blaues rauschen 2021

festival for digital sound experiments, electronic music, performance, dance, installation


▸ Regional and international, well-known or still undiscovered – in 2017 and 2018 BLAUES RAUSCHEN already presented current sound concepts ranging between electronica, sound art, postdigitalia, field recordings, performance and machine folk, which deal with the interplay of digital possibilities and handmade art.

▸ The rush of technical innovations and the associated upheavals make it necessary to continuously update and determine exactly where we are. For this reason BLAUES RAUSCHEN this year focusses on the question of how technical innovation, artistic and political processes are mutually dependent and influence each other and how existing borders – between the arts, between the analogue and the digital, between sectors and social subsystems – are increasingly dissolving. It is important to artistically capture the “driving forces”* of digital change and make them aesthetically perceptible: the dynamization of the relationship between global and regional, the change in the meaning of time and space, the modification of sizes and differences.


▸ BLAUES RAUSCHEN on the one hand sees itself as a laboratory with international and regional impulses, on the other hand as a presenter of current positions in the format of a show-case festival, which are rarely or never shown in the cultural life of the Ruhr area. The committed artists use both digital and analogue techniques and corresponding hybrids to develop new formats, new instruments and interfaces, which in turn enable them to create completely new works. By questioning and changing the interfaces between people, instruments and technology, digital extensions create new forms of access to sound generation and composition. At the same time, artistic positions on questions of societal-technical transformation are articulated in the innovative combinations of sound and visualization. Lectures and discussions on the state of digital creativity and art complement the artistic programmes.


▸ BLAUES RAUSCHEN aims to raise our awareness of the fusions and frictions of new digitalities, of conflict and consensus in our perception. It also aims to use artistic and media means to express the shifting of boundaries and conventions. The live format of the festival enables audiences to sensually experience the often abstract artistic approaches.

▸ The goal is to focus on the festival in a thematic way, and to make the atmosphere and dynamics of technical and technological modifications the subject. This will make it possible for audiences to experience the reorganization of regionality, space, time, orders of magnitude and artists´ positions. To this end, new local partners and institutions from music, media art, dance, theatre and the club scene are included. These interdisciplinary accents have prepared the festival for creative inputs that develop between and beyond conventional concepts. Networking formats ensure that outside artists meet local protagonists and that collaborations are possible.

▸ open systems e.V. would like to further strengthen the local networking of the cultural scene and expand cooperation. The inclusion of various festival locations in the Ruhr area is an important sign of the ongoing will to develop a regional/nationwide cultural policy. In the intermediate phases – in addition to fixed and bundled festival days every two years – individual events, so-called “satellites”, are intended to provide a platform for the processes deveoped by mainly local artists. By 2030, 10-12 towns and cities in the Ruhr region should be cooperating sites for the festival and its derivatives. By 2030, 10-12 cities in the Ruhr region are to be cooperating locations for the festival. In this way, an experiential space shaped by digital art can emerge and an aura for a critically accompanied digital transformation can unfold.


▸ „open systems” – a non-profit organisation – stands for ideas and realization of the festival and has many years of experience. These include the festival for current music, performance and sound art “open systems” and the projects “previsions” and “upgrade”, which were realized from 2007 onwards. The first two BLAUES RAUSCHEN festivals followed in 2017 and 2018. The association will continue to build on this successful history in the future.

▸ The changing mobility habits, especially of young cultural visitors, have been taken into account in the choice of the event locations. Places have been selected that can be reached reasonably easily even without a car. In addition to the previous participating towns and cities like Herne, Essen, Dortmund, Bochum and Gelsenkirchen, other cities in the Ruhr area like Duisburg and Unna are also to be integrated as festival venues in the near future. Hence, the Ruhr region will be flying the flag for a young and, to date, little cultivated cultural sector and can become an attractive field of experimentation for the present and upcoming generation of artists.

Artistic Director
Karl-Heinz Blomann

*Nicolas Negroponte: Beyond digital. In: Wired 1/1998.