Kino showed a broad spectrum of productions in three screenings on Saturday evening. Work done by students from several universities was projected in the first compilation together with a variety of short films produced by established international artists. The second program included artistic films selected on the occasion of celebrating the 30 year anniversary of ASIFA AUSTRIA and the final program introduced the documentary, "Mackinnon & Saunders: A Model Studio" by the excellent British researcher, author and facilitator Paul Wells, to an Austrian audience. The symposium ended on Sunday evening with a celebration of an exhibition and a live performance by the renowned Canadian animation artist Pierre Hébert.
Erwin Feyersinger from Austria, Annaida Orosz from Hungary, Kalle Laar from Germany, Bonnie Mitchell from the US, Eliška Decká from the Czech Republik and Hrvoje Turković, Nikica Gilić and Daniel Šuljić from Croatia completed the top-class group of presenters at the conference. Stefan Stratil and Elisabeth Zoe Knass - both faculty members at Webster Vienna Private University and Franziska Bruckner from the University of Vienna have again been integral members of the organizing team of this year's symposium.
The enthusiastic feedback within the academic and artistic community is providing everyone with a lot of energy to plan the next symposium in 2016. Covering a unique interdisciplinary intersection between media-production, artistic practice and academic research "Under-the Radar" has occupied a niche in public dialogue in Austria that has links to the rich history of experimental film, media and animation production and connects with projections to future developments in this field.