Saturday, October 27, 2007

Back to Germany - A résumé

We really enjoyed our work in the Yemen and are very thankful, that we got the possibility to do a Light-/Video-/Soundinstallation of this dimension at the Bab al-Yemen. It was great to become a part of the daily life, especially during the festive atmosphere of the Ramadan. Even if we had tough times dealing with electricity and non-existent cables, it always turned into moments of big luckiness, when things finally worked out in the last moment.

During our second stay in the Yemen, Rene and I had to change a lot regarding our first conception. We soon realized, that our origin idea to do an interactive installation had to be modified, since so many people were meeting each evening at the Bab al-Yemen, curious sitting all over the place and waiting for images/music. So everything became more kind of an event character, but for us there is nothing to regret about it [exempt from the fact, that our original plan - hanging around at a cool swimming pool in the afternoons, once the installation is running - was foiled, because we had to work all the time on our computers, editing new video material and sounds, since we still wanted each evening to be special :-) ]

There have been a lot of people, who helped us where they could, and without them this project would have been not possible at all. We would like to thank Frank Werner and Guido Zebisch from the German embassy, the Yemeni ministry of Culture (and especially Jamal Majam), Patrick from the French embassy and Joel, Julian and Mohamed from CCCL Sana'a as well as all the other great French people we met in Sana'a, our Yemeni staff members at the Bab al-Yemen, Fouad, Selim, Ahmed, Ismael, Maher and Abd Al Malik, Jean-Baptiste Lopez, the nicest photographer of the world, who provided us with images for the installation, the Yemeni painters Amna Alnuseiri, Talal Alnajar and Madhar Nizar, who also provided us with video-material, Michael Bepler from the Hrz Giessen, our Professor Heiner Goebbels and last but not least Bastian Roos and Carolin Möllmann, the two best interns the German embassy ever had.

Saturday, October 6, 2007


A conclusion drawn by the Yemen Observer after the last showing:

Friday, October 5, 2007

press releases

That is what the (english speaking) press wrote about the project shortly before and after the launch of the project:

Yemen Observer

Yemen Observer

Yemen Times

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Finissage / October 3rd.

Tomorrow, on October the 3rd., will be the official finissage of the project. There will be a representative part with a dinner, some speeches and live-music, before our installation finally will run for its last day. Check the webpage of the German Federal Foreign Office, which promotes the project in the framework of the "Day of German Unity abroad". We also already started to upload some new images to our Flickr-account.

German Federal Foreign Office
Our Flickr-Account

The press conference at CCCL Sana'a

Here you will find some exerpts from the speeches by the French cultural attache, the Yemeni deputy minister of culture and the German embassador. If you also want to listen to Rene, the French deputy embassador and me, go to our You-tube-channel, where you will find a second video with some parts of the official press conference, which was held two days before the installation was launched.

Our YouTube-Channel

Monday, October 1, 2007

The first video

Our friends from the French Cultural Center (CCCL Sana'a) produced a short trailer of the installation during September 23th. It is synchronized in French, but gives also some first impressions to non-French speakers.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The first days

The last few days we have been very busy. Our ordered power-extension cables emerged last tuesday evening as about 1500 metres of cables on rolls, without any plugs, so we had first to "produce" and connect all of them. The next night we installed all the lights at the Bab al-Yemen, with the help of some very nice Yemeni, French and German people. But there was still no electricity, until finally at Thursday night a big generator (300000W!!!) was brought and parked in front of the Bab al-Yemen. Unfortunately this was to late to beginn with the show on the same day, so we could start only on September 21. After two shows with some technical problems (f.e. on Saturday evening the generator was overheated, because it run for 5 hours in advance to do some tests, and shut down half an hour after the installation had started), everything run yesterday quite smoothly. We still have to fix some minor technical problems, but now it is becoming fun again. The people at the Bab al-Yemen really seem to like the installation, each evening the place is filled up with people. Sometimes it is really hard for us to concentrate during the daily setup of the cube and the two main projectors, because we are surrounded by so many people, that are curiously watching each step we take, but it is also a great experience doing some patching in between all the people. I think, back in Germany there should be nothing what can discomfit us so easily. We are very very happy to be here in Sanaa, and about all the support we get locally! It is really great to do a installation of this dimension in the Yemen.

The construction of the cube was finished on the evening of September 20th....the place where all the wires get connected to the generator, and three of our Yemeni friends, that support us. In a fairy tale somebody would now say, "Anyhow, it works!". Unfortunately this is no fairy tale, but still the electrical situation is now much better than it looks like.

