DIE DIGITALE: At the first run of Düsseldorf’s festival for electronic music and art

"Villa V", a two-channel TV-installation by artist Gurdun Kemsa.
“Villa V,” a two-channel TV-installation by artist Gudrun Kemsa.

We were in a car on the Autobahn,” says Werner Pillig, co-inventor and runner of the “Die Digitale”-Festival, being asked about the initial moment of having the idea for the event. Together with friend and collaborator Peter Witt, he is the host of the three days festival for electronic music and art. With its premiere in 2016.

Something like that was missing in Düsseldorf before,” Pillig says. The best place an electronic festival? – Düsseldorf.

The band Kraftwerk, initiators of electronic music, came from Düsseldorf, Pillig explains. “‘With the ‘Julia Stoschek Collection’ we also have the world’s largest collection of contemporary media art here in Düsseldorf.

But having an idea and actually hosting a festival is something different. For Witt and Pillig it took a year of planning and organizing. “We were a bit naive in the first place,” Pillig admits.

The result is worth the effort. With a wide range of performances and exhibitions. Such as a rare live performance of German electronic band Mouse on Mars. While an exhibition, called “splitter & amalgam,” brings together digital and analogue art with video.

It is about composition and decomposition,” says Werner Pillig. Two things that happen in a digital world. Works of 24 artists, like Raphael Brunk, Josef Schulz or Rainer Eisch, are brought together with that idea.

For Peter Witt, a musician himself, and Werner Pillig, director, eventmanager and former artist, the festival is about recent art, and about future art. Not a look back. “We want to connect people of the electronic music and art scenes here in town,” Pillig said to German newspaper Rheinische Post, being asked about further motifs.

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