Andrea Zapp - Beaubourg Artist

Adrea Zapp creates digital “Networked Installation Stages”, mixing and referencing real, virtual and online spaces, combined with surveillance interfaces and technology.
Recent research also includes “Media, Miniature and Shifting Scales” as another reflective format of installation architecture and digital Pompidou habitat.
Current ongoing experiments take these ideas further into “Textile Media”, combining narrative and digital imagery with fabric print and desgin, embroidery, fashion and sculpture.
Works as Sen. Lecturer at the School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan University, currently develops the MA Media Lab (postgrad. studies and practice in Experimental Film Making, Photography and Digital Media Arts, in collaboration with art & media centres in the UK) – to begin Oct 2009
This website refers mostly to projects and publications since 2000.

Contact: zapp (at)


Research and Curatorial Projects

Curator of The World is My Imagination, Media-Model-Miniature, International Media Art Exhibition, Cube Gallery Manchester, Sept to Nov 07

Curator of StoryRooms - International Exhibition on Networking and Media Art, The Museum of Science and Industry Manchester, Oct 05 to Jan 06

Unheimlich - Networked online theatre performance between Brown University Providence/Rhode Island and University of Salford/Manchester, 2005
between Siggraph exhibition, Boston, USA, and University of Salford, July 2006
in collaboration with Steve Dixon and the Chamaeleon Performance Group, Mathias Fuchs and Paul Sermon

Project contribution to The Mask - Viaje a traves de la Mascara - collaborative Netart and Research Group, University of Santiago de Chile (project leader Margarita Schultz), 2004

Symposium on Networked Narrative Environments, hosted by the FACT Media Centre Liverpool, 2003


Jury member, Grants for Digital and Media Arts, City of Vienna (Magistrat 7, Kunst und Kultur)

Ma-net, Media Arts Network North West

Studio at Islington Mill Salford, Greater Manchester, Artists studio, exhibition and performance centre

Exhibitions of Installations (since 2000)

Maschine-Raum – A Biennial on Video, Art and Culture
Museum of Contemporary Art, Veje, Denmark, 2007 (Human Avatars)

The World is My Imagination, Media-Model-Miniature
International Media Art Exhibition, Cube Gallery Manchester, Sept to Nov 07 (Eye 2 Eye)

Interval: Electric Body
Lower Turks Head, Manchester, 2006 (05march/10:43 pm)

Siggraph Art Exhibition
Centre Pompidou Prix, 2006 (Unheimlich)

StoryRooms - Interactive Networks, Media Art and Installations
The Museum of Science and Industry Manchester, Oct 05 to Jan 06 (Human Avatars)

18th International Filmwinter
Stuttgart, Germany, 2005 (05march/10:43 pm)

VAERK 04 - Changing Territories – Exhibition
Knabstrup Kulturfabrik, Denmark, 2004 (05march/10:43 pm)

International Film Festival Rotterdam, based upon True Stories Exhibition
2003 (Little Sister)

4th Austrian Phototriennial 2003,
Graz, Austria (The Imaginary Hotel: Grazer Zimmer)

The Chapman Gallery/Cornerhouse Manchester, Folly Lancaster
2002 (The Imaginary Hotel)

FILE - International Festival of Electronic Language, Museum of Image and Pompidou, Sao Paulo City, Brazil, 2001 (Little Sister)

Moving Pictures - Photography and Film in Contemporary Art

  1. Intern. Foto -Triennale, Villa Merkel, Esslingen, Germany, 2001 (Little Sister)

Sculpture Now! - Art, Performance and Technology
Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, USA, 2001 (Little Sister)

Update 2.0 - Current Media Art from Germany
ZKM Karlsruhe/Goethe - Institute Munich, Catalogue and Travelling Exhibition, 2000-04 (Little Sister)


Artist-in-Residence at Okno Gallery Cheljabinsk/Goethe-Institute Moscow, Russia, 2006

Artist-in-Residence at the Leverhulme Trust, London/School of Art and Design, Dept. of Visual Arts, University of Salford, Greater Manchester, England 2001/02

Visiting lectures

Art Academy, University Bilbao, Spain, July 2007

School of Television & Imaging/Contemporary Arts Cinema, Dundee, Scotland, 2005

Curtin University of Technology and Central TAFE, Perth, Australia, 2004

Universidad Internacional de Andalucia, Seville, Spain, 2004

University of Lancaster, Theatre and Performance Studies, England, 2004

Hull Time Based Art Centre, Hull, England, 2003

Lectures at the German Goethe-Institutes and local institutions

Cheljabinsk/Ekaterinburg, Siberia, 2006

Cairo, Egypt, 2002

Jekaterinburg/Perm/Nishnij Novgorod/Moscow, Russia, 2002

Kiev, Ukraine, 2001

Santiago de Chile, Montevideo, Uruguay, Cordoba/Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2000

