KHM Netze Open and KH門 Festival

The Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM) hosts an annual diploma exhibition KHM Open from 21st to 25th July 2021 in various locations in Cologne as well as online. In addition to diploma works, there are interventions in hybrid forms, led by students and seminars at KHM.

Netze Open” is an online exhibition platform by Naoto Hieda, impersonating the KHM “Netze” group led by UBERMORGEN.

The exhibition features a collection of artworks electronically posted on Netze Discord, a platform open for KHM students and anyone who might be interested in participation. Since the Netze curatorial team is taking a vacation and failed to deliver meticulously selected artworks, all the latest artworks on Discord are indiscriminately exhibited in the online gallery and updated in real time by a competent bot.

The system is created with node.js for the backend and Svelte for the frontend. A Discord bot scrapes every content posted on the #khmopen channel on Netze Discord server, and updates the webpage in real time. While the platform is realized with the support of the actual KHM Netze group, the “Netze curatorial team” is an imaginary entity that is made up. The Netze Open platform questions the way online exhibitions are organized, highlighting the tension between the authenticity of an art institution and the value of digital contents. The artworks posted on Netze Open are unfiltered and short-lived, similar to contents on social media such as Instagram. The platform is accessible online during KHM Open. Anyone is invited to join the Discord server to post any contents.

KH門 Festival” (KHMN Festival) is organized by the ctrl-space seminar (led by Christian Sievers) featuring videos, interventions, performances and various uncategorizable works by participating students.

The works on display reflect the difficult conditions for art during the pandemic and are partly very personal reactions to the experience of being locked out, from each other and from the social space KHM. The proclamation of the KH門 Festival is the counter-proposal, the ceremonial opening of all spaces to the public. The title is a pun on “KHM”. 門 is the Chinese and Japanese ideogram for gate/door and is pronounced [mu:n] / moo͞n in Korean, and similarly in many East Asian countries.

Video works are exhibited at windows facing the public sidewalk (along with a live view of the “Netze Open” site) featuring Jey Yoo, Kihuun Park, Rebecca Beauchamp, and Ting-Chun Liu; portals to an augmented reality work by Julia Vergazova are distributed around the area; Bidisha Das performs an audio walk capturing electromagnetic interferences; Kihuun Park invites immigrants to share stories; cryptic artifacts and invitations to connect and share by Cao Bijun can be found in various places around KHM; Jeesoo Hong and Hye Young Sin question the interaction with non-human agencies; and Naoto Hieda hosts an exhibition of a browser-based performance project with Jorge Guevara on a construction site. The webpage is created by Naoto Hieda and Christian Sievers using Svelte and Leaflet (OpenStreetMap), which serves as a hub of all the works and will be updated during the KHM Open week.

Netze Open | KH門 Festival