Ulrich Wegenast

Expanded Animation – Towards a Spatial Theory and Practice Between Architecture, Game Art, Performance and Animation

Introduction by Mr. Sascha Kienzle
Head of Science and Technology Department
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany


Starting with the concepts and cultural practices of the Expanded Cinema of the 1960s and their protagonists like Stan VanDerBeek and Jordan Belson the lectures explores the relation between animation and other artististic disciplines like architecture and performance. More and more animators become producers of virtual spaces. Through this concept of animated spatial communication the role and meaning of architecture and scenography is changing and becomes more dynamic and fluid. The borderline between digital and real spaces is vanishing. Artists like Max Hattler and Robert Seidel or studios like Universal Everything expand the space by combining materiality and projection. But also within animated films the importance of space concepts shouldn’t be undervalued. More than in other filmic formats the creation of space itself is a constitutional element and part of the artistic process of animation production. By discussing five approaches how to create different forms of spaces (fantastic, conceptual, bricolage…) the lectures tries to illustrate the potential of the animation medium if it comes the establishment of space in narrative and traditional animation, in experimental film, and real-time animation.


Ulrich Wegenast, born 1966 in Stuttgart. Master in History and History of Art at Stuttgart University (MA), postgraduate studies in Culture and Media Management (Arts Administration) at Hanns Eisler School of Music, Berlin. Since 2012 he is honorary professor at the School of Film & Television "Konrad Wolf" Potsdam-Babelsberg (Film University Babelsberg). 1987: founding member of Wand 5 and Stuttgart Filmwinter – Festival for Expanded Media – a festival for experimental film and media art. In 2001 development of the conference "media-space". He was member of the Wand 5-board until 2006.

From 1993-2005 programme has was curator for the Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film. In 2005 he became the artistic director of the Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film. In 2002 he developed the experimental film section for the Munich Filmfest. Curatorial work and jury work for the Goethe Institute and various other institutions and festivals around the world.

From 2003 to 2004 he has worked as a consultant for the Frankfurt Schirn Kunsthalle and 2005 for the documenta jubilee exhibition. 2005-2013 member of the advisory board of the Goethe Institute (Film, TV, Radio), 2007-2013 member of the jury of the German Short Film Award. Since 2016 he is working as a media expert for the European Commission (Creative Europe programme).

From 2004-2011 he was teaching Film/Media Art, Media Theory and Alternative Distribution at the Karlsruhe School of Design, Stuttgart State Art Academy, and Merz Akademie in Stuttgart. From 2004 to 2014 he was head of the media department of the Baden-Wuerttemberg Free Art Academy. He has published a 6-part DVD edition on German animated film in cooperation with Absolut Medien, Berlin, and Goethe Institut, Munich which has received the Willi Haas Award for best DVD-edition on German speaking film in 2012. Wegenast gave more than 100 lectures and workshops on animation, experimental film, media art, and game culture around the globe including Harvard University, University of Toronto, Berlinale Festival, Tallin Black Nights Festival and Ars Electronica in Linz.