ATTENTION! is the name of a project by the Class for Intermedia at The Visual Arts Academy Leipzig. The class is headed by Prof. Alba D`Urbano. The project stretched over 2 terms and ended with an exhibition in January/February 2002.

The idea for the project came from a phenomenon to be observed within many of Germany’s big cities as in the whole world. The academy building witness to another century, is situated opposite the US-consulate. Within the last decade the consulate was increasingly isolated from the nearby streets by barriers from the police. The action stems from growing international tensions and the fear of assassinations, cameras have been installed, constant controls have been ordered by the state and patrols became a daily sight to our students. Surveillance and the restricted area slowly stretched to the academies main entrance thus leaving those who had to enter the academy only a small cordoned off passage as an entrance. The students being confronted by this situation of power, control and fear, were provoked to work with the subject of surveillance and attention as artists.

In the first term the subject was circumnavigated by means of theory: The investigation ranged from media control by the state to present forms of exhibitionism within the world-wide-net. The shifts regarding the attention-phenomenon within society were then opened for experience by artistic forms within the ensuing practical works. Specifically, art strongly depends on the tight resource ATTENTION. Its strategies therefore can’t be a mute acceptance of these deeply rooted changes but, on the contrary to reflect them in their entire complexity.


On the one hand, one of the exhibitions most important aims has been to highlight the subject by using the same channels that otherwise attract attention within our media world. On the other hand the exhibition had to be campaigned. To do so the exhibition didn’t take place within the academy but at the fair’s “MESSEHAUS” within the centre of Leipzig and also at other places within the town’s public space. Prior to it, web-cameras were installed in the classroom to provide a momentum of self-awareness, to observe the class activities and to broadcast them in the net. For the following practical realisation a graphical concept was developed which could be found repeatedly in media within public spaces as labels, posters for official ad-spaces as well as for those within the scene, illuminated-posters at tram-stops, video-clips for LED-Ad-Displays at the central station and monitors within the city’s tram. Leipzig’s only daily newspaper was also involved in the exhibition.

Within the MESSEHAUS in front of the showroom Alba D’Urbano presented a video having interviewed her students regarding art and its teachings, which was not only a calling card for the exhibition but equally very personal portraits which allowed insight into the world of those creating the exhibits.

Public Space

Participating Artists