Call for a Fiction

For the second time, the 2019 edition of Genius Loci Weimar will feature a contemporary building as one of its canvases, namely the new Bauhaus-Museum. Thereby, the original competition for facade projections is expanding to include the roles and remits of media architecture – an increasingly common feature of the modern cityscape – at the level of urban planning.

At this time, contemporary media architecture finds itself on the one hand in the highly topical space between welcomed communication and accusations of sensory overload, and on the other between the architectural re-aestheticisation of urban spaces and source of light pollution. In its use of light, media architecture grapples with issues of design, quality, functionality and sustainability as a central creative element.

During the festival weekend, a simulation of a permanent media architecture installation will be realised using the tools and techniques of videomapping. Conceived as form of draft design, the projection is intended to give an indication of how facades could be utilised in the future. It will also bring visibility to the question of whether the technique of front projection can be an aid to visualisation and thus to the process of design itself.

As regards content, the applicants are free to take their own direction. While submissions to the Genius Loci Weimar competition have previously been called upon to evoke the ‘spirit’ of the respective location, for the new Bauhaus-Museum, we are seeking the development of a fictive history or utilisation. In a conscious attempt to offset the event-like nature of a projection festival, the work should evoke the outward appearance of a permanent building installation. As such, this conceptual formulation reflects the contradictions that are often faced by media architecture: where is the exact balance between distraction and enhanced value; when does performance cross over into nuisance?

We are looking for new strategies do not unnecessarily distract passers-by, but which offer something to those that are willing to observe more consciously. Perhaps this could take the form of a reactive facade that responds selectively to the attention that is afforded, or maybe what is needed is an active change of perspective on the side of the viewer; perhaps the work includes temporally shifting dynamics, or a deeper narrative level emerges only on closer inspection, not unlike a painting by Qui Shihua.


Content criteria:

  • The development of a fiction of an actual or fictive utilisation or history of the Bauhaus-Museum

  • The medial communication of this fiction, which should create a resonance between architecture, the medial envelope and the observers.

  • The design and conception of a realistic permanent medial performance on the new Bauhaus-Museum, simulated by video mapping.

  • A submission that is convincingly and assuredly positioned in the field of tension between an aesthetic atmosphere and enhanced communicative value.

  • The conscious omission of erratic gimmickry, brash clichés and stereotypes.

Creative criteria

  • Accessible treatment of experimental positions, such as interactive, reactive and dynamic concepts, or images that appear differently from different perspectives, and/or interactive augmentation e.g. through the use of smartphones.

  • An audio component, either as a concrete accompaniment to the performance or to better simulate the intended atmosphere in the festival context. Also conceivable are room acoustics, either in the sense of multi-channel 3D audio or spatially separated and focused ‘audio islands’ featuring different narrations.

  • The submitted proposals should give adequate consideration to visitor numbers.


In addition to videomappers, videographers and motion designers, the competition is also specifically aimed at architects, urban developers, preservationists, lighting designers, exhibition designers, media artists, scenographers, communication designers and visionaries of any and all genres. All participants – whether enthusiasts, students or professionals – will be assessed on equal terms. However, in the requested self-description, we recommend that participants demonstrate the professional skills required for the realisation of this kind of facade projection.



The closing date is 23:59 on Sunday 07 April 2019.



Contestants are invited to submit an artistic concept, including:

    • a thirty-second audiovisual video clip (HD)

    • a project description (PDF, maximum 4 pages of A4) describing the fictional character of the building and outlining the concept behind the medial performance.

    • a cover letter from the participant or group, including self-description and appropriate references. This text will be professionally edited during festival preparations to produce a definitive self-description (max. 300 words)


The winner will be commissioned to produce a 10-15 minute high-resolution audiovisual production, which will be broadcast at the respective location during the festival weekend of 09-11 August 2019. The winning work will receive prize money of 15,000 euros for the realisation of the production.