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A Do-It-Yourself Approach to Global Connecting

By Robert Sauvey (distribution coordinator of Video Pool Inc. Winnipeg, Canada)

I attended my first media arts festival in Den Haag, Netherlands in April 1996: The World Wide Video Festival. I was fortunate enough to stay with a friend in Rotterdam, Arnold Schalks. I arrived in Den Haag in the morning and watched single screen works until evening. In between screenings I made new friends, made contacts and learned a lot about video and media arts. The experience was a positive one and I had the opportunity to view an immense number of video works I'd never have been able to see otherwise. I wasn't however, mentally prepared for the hours involved in watching video works at a festival of such a large size. The festival lasted a week and after several days of heavy festival going I was visually fatigued and mentally fuzzy.

Arnold, being a kind and sympathetic host, sat with me in his kitchen each night when I returned, drinking beer and letting me ramble on about my day in the darkened screening room. Arnold decided I needed more fun during my stay in the Netherlands, so he threw a party under the guise of a mock festival.

This mock festival entitled "Global Attic" was held in the upper level of Arnold's studio and home. It lasted only one night, and it was for invited guests only. This subversion of festival standards made Global Attic a renegade from the start.

That night a small hot air balloon was launched from the roof, prior to the screening, marking the occasion and in my mind symbolising the precarious and transitory nature of global connections in this information age. As we watched the balloon drift out over the harbour, speculative jokes were made about its possible destination. After launching the balloon and screening the videos we feasted on copious amounts of food, wine and beer that Arnold had graciously laid out. There was a communal feeling that blanketed us as we ate, drank and talked. This was year one of the Global Attic Festival in Rotterdam, a special event I am unlikely to forget.

(from: 'Poolside', the Video Pool Magazine / Fall 1997)