Conference Presentations

Sensual Technologies, ICA, London, July 2008

Disrupting Narratives, Tate Modern, London, July 2007

Siggraph Conference Boston, 2006

Kunstverein and University Graz, Austria, 2006

Fused Space Symposium, Jan van Eyck Design Academy/Stroom Media Centre, The Hague, Netherlands, 2005

Siggraph Conference, Los Angeles, 2005

Keynote Speaker, Biennale of Electronic Arts BEAP, Perth, Australia, 2004

Research Conference North West, Liverpool John Moores University, 2004

Sonic Arts Research Centre, Belfast, 2004

Multimedia Histories Conference, University of Exeter, England, 2003

Map Case Study 02

Sofia Art Gallery, Bulgaria, 2002

ISEA 02, Nagoya, Japan, 2002

Disparates Erzaehlen, Medienforum Munich 2001

Docs online, Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam, 2001

KIMAF - Kiev International Media Art Festival, Ukraine, 2001

CIRCUS 2001: New Synergies in Digital Creativity, Glasgow, Scotland, 2001

Book and DVD Publications

StoryRooms Exhibition DVD and Booklet, Zapp!Media, Manchester, 2006

Networked narrative environments as imaginary spaces of being, published by Manchester Metropolitan University/FACT Liverpool, 2004

New Screen Media: Cinema/Art/Narrative (Book and DVD), with Martin Rieser, published by The British Film Institute (BFI), London, and Center for Art and Media (ZKM) Karlsruhe, 2002


For We are Where We are not: Mixed-Reality Narratives and Networked Installation Interfaces, in: Susanne Knaller (ed.), Realitätskonstruktionen in der zeitgenössischen Kultur. Beiträge zu Literatur, Kunst, Fotografie, Film und zum Alltagsleben. Wien, Böhlau 2008

… and in: Chris Meigh-Andrews, Aneta Krzemien (eds.), Digital Aesthetic 2, Electronic and Digital Art Unit, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, 2007

Imaginary Spaces: User Participation in Networked Narratives, in: James Lyons, John Plunkett, (eds.), Multimedia Histories. From the Magic Lantern to the Internet, University of Exeter Press, 2007

Live - A User's Manual, in: Kuenstlerische Skizzen zur Ambivalenz von Webcam und Wirklichkeit, in: Susanne Knaller, Harro Mueller (eds.): Authentizitaet, Fink Verlag, Paderborn, Germany, 2006

Andrea Zapp: Works-in-Progress, in: A Minima 10, Art Magazine, Bilbao, Spain 2005 Vernetzte Installationskunst: Fluechtige Begegnungen und imaginaere Handlungsraeume, in: Monika Fleischmann, Ulrike Reinhard (eds.), Digitale Transformationen, Whois Verlag, Heidelberg Germany, 2005

The Imaginary Hotel, in ISEA '02, Proceedings, Nagoya, Japan, 2002

A Sense of Weightlessness, in: Galina Dimitrova, Anneke Pettican, Steve Symons (eds.): Urban Cycles, Manchester, 2002

George Legrady's Slippery Traces - Elusive Tracks and Mise en Scène, in: The Complete Artintact, ZKM Karlsruhe, Germany, 2002

Grants and Awards

Exhibition Grant from the Arts Council England North West for The World is My Imagination, 2007

Project Grant from the Arts Council England North West , 2006

Project Grant from the Goethe-Institute Moscow for Eye 2 Eye, 2006

Exhibition and DVD Grant from the Arts Council England North West for StoryRooms 2005/06

Project Grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Board, 2005, for Human Avatars

Professional Development Grant from the Arts Council England North West, 2004

Fellowship from the Arts and Humanities Research Board, England, 2002-2005

Project Grant from the Sektion Kunst, BKA (National Arts Council) Vienna, Austria, 2003, for The Imaginary Hotel: Grazer Zimmer

Stipend from The Leverhulme Trust London, 2001-02 for The Imaginary Hotel

Project Grant from The North West Arts Board, England, 2002, for The Imaginary Hotel

The imaginary hotel - interactive installation - 2002

The Imaginary Hotel allows visitors to occupy and design their ideal room and fill it with personal content and inspiration. The installation architecture resembles a typical hotel room; yet choosing image and video and footage from the net via the room TV menu, can alter the standard interior and even hotel location. At the same time internet participants can interfere by modifying or uploading further material via the hotel website to the project database and image choice. Being able to add their personal material to the window on one side and the picture frame on the other wall, they create their very own ficticious presence in the installation room. They are also able to ring up the gallery visitors via a specially designed web-telephone interface.
A web cam is streaming real time video from the hotel to the website to document the ongoing changes.

