Kibla is the first presentation and production institution in Slovenia dealing with multimedia and intermedia art and a yearlong cultural programme. Kibla incorporates pure classical (»excluded«) media but in a different context, using various media to support historical continuities in visual arts and a larger aesthetization and integration of electronic media. Kibla supports principles that lead to complex systems of multimedia presentation. Kibla also produces and coproduces cultural artistic projects and publish presentation materials.
Multimedia Centre CyberSRCeLab – MMC KIBLA was founded on the 4th of July 1996 as a project of Narodni dom Maribor and Open Society Institute Slovenia with the aim of training computer users from Maribor area, with free Internet access, information and advisory services on usage and data bases, and education consultations. From the 16th of June 1998 MMC KIBLA staff has legal status as an Association for Culture and Education (ACE KIBLA).
It has been ten years now since Kibla is in the process of intermedialization and digitalization of culture and art. Kibla intensively encourages experimental and specific projects in the intermedia field, introducing creative and practical use of sophisticated technologies in the cultural field whose final (and at the same time utopian) goal is a functional support of working nets that digitize, present and decentralize cultural Slovenia and Europe. This is Kibla's approach to the future and to the Slovenia 2012 project: European Cultural Capital.
A very good starting point for future is also The Multimedia Centres Network of Slovenia (M3C), which was established in 2004 and is a basic fundament for regionally developed Slovenia. Kibla presenst, distributes and promotes M3C contents in the sixteen multimedia centres in different regions. In this way we can operate locally as well as Pan-Slovenian: with incorporation and encouragement of the local art production development we operate locally, with European coproductions that we execute since the year 2002 we form a core of intermedia scene that is supported from the side of Europe. We operate on the field of visual and intermedia Slavic culture and art (we are also companions of the Slavic Culture Forum).
Cyber offers a free internet access and free courses about the use of internet through website structures, programme and hardware equipment, together with audio and projectional infrastructure for musical, online, video and other presentations. SRCe – Student Resource Centre offers information about study possibilities, national and foreign scholarship foundations, publications and mediates requests with the help of the large database on the internet. SRCe is incorporated into the Slovenian Resource Network.
KiBela, space for visual and intermedia art; ambiental presentations of contemporary multimedia art, KiBela is also a multipurpose place suitable for seminars, presentations, lectures, round tables, press conferences and rich cultural programme.
Hidden Notes (Skrite note) - is a musical programme that introduces electroacoustic music, concerts, projections, lectures, workshops …
IT@K – IT at Kibla –informational technology as a social event Graphic studio for the making of printed material, CGP… Online and multimedia lab for the execution of websites, CD-ROMs, video, audio, internet transmissions in real time life, etc. Videla – digital video processing, educations, courses, presentations and workshops.
Za:misel (For:thought) bookstore for sociology and humanistic studies with regular programme of book presentations and literary evenings; with a reading room equipted with national and foreign literature, newspapers and periodics.
Mimogrede (By The Way) – bimonthly with information about studying abroad and in Slovenia. LED display for all information about MMC KIBLA and programmes;
TOX magazine – time-table through 3000, magazine (from 1995) that grew into the KIBLA publishing edition (from 1998), made several catalogues and books, e.g. Eduardo Kac: Telepresence, Biotelematics, Transgenic Art, Vili Ravnjak: The Amber way, Aleksandra Kostič’s edited essays on Levitation, catalogues for Marko Jakše, Marko Črtanec, Mitjja Ficko, Theo Botscuijver, Shuzo Azuchi Gulliver, several CDs (Nino Mureškič, Vasko Atanasovski, Siti hlapci and CD-ROMs (for EU project European Multimedia Accelerator- EMMA) and DVDs (for EU project txoOm).
Communication-information point KIT in Maribor City Hall (Rotovž), Glavni trg 14, where thera are eight computer terminals and a multimedia classroom with ten computers and additional IT equipment.
Day of Curiosity - How to become every year festival of fun learning that connects schools, pupils, students, teachers, professors with professionals in direct discussions and workshops where they explain how they became what they wanted to be. Izzven – a three day international contemporary music festival that incorporates international collaborations projects.
Kiblix – IT Linux festival - Festival about Open Source consists of topics such as mobile technologies, open source, security on the Internet, Linux..
Committee for Vine Service – degustations, education, information service, excursions.
