A4 - zero space is a multifunctional non-commercial centre for contemporary culture in the centre of Bratislava (12 SNP square) which is oriented towards creation, presentation and education in present-day forms of theatre, dance, music and film, contemporary visual culture and new media art. Project A4 - zero space is the result of the efforts of several civic cultural organizations throughout the past several years to create a centre for the support and presentation of contemporary artistic expressions in the performing arts and new media, supporting dynamic and innovative artistic productions. Under one roof it gathers together already existing activities aimed at similar target groups but at the same time it enlarges and transforms them into an effective working open multimedia space, which meets the needs of the inhabitants of the capital of Slovakia.
The work of the cultural centre is carried out by A4 - association for contemporary culture which joins together four civic associations: The Contemporary Dance Association, Atrakt Art - association for contemporary art and culture, Burundi Datalab Studio Display Press and The Association for Contemporary Opera. The project is put into effect in cooperation with NOC and The Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic, with the support of other organizations such as Goethe Institut, Pro Helvetia, Czech Centre and Film Club 901.
A4 functions also as a production and communication centre supporting present-day artistic forms.
A4 - zero space includes the following activities:
theatre - home of the authorial theatre group SkRAT and also open stage for guest Slovak and foreign theatre ensembles.
Theatrical production and dramaturgy in A4 is mainly the responsibility of the Association for Contemporary Opera with its authorial theatre group SkRAT, for whom A4 is the home stage. SkRAT theatre performs and creates its shows here regularly, and together with other activities promoted by A4, it strengthens the theatrical identity of the space with a well-marked dramaturgy focused primarily on authors’ projects. During this theatre season we have presented the spectacles Guinea-Pig, What will be tomorrow, Central Europe Loves You, Windows, Shores, Inheritance and The Last Flight. Staging the evolving “A Hungry Person Doesn’t Trust the System” was a very interesting project. One encouraging aspect of last season’s programme is that no show was cancelled through lack of interest. There has been a noticeable increase in audience interest. Several visiting theatre troupes performed in A4 - Disk Trnava, Z divadlo Zelene_ and Dekadentní divadlo Beru_ka (CZ).
dance - performances of contemporary scenic dance and physical theatre, open space for independent artists, choreographers and interpreters and also for quest soloists or ensembles.
Performances of contemporary scenic dance and physical theatre continue in the activities of the Contemporary Dance Association. They have welcomed the opportunity to present their artistic production in A4 because it is the only place in Bratislava systematically providing space for the practice of contemporary dance, physical theatre and performing arts. Within six months, 16 dance productions were performed some of them created in and explicitly for this space. All of them received mostly a positive response. Besides Slovak artists we have also invited dancers from the Czech Republic. Dutch actors/dancers proposed projects with A4 themselves. In all, there were artists from five different countries participating in dance projects in A4.
music scene - regular presentations of present-day and live musical performances exploring the boundaries between contemporary classical music, improvised, experimental and electronic music, jazz and alternative rock music The musical dramaturgy of A4 continues in the activities of the association Atrakt Art and Association For Contemporary Opera enriched by the initiatives of other groups, especially the association Burundi, the artistic ensemble Urbsounds and the distribution company Wegart. Successful cooperation with foreign embassies and cultural institutions (Czech Centre, Goethe Institut, Pro Helvetia, The Royal Netherlands Embassy) made it possible to integrate A4 into the international network of cultural organizations. Within the framework of external activities, for example, in the cooperation with The Royal Netherlands Embassy, we managed to organize a concert with the alternative rock band Palinckx as part of the celebrations to mark the admission of Slovakia to the European Union. For the same occasion we also cooperated with Electric Rain (Ireland) on organizing a performance of the experimental ensemble Urbsounds in Cork. Original projects such as the concert Fcuk Multiplace hosting Australian and Slovak performers and sound workshops oriented towards the use of new technologies in music have all been undertaken by A4. With the concert Fcuk Multiplace and the final show Multiples we joined a wider international project Multiplace - a festival of the culture of new media. In the space A4, the cycle of concerts of experimental electronic music and of sound art Digitópia IV (Anthony Pateras, Mark Harwood, Robin Fox (AUS), Koberce, záclony (CZ) Cremaster (ES), Aki Onda (USA/J) have been able to continue.
audiovisual club - film and video screenings of contemporary cinema for the discerning viewer, artistic documentaries, digital videos, animation, musical and experimental films .
Audiovisual club was started in A4. Its concept originated there and is unique in Slovakia because its character and approach is different from the classic movie theatre and film club. Cinema in A4 is open to various forms and interpretations of the moving image and it emphasizes works which are exceptional by their creativity but unavailable to the public in the ordinary distribution network. Regular public screenings of the works of audiovisual art in A4 present the whole range of contemporary feature films, documentaries, experimental and digital cinematography apart from commercial and officially available works of Slovak, European and Non-European film makers. Its distinctive feature is a more interactive approach to the viewer, in the form of evenings with film-makers, introductions, presentations, workshops and meetings with authors, theoreticians and guests.
During the short existence of audiovisual club we have managed to establish a network of interesting contacts with film-makers, theoreticians, academics, producers and organizations from Slovakia as well as from abroad. Audiovisual club entered A4 space as a project promoted by Atrakt Art association with its first screening on 25th January 2004. In addition to association A4 the project was also joined by members of association Liberté and of Film Club 901.
new media - club and datalab, production and education in the creative use of new technologies, gallery Burundi displej, books, magazines, VHS, CD, DVD and other media accessible to the public dealing with themes in contemporary art and new media. Systematic focusing on contemporary art, which is characteristic of A4 - zero space, requires also reflection on, and the realization of, projects focused on new media, digital technologies, electronic art and related genres. The separate centre Burundi which has been created within A4 continues the activities of former gallery Buryzone. Association Burundi runs a media library (datalab), a gallery (displej), space for the realization of projects (studio) and an information media source (press). A cycle of expositions of screen media and first screenings within the framework of “The Community telly” programme (including films, documentaries, projects, etc.) started in April 2004 in gallery BURUNDI dispej. A programme of streaming and music projects and educational workshops in the field of digital technologies (this year focused on open source strategies) has been opened. Several activities relating to street art and psycho-geography have taken place. A media library with a number of materials on contemporary culture and new media has been made accessible to the public. BURUNDI has also continued editing an information mailing list on art and culture (buryzone.info). In the field of new media, Burundi has collaborated with other parts of the A4 association, too, primarily with the Atrakt Art Association. It has also started cooperation with several external partners; the programme of cooperation with the British Council has just started (Dial #1). Regular cooperation with association and server streetart.sk has been established and participation on the coordination of a festival of the culture of new media Multiplace still continues. Burundi participated in the Psygeoconflux festival in New York and also took part in the meeting of independent media FM@dia in Prague. It has cooperated intensively with association Urbsounds, Academy of fine arts in Prague and others.
A4 - Association for contemporary culture was created in 2003 by four civic associations operating in the sphere of culture :
Association for Contemporary Opera
The Contemporary Dance Association
Atrakt Art - association for contemporary art and culture