Front Row Seat
But it has also shown us that art is inventive and in those times of temporary standstill of the cultural and art scene worldwide, many artists switched their activities online. New and different ways of experiencing art began to emerge and are still evolving to this day, demonstrating that during these times – more than ever – art is fundamental in upholding the human spirit in times of crisis. It has also been shown that isolation can be artistically productive: Focusing inward, on what is essential, and then engaging creatively with people.
In May 2020, the AVL Cultural Foundation therefore launched a new video series to offer artists and their activities another channel of communication in times of cultural stagnation and to continue to enable collaboration during this period. The main purpose of this was to address the changes and challenges imposed on artists' working lives by the pandemic and to put them in a new and unusual spotlight. FRONT ROW SEAT participants included composer Rupert Huber, sound artist Bill Fontana, vocal ensemble Cantando Admont, and filmmaker and photojournalist Hazel Thompson.
In a short video clip, participants had the opportunity to show their perspective and artistic work or processes. The video series also aimed to highlight unique ideas to demonstrate the power of creative and artistic work, show the sources of inspiration for individual artists, and provide a behind-the-scenes look at artists' creations.
Due to the restrictions and security measures prevailing at the time, the artists simultaneously became the "composers" of the content and images of their video. Self-made video recordings via cell phone or tablet found their completion in a professional post-production with the film production company HENX, in close coordination with the artist.
In addition to individual artists, the series also presents opinions and perspectives of organizers and artistic directors of major festivals on the pandemic situation, highlighting challenges in the cultural sector and new visions that are emerging in the current period.
Currently, the series is continued annually with composers from the impuls Academy as participants.