1014 Fifth Avenue (at 83rd Street)
New York, New York 10028


On The Road meets The Motorcycle Diaries, remixed for the 21st century

NEW YORK (September 17)-- The Goethe-Institut New York, a branch of the Federal Republic of Germany's famed global cultural institution, today announced the launch of its most innovative artistic endeavor to date, 1000Stories. On Thursday, September 27, from 6:30pm – 9pm, the Goethe-Institut New York will host "New Yorkers Wanted: the 1000Stories Launch Party," featuring filmmaker Florian Thalhofer, DJ Maxx Klaxon (SPLICE, Popular Front Records), projections by video artist Katja Loher ( www.katjaloher.com), and more. Admission is free, and all are invited (RSVP to [email protected]). The Goethe-Institut New York is located at 1014 Fifth Avenue at 83rd Street, tel. (212) 439-8700.

Starting in New York on October 1, Florian Thalhofer, a new-media artist and documentary filmmaker from Berlin, will travel all over the United States by motorcycle (provided by BMW), while U.S. filmmaker Mark Simon will travel throughout Germany by car. During their month-long journeys, each filmmaker will write about his experiences, collect stories, and conduct interviews, posted daily as a video weblog, or "vlog," at 1000stories.com. Their route will be determined by interested folks in the U.S. and in Germany who reply to their "Americans wanted"/ "Germans wanted" online ad. Readers are invited to get in touch via 1000stories.com to suggest itineraries and potential interview candidates and to comment on the project. Members of the media can download hi-res photographs, etc. at 1000stories.com/press.

This fall, as Americans celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jack Kerouac's On the Road, a paean to the restless spirit and innate desire to explore the unknown that thread their way through popular culture, a German filmmaker embarks on a "social experiment" that marries this legacy with technological innovation and harnesses the best of social media to determine and document his experience. Influences such as Easy Rider, jazz, and abstract expressionism will become even more apparent as we discover what lies at the heart of America and how it continues to evolve today.

Florian Thalhofer (thalhofer.com) was born in 1972, and lives and works in Berlin. He is a documentary filmmaker and new-media artist who invented the [Korsakow system] ( korsakow.com/ksy) to suit his unique form of expression, based on the principle that in reality, things occur simultaneously rather than in succession. With this software, Thalhofer has conceived an effective nonlinear way to tell his stories that utilizes the computer as an ideal medium. Like a "Choose Your Own Adventure" novel, the highly interactive Korsakow system allows the user to navigate the film as a series of individual choices. Thalhofer has been the recipient of the Literatur.digital award, the reddot design award, and the Werkleitz Award, among others. He studied at Universität der Künste Berlin, where he lectured after obtaining his degree. He was a visiting professor at the Deutsches Literaturinstitut Leipzig and teaches at the Mediamatic-Institut Amsterdam. Several of Thalhofer's [Korsakow] films are available on DVD, and [13thShop] and [Forgotten Flags] are scheduled for release by mairisch-Verlag, Hamburg, and Mediamatic, Amsterdam, respectively.

"We think1000stories is a great idea and we are very thrilled to collaborate with Florian Thalhofer on this truly creative and innovative transatlantic project," says Dr. Stephan Wackwitz, the Goethe-Institut New York's regional program director.

The Goethe-Institut New York is a branch of the Federal Republic of Germany's global cultural institution, established to promote the study of German abroad, encourage international cultural exchange, and provide information on Germany's culture, society, and politics. For more, visit: goethe.de/newyork.


1. How did you come up with the idea for 1000Stories?

Two years ago, I went to New York for a couple of months… In Germany, it seemed like the U.S. had turned into a kind of paranoid surveillance state, but New York was as I knew it from before. When I asked my New York friends, "Has the U.S. changed? It doesn't seem so," the general answer was, "Yes, the U.S. has changed, but this is not the U.S., this is New York." And so I had the idea to go where the U.S. had changed so much, to go off the beaten path.

2. Why the U.S. and Germany? And why by motorbike?

I've always been interested in the U.S . The United States is important – what people invent there influences the whole world. It has an effect on the culture in Germany, but not only here. American culture can be found everywhere in the world. But the U.S. is still a mystery to me, always a little incomprehensible. That feeling of having grown up with American culture but never really understanding what America is all about has become stronger after September 11.

About the motorbike: there are two reasons. On the one hand, I want to force myself not to bring too much technical stuff along— just the basics. On the other hand, it seems to me that you're closer to things on a motorbike. You can feel what the weather is like; you can feel the air you're driving through. And you can't go too fast.

3. Will 1000Stories remain an online project only?

1000Stories is going to start online as a video weblog, or "vlog," at 1000stories.com, and as an installation that will be presented at the Goethe-Institut New York beginning on October 1, the first day of the trip. More material will be added while we are on the road. After our return, we are going to make a Korsakow film based on our material. Perhaps we're going to make a "normal" film, too, which depends on Mark Simon, because that's what he does. We'll find out…

Official Website: http://www.1000stories.com

Added by LACerand on September 19, 2007

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