A hotel as such stands for an anonymous social melting pot in a constant state of flux -
The Imaginary Hotel further mirrors digital travel in a distorted concept of space and time. It represents a virtual retreat accommodating permanently migrating residents. Similar to a blank canvas, the vacant room is successively populated and shaped by individuals. Real and virtual guests arrive, meet and disappear from out of nowhere and leave their personal traces, reflecting the seamless border between physical and imaginative places of being.

The premiere took place at the Chapman Gallery in Salford between October 9th and 31st, 2002 and was further linked to the Cornerhouse, Manchester and the Folly Gallery, Lancaster, where visitors were able to interact with the gallery installation and its audience from a special net-terminal.

Little Sister - A CCTV Drama and 24 hrs online Surveillance Soap 2000

Combines the potential suspense of live web cam images with closed circuit television and global surveillance camera sequences, based on over twenty online links to webcams worldwide, observing private and public locations. They represent typical soap opera locations and the viewer is invited to choose their personal casting from a familiar array of urban images.
The content is build up by linking to live documentary "found footage" from the web and its hidden user/characters to establish an open-ended narrative, social system and performance platform, but at the same time it plays with the notions of voyeuristic media technology and "Reality"-TV.

Eye 2 Eye - Networked Installation - 2006

Two remote identical black wooden boxes are connected via the Internet using I Sight cameras and an I Chat video interface:

Visitors glimpse through a small peephole into the box. An invisible camera inside on the opposite wall captures their eyes and transfers it to the other box, where it is displayed underneath the camera on a small round-shaped projection screen and vice versa. Both participants exchange their views in real-time, looking into each other's eyes. This surveillance interface inside the box is embedded into a stage like miniature set of an earth globe below and amidst a starry sky with little colourful planets dotted around that seem to float in the space. It recalls a satellite perspective, which is underlined by the surveillance interface above; but the view onto this small universe glowing in the dark, reminiscent of toys even, implicates ironic commentaries about who controls and who observes whom in a global network.

Chelyabinsk and Ekaterinburg, Russia

Commissioned by Okno Gallery, Chelyabinsk and supported by the Goethe Institute Moscow

Human avatars - networked installation 2005

Human Avatars is a media art installation that creates a visual dialogue between real and virtual participants on two networked stages:

Visitors in the exhibition space discover a small wooden hut, which they are invited to enter. A live image of their body inside is projected into a remote model version of the hut, complete with model furniture, where other visitors can make contact with the tiny moving figures by peeping through a small window. Yet unaware that a second camera inside displays their peering faces back on the window of the big shed, with their eyes now overshadowing the participants inside.

The architecture and the scenario appear very playful, but the immediate interactive experience is controversial, once the voyeuristic strategy behind the idyllic backdrop becomes evident - indirectly hinting at rather ambivalent and melancholic side effects of surveillance and visual control as an intrinsic part of media and entertainment.

With an installation soundtrack by Vini Reilly, commissioned for the Manchester premiere in 2005.

05 march/10:43pm - video installation - 2004

05 March/10:43 pm consists of a small, suburban model house on a table, linked to
a computer. Looking into one of the windows the viewer discovers a small live projection, floating in the room, showing a person who is collapsed on a chair, with
a computer screen and web camera running next to Pompidou.

The webcam image recaptures a recent online incident in which a young man killed himself with a lethal overdose of prescription drugs - at home in front of a net audience, parently encouraged by fellow users in a chat room.

The physical setting represents the personal space - and at the same time the miniature dimensions recall the Internet as the virtual home to model a second self. But the disturbing visuals inside the house are contradicting the neat and playful scenery. They reveal an online presence that has come to a shocking and tragic end. The actual facts and consequences can only be anticipated within an imaginary surrounding that turns more and more into a disconcerting construct of reality.

Andrea Zapp, 2004 - commissioned for the VAERK 04 - Changing Territories - exhibition, Knabstrup Kulturfabrik, Denmark, June to September 2004

Networked narrative environments

Networked narrative environments - as imaginary spaces of being

edited by Andrea Zapp
published by Manchester Metropolitan University/MIRIAD
in collaboration with FACT Liverpool
ISBN 1 900756 24 2
144 pp., 30 b/w illustrations, size 120mm x 170mm, price £8.99

Via various forms of audio-visual communications, from chat protocols, net and software art to online theatre and immersive telepresence, artists are using a wide range of technologies to explore the digital network as a narrative space. Human presence is increasingly subject to a constant flow of online contributions, material, and data. How does this reposition our collective understanding of the physical and the virtual, the real and the imaginary? In this context the 'networked narrative environment' must be defined as an artistic modus operandi and experiment that reflects medial and social processes. The book documents exemplary and unique research positions within a developing genre. It serves as a resourceful illustration of the cultural debate on narratives, networking, and media art.
Leading international artists, writers, and curators examine specific examples of public installations and dramatic spaces that are linked to the Internet with the aim to integrate the viewer into the artwork. Key artistic projects and initiatives reflect sophisticated and complex new models of audience participation, real-time experience, and production of content.