In our increasingly digitized, technology driven world, next to scientists and programmers, it is artists, who create alternative visions for a more sustainable and just society. Collaboration between these communities helps us to reflect on the impact of new technologies on society. If Europe wants to take a different technological path from China or Silicon Valley, whilst opposing nascent anti-democratic movements, it should focus on the creative, communicative, critical and unifying potential of the arts. Through support for emerging artists we can contribute to secure a tolerant and democratic future for citizens of Europe. The European Media Art Platform (EMAP) was founded for this purpose.
The basic idea of the program is to enable European media art organisations and artists to collaborate on projects and consequently to create closer bonds between these organisations. The unification and extension of Europe, triggered by the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, has created new problems to be faced as well as new opportunities for cooperation and exchange. This period of transition has been characterized on the one hand, by the challenge to become more 'European'– which generally has meant, more homogenous – and, on the other, by a desire to define what constitutes national and regional identity, in order both to retrieve a sense of traditional cultures, now lost; and to consider how respective national and cultural identities might enrich and enhance one another, as opposed to being divisive.