KIBLA is based on openness and collaboration with other institutions and individuals. KIBLA has (co)organised several events and festivals and (co)produced various events e.g. International Festival of Computer Arts (with Art Gallery Maribor and MKC), Days of Curiosity – How to become, festival of edutainment (in collaboration with or with support from Land Museum, Land Archive, Cinema Maribor, Pekarna, First, Second and Third High School, High School for Tourism etc.), Internet radio MARŠ (with Maribor Student Radio), Festival of visual communications Magdalena (with Pekarna), Linux Install Fest (with Linux User Group of Slovenia), International Peace School (with OSI, Pekarna, MARŠ, Maribor High school association, University student association, International Peace organisations), World congress of cyclist Velo-City (with Maribor, Slovene and European cyclist association), Festival Lent (with Narodni dom Maribor). Frequently KIBLA collaborates with the Association of Architects and host their exhibitions, lectures, debates, and workshops. KIBLA prepared the artistic programme for the Hermes SoftLab Company 1998 New Year’s reception, and for the opening ceremonies of fairs, e.g. Electronics, Informatics. KIBLA collaborated on the Virtual museum project on the Ljubljana Castle, first Slovenian virtual environment, together with the City of Ljubljana, Festival Ljubljana, City Museum Ljubljana, Tobačna Ljubljana and Pristop.
In 2003, for the 7th anniversary of the MMC KIBLA and 5th anniversary of the ACE KIBLA KIBLA accomplished KIPNIK, the first time ever cyber picnic in Slovenia. On the mountain Pohorje KIBLA connected computers to the Internet with wireless (radio) link and performed a multimedia programme with real-time live transmission from the Lent Festival.
Project MMC KIBLA, located in Narodni dom Maribor, Ul. Kneza Koclja 9, is non-profit making. Our visitors include students, high-school kids, the deaf and dumb (who visit the Internet for the first time through us), unemployed (who search the Internet for job possibilities), refugees, Small People Association, Handicapped People Association (certificied handicapped friendly institution), groups of teachers have workshops, whole classes of pupils use our infrastructure – from computers to lectures and art programs – as an extra learning opportunity. We’ve hosted Walfdorf teachers, Student Cultural Association, faculties, universities, The American College of Management and Technology.
Kibla is connected on inter-city and inter-state levels with Ljubljana, Celje, Slovenj Gradec, Koper, Murska Sobota, Tolmin, Graz, Vienna, Linz, Laafeld, Belgrade, Zagreb, Sarajevo, Skoplje, Prague, Usti nad Labem, Bratislava, Trnava, Athens, Budapest, Gyor, Brussels, Rome, London, Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Avignon, São Paulo… In cooperation with Ljubljana and Koper we carried out international project hEXPO – festival of self-organised cultural forms, which crossed whole Slovenia in a month and planted a seed for the Slovenian digital communication and information platform with the ambition to raise into the Slovene civil society network, that would join European and global network(s).
In 2004 KIBLA also received the support from the EU Structural Funds for the project of Slovene Multimedia Centres Network, named The Net, which now includes 16 Slovene multimedia centres and it’s the first of a kind in Europe and on the world and KIBLA initiated it. The M3C multimedia centres are: ZAVOD LOKALPATRIOT, Novo mesto, MLADINSKI CENTER KRŠKO, Krško, LJUDMILA at KUD FRANCE PREŠEREN and ZAVOD K 4-6 – KIBER PIPA, both Ljubljana, MLADINSKI CENTER PRLEKIJE, Ljutomer, KID PINA, Koper, KID / MMC KIBLA, Maribor, KULTURNI CENTER MOSTOVNA, Nova Gorica, ZVEZA MLADINSKIH DRUŠTEV, Tolmin, MAT KULTRA, Zagorje, MLADINSKI IN INFORMATIVNI KULTURNI KLUB MIKK, Murska Sobota, ART CENTER, Prosenjakovci, MLADINSKI CENTER SLOVENJ GRADEC, Slovenj Gradec, ZAVOD O, Škofja Loka, DRUŠTVO HIŠA KULTURE, Pivka, and MLADINSKI CENTER VELENJE.
In 1999 Kibla was covered in Leonardo (MIT Press) and Flash Art and on numerous web-zines, i.e. California On-Line and in all-important Slovenian media, from newspapers and magazines to radio and TV and web.
