Hamburg is the hometown of, a member of MediaFuture’s consortium. Their main role is to manage and mentor teams including startups, ie. ‘Startups for Citizens’ and ‘Startup meets Artist’ track. But Hamburg is also the place of the ‘Online Marketing Rockstars’, or OMR, a huge festival dedicated to digital marketing, and has a lot of cultural venues. 

For this reason, and Ircam – Centre Pompidou, advisor for artistic teams of ‘Artist for Media’ and ‘Startup meets Artists’, organised the first physical gathering of this programme in Hamburg, from the 16th to the 18th of May. The programme was co-designed by the two aforementioned partners. 

Firstly, on Monday the 16th, teams were hosted at NewWork SE, a co-working space in the new district of the town, Hafencity. The morning was dedicated to the introduction of all present teams, so everyone could become familiar with projects of all tracks. Out of 12 projects, 8 were represented by at least one member of the team. 

Then, three talks took place in the afternoon. XR-expert Simon Graff, founder of next reality.Hamburg, walked us through different approaches of XR and the metaverse’s opportunities for the future, then debating with the teams. Greg Beller, sound artist, researcher and teacher working both at Ircam and Hochschule für Musik und Theater, presented Ircam Forum, a platform where many softwares developed by Ircam are made accessible (through subscription) for sound researchers, artists and other interested people. Lastly, Bruno Marks, manager at nextMedia.Hamburg and member of the Kreativgesellschaft, introduced his company and interesting local programmes for artists. 

We finally enjoyed the fresh air of Hamburg on the Plaza (viewing platform) of the Elbphilharmonie, before having a less formal social moment to continue on with the discussions of the day.

Tuesday the 17th and Wednesday the 18th were dedicated to OMR, where had a booth for both MediaFutures and STADIEM, another European programme and startup accelerator in the media field. Whilst some teams went to the festival from the very morning to benefit from NMA’s matchmaking tool and meet with potential partners, other activities were programmed to continue on diving into the cultural and creative industries of the city. 

Some people hence visited Factory Hammerbrooklyn, a new branch of Factory Berlin, an innovative co-working space that is oriented towards cooperation between artists, technologists, and others. Then, the artistic director of VRHAM Festival (VR festival in Hamburg) Ulrich Schrauth introduced us to the festival within the Tom Reichstein Contemporary, a gallery in HafenCity and exhibition space of VRHAM 2022’s edition in June. On Wednesday, the last day of the trip, a guided tour of HafenCity’s district, offered by InfoCenter Kesselhaus, gave us the chance to understand urban planning and cultural life of this young and dynamic part of the city. Uwe Carstensen from HafenCity Hamburg GmbH gave us very interesting insights on the city!

These days were both a discovery of Hamburg’s cultural life and the occasion for the teams to discuss between themselves, with advisors from MediaFuture’s, and experts met in the diverse activities. There is no doubt that each discussion on XR, artistic research, Web3, support for refugee artists and much more relating to the projects made this trip valuable to all participants.

We are thankful to all the partners that made this gathering possible, and everyone that came and made these days extraordinary. We also have a thought for the teams that could not come, and look forward to meeting them soon. 

Author: Manon Blot from Ircam

Legend for the pictures

  1. All teams present on Monday the 16th at NewWork SE
  2. Nico Lumma from having a discussion with SmA team The Oracle Network at OMR on Tuesday the 17th 
  3. Some members of the cohort visiting the gallery Tom Reichstein Contemporary on Tuesday the 17th