Bal Masqué: EMAP x IMPAKT

EMAP Closing Party at Ars Electronica 2021 - Virtual background battle and mask performance

11 September 2021

Location: Online programme

This programme is part of the Utrecht Garden by IMPAKT at Ars Electronica 2021


Join us for a unique party at the Bal Masqué on 11 September 2021! This time the Bal Masqué will have more international partners than ever since it is the closing party of the EMAP 2018-2021 Project at the Ars Electronica Festival 2021. The Bal Masqué is a virtual club night: a corona-proof merger of an online dance battle, a digital masked ball and a multitude of individual VJ-set. You are all invited to wear your most crazy digital or real masks and party with us. 

The Bal Masqué is accessible for free with an Ars Electronica ticket. Get your Ars Electronica ticket here.

If you don’t have an Ars Electronica ticket, the event is also accessible for free – just register through the button below.

Claim your spot here

Because of the pandemic, we now live, meet, work, celebrate and breathe online, and the ZOOM virtual background and Snap Camera mask options have become the new way to give flavour to our digital existence. The Bal Masqué explores these new virtual environments as places for creativity, shared experiences, identity building, collectivity and fun. 

Zoom allows you to blur your background or import a new stationary image. But you can also make your own virtual backgrounds, import your own video compilations and even perform live coding and VJ sets in it. If you combine it with Snap Camera and Lens Studio, you can add your own masks or adapt and play with existing masks. 

The battles are the highlights of the Bal Masqué, in which three participants at a time show off their best virtual backgrounds and mask and compete for the prize for the most exceptional performance. But don’t take it all too seriously. The main purpose of the Bal Masqué and the battles is to have some online fun. And if you feel a bit shy, you can also join the party completely anonymously behind your mask as part of the audience.

Abner Preis will be your host for this night’s ball. Preis is a storyteller and works in multiple media, from drawing to performance, installation, video and photography. In his stories, he explores the principle of storytelling with “happy endings” and trans-media storytelling. His practice can be characterized by stories told through audience participation. Preis received his master’s degree from Dutch Art Institute in 2013. He did performances at, amongst others, Art Rotterdam, Filmhuis Den Haag, Grace Exhibition Space New York, Museum Quartier Vienna, Human Cities Festival Istanbul and Scope Miami.

Artist presentation: Jeremy Bailey
Jeremy Bailey is a Toronto-based self-proclaimed Famous New Media Artist. “Since the early noughties Bailey has ploughed a compelling, and often hilarious, road through the various developments of digital communications technologies.”(Morgan Quaintance, Rhizome.)  His work has been presented widely including solo and group exhibitions at Panke.Gallery in Berlin, Whitechapel Gallery in London, LIMA in Amsterdam and Museums Quartier in Vienna. Commissions include projects for The MCA Chicago, FACT in Liverpool and The New Museum in New York.

Get inspired with teasers from previous Bal Masqué at IMPAKT 

To help you unleash your creativity we are organising two workshops: Face and Body Filters (8 September) and VJ-ing on Zoom (9 September).


To participate as an audience member or battle participant, register at:

Claim your spot here


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