...and finally some of the first images of the show.
In the next days, when we have some more time, we will upload some videofiles to our You-tube channel, and also set up a photo-album in the internet.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


designed by Mohamed al Huraish

Monday, September 17, 2007

Back to Sana'a

Our first test with one of the 2 big projectors

Since our last posts a lot has happened. After we arrived in Germany from our first trip to Sanaa, Matthias had to go immediately to Switzerland for work, but still provides us now via internet with 6-channel audio-files for the installation at the Bab al-Yemen.
Rene and I had (then back in Giessen) to deal a lot with organisational matters and some general tryouts, and we both are now again in Sanaa since 10 days. Beside all the artistic video, light and audio-stuff, the development of a general timeline for the installation (which is now supposed to run for 2 hours each day between September the 20. and October the 3), and the further elaboration of the concept, one of our main tasks is actually to make sure, that all the technical and constructional material we need for the installation, will be provided right in time.
We are now quite professional in writing "to-do"-lists (i think we could do a new installation, just pinning the walls of the Bab al-Yemen with self-written lists of all kind :-) ), and had a lot of meetings and appointments with most different people.
A public-space installation of this size is quite new for the Yemen, and so there are a lot of aspects you have to think about, you never would deal with in a European country. But to be honest, we never thought about that as an obstacle, and this challenge became even some kind of fun for us. All we do has (at least regarding the technical aspects) always to be in a balance of being realistic and possible, and since we decided from the very beginning to "extend what is possible as much as possible", we have been very conscious about all that stuff.
Here in Sanaa, we are very grateful for all the support we get, especially for the great oppurtunity to prepare all the work in the French Cultural Center (which became our "working space" for the last 10 days) and for all the people, that help(ed) us where they can(could). Once the installation is running, we will post another message, and thank all of them personally.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

About Us

We are a team of young German New Media Artists, working with audio, light and video. Mainly we focus on interactive installations / events and performative theatre. We are currently students at the „Institute of Applied Theatre Studies“ at the „Justus Liebig University“ in Giessen, where we will finish our studies in 2008.

From left to right: René Liebert, Tobias Rosenberger, Matthias Mohr.

Short Biographies:

René Liebert: born 1980. In 2005/06 he absolved an "International Master in Documentary Film" in Barcelona. He realized video & light designs in theatre productions (e.g. ATW Giessen, Mousonturm Frankfurt, Körber-Studio Hamburg), short films and worked as camera operator & cutter. Since 2006 he is lecturer for video editing at the University of Giessen.

Matthias Mohr: born 1980. Realized several music theater performances (e.g. with Ensemble Modern, Jens Joneleit, Uwe Dierksen), light and video installations, compositions/sound designs. Rooted in Frankfurt's music scene he is involved in different music projects. Recently assisting Heiner Goebbels in his new production Piano Piece.

Tobias Rosenberger: born 1980. Works at the crossroads of performance, media art and installation. Recent artistic projects & collaborations include "Antigone" (2003, Festival Junger Talente, German-Chinese co-production), "Esquisse" (2005, Internationale Musiktage Darmstadt), "Fascia" (2006, Frankfurter Positionen), "Bypass" (2006, Luminale Frankfurt) and "Breathing City" (2007, Les Subsistances, Goetheinstitut Lyon; Harvestworks, New York, Goetheinstitut Barcelona).
Participant E-mobilArt (European Mobile Lab for Interactive Media Artists)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Technical drafts

With the help of architect's plans provided to us by GOPHCY CATS we are preparing now the technical set-up for our partners in Sana'a.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Project outline

After consulting the German and French embassy we developed during our first stay in Sanaa (08.08.07 - 17.08.07) the official outline of the lightinstallation around the Bab al-yemen, and presented it to the Yemeni minister of culture and also the major of Sanaa. We are happy, that they will take together the patronage of the trilateral project.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Sana'a - City of light

We are invited by the German and French embassy to do a light/video/soundinstallation in the old city of Sanaa / Yemen for about ten days during the Ramadan in 2007.
It is announced to be a collaboration with a french music producer and musicians/technicians from the Yemen, and will take place around the Bab al-Yemen ("Gate to the Yemen"), that served as the Entrance to the old city of Sanaa and is regarded as a national monument of the Yemen.

"Bab al-Yemen"

The Washington Post wrote about this place, which is part of the Unesco World heritage:
"Less than 50 years ago, the walls that meet at Bab al-Yemen encompassed all of Sanaa, then a city of just tens of thousands and more medieval than modern. Today, its residents number nearly 2 million, and the sprawling capital stretches beyond the walls for miles in every direction. Bab al-Yemen has somehow managed the transition. Unlike some Arab markets, fetishized for tourists in places like Cairo and Jerusalem, Bab al-Yemen embraces its original incarnation—market, playground and meeting place."