Kibla is working on the EC-Culture 2000 (txOom, TransArtDislocated, Soziale Geraeusche and Virtual Centre Media Net are finished), FP5-IST (EMMA – European Multimedia Accelerator) and FP6-IST (PATENT – Partnership for Telecommunication New Technologies) funded programmes and projects. kibla is also a part of the EUREKA multimedia umbrella and finished Leonardo da Vinci supported project Name multimedia (http://www.namemultimedia.com/), the Multimedia Tasks & Skills Database, researching and evaluating 26 different jobs and 96 operational multimedia tasks. NAME is presented in 9 languages, with a database of more than 650 companies from 11 countries.
In 2005 KIBLA was with other partners again successful on EU-Culture 2000 and we finished 2 new projects, e-Agora (http://www.eagora.info), which developed a virtual multimedia platform for innovative production and presentation of Performing Arts and will use the latest communication technologies (multi-user shared environments on the Internet) in order to interconnect European theatres, cultural centres, and enhance their co-operation, and TRG – Transient reality generators (http://fo.am/trg/), that focuses on the phenomenon of Mixed Reality (environments containing significant virtual and physical interaction possibilities, strongly intertwined) and examines the potential of synaesthetic MR experience design, in which the art-works become all-encompassing art-worlds. KIBLA was 3 years in a row (2001, 2002, 2003) the most successful Slovenian cultural institution and organisation internationally!
Famous Australian artist Stelarc has said for KIBLA »this is the best cyber space in the world,« the great Eduardo Kac, who works at the Art Institute of Chicago, »something like this doesn't exist in United States« and Joseph Tabby, university professor and writer, »I came to visit Slovenia, because I've heard about KIBLA.« A title in Slovenian magazine Mladina: »To Maribor, because of KIBLA!« and in NeDelo (the biggest Slovenian newspaper, Sunday issue) was written: »Maribor Kibla is by its space possibilities and its conceptual structure, that combines gallery, spaces for performance, specialised bookshop and cyber café undoubtedly the most exemplary project of a kind.« In Romanian newspaper CLUJENAUI was written »KIBLA is the most important and the biggest multimedia centre in Eastern Europe.« Dr. Janez Strehovec, the leading Slovenian new media theoretician, stated, »Kibla is the main Slovenian centre for new media art (and theory).« Artist, scientist, researcher and professor on the University Caxias do Sul, Brazil, dr. Diana Domingues noted: »Kibla is a very impressive environment and you are the soul of this paradise in Slovenia.« Guru of the world advertising Dragan Sakan pointed out, »KIBLA stimulates reality, which is no longer traditional but multimedial. Also ideas are not local anymore, but global. The world needs fresh ideas. The world needs global institutions like KIBLA!« Franci Pivec, master of information sciences, claims, »KIBLA is big phenomena. For me it's one of the central institutions, which Maribor gained.«
President and curator of ACE KIBLA Aleksandra Kostič was invited to be a judge for The Webby Awards 2000 (Internet Oscars) in San Francisco and she became a member of The International Academy for Arts and Technology joining David Bowie, Laurie Anderson, Francis Ford Coppola, Matt Groening, Tina Brown etc.
Adviser of ACE KIBLA Peter Tomaž Dobrila was a member of Europrix jury – the leading European Contest in e-Content creation and is a member European Academy for Digital Media (EADIM) in the year 2005 he became adviser of the Ars electronica festival, the biggest and most eminent intermedia event in the world.
KIBLA was invited to join the European Multimedia Forum (EMF), based in Brussels and we are actively participating on the European Multimedia Associations Convention (EMMAC) as participants of the world multimedia summit Milia 2002 and 2003 in Cannes.
Kibla is a member of the International Federation of Multimedia Associations / La Fédération internationale des associations de multimédia (FIAM), based in Montreal and we actively participated on the World Summit on Internet and Multimedia 2002 in Montreux.
KIBLA is a partner in the The World Summit Award for e-content and creativity, which is a global contest for multimedia products and applications. The Award is organized in the framework of the WSIS – The United Nations first ever World Summit on the Information Society, which takes place in December 2003 in Geneva, Swiss, and in 2005 in Tunis.
Kibla was invited to join the Medi@terra 2001 International Art and Technology Festival in Athens, Greece, which is included in the Cultural Olympiad 2001 – 2004 and is among the cultural events, which are organised in the context of the Olympic games of 2004 in Athens.] In 2003 Kibla worked with Harald Szeemann, on the exhibition Blood and Honey – The Future is on the Balkans, displayed in the famous Essl Collection (Sammlung Essl) in Vienna.