Keiko Sei: Border Crossing

Postcapital, Exhibition View, WKV Stuttgart, 2008

Postcapital. Archive 1989 – 2001 Program

Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart

Lecture (in english)
Tuesday, December 2, 2008, 7 pm


Keiko Sei will talk about her experiences with border crossings through video tapes, the screening of these tapes, and about her collaboration with dissident groups, the Samizdat media people, artists, and writers in Eastern Europe during the communist period and after—as well as how this experience, research, and her video archive have been used in other still-totalitarian countries such as Burma. She will also screen tapes that have crossed borders many times, such as: Spartakiada, the Czechoslovakian communist mass game having taken place once every five years, the last May Day celebration in communist Czechoslovakia, a Hungarian Samizdat video, an election campaign video of the first presidential election in Romania, Hungarian live broadcasting of the Romanian Revolution, a Yugoslavian satire video on Tito, a documentation of the day when Emperor Hirohito died, and political reality TV in Thailand.

Keiko Sei is a writer, curator, and advocate of independent media. After running an organization for independent video and video art in Japan, she moved to Eastern Europe in 1988 to research the communist bloc media scene. Since 2002 she has been based in Bangkok to continue her research on independent media in Southeast Asia, especially Burma where she founded the Myanmar Moving Image Center in 2003. She has initiated and worked on various projects, including: the symposium The Media Are With Us!: The Role of Television in the Romanian Revolution in Budapest, 1990; video program The Age of Nikola Tesla in Osnabrück, 1991; EX-ORIENTE-LUX – Romanian Video Week in Bucharest, 1993; exhibition Orbis Fictus – New Media in Contemporary Arts, 1995, and exhibition POLITIK-UM/New Engamement, 2002, both in Prague; and documenta 12 magazines project (editor), 2006–2007.
Her video archive, which has been collected in transition across different continents, was exhibited to the public at the Generali Foundation in Vienna in 1999, and the German media described it as “the biggest collection of revolutionary videos in private hand.” She has taught and given lectures on media art, independent media, and media activism at numerous institutions, including the University of Media Art and Design in Karlsruhe (HfG) where she currently teaches as a guest professor. She writes for publications worldwide, with the overall focus of her essays being society in transition.

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