Bal Masqué x EMAF

Virtual background battle and mask performance

24 April 2021
19:30 — 22:00

Location: Online programme

Join us for another virtual party on Saturday, 24 April 2021! We are organising the third edition of this unique, crazy event i.c.w. with our friends from EMAF (European Media Art Festival). 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. Doors open at 19:30, at 20:00 we start with the first Virtual Background Battle.

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. 

If you prefer, you can also join the party completely anonymously behind your mask but you can also choose to put yourself centre stage and join one of the battles that we will stage during the Bal Masqué. The battles are the highlights of the ball, in which three participants at a time compete for the prize for the most exceptional background and mask performance. The Bal Masqué breaks the divide between audience members and participants. 

Want to battle?
Are you interested in participating  in a battle? We would like to throw down the gauntlet to you. Let us know via if you would like to show  what you can do with your masks and backgrounds and we will try to put you in one of the battles. However, as an audience member you can also win prizes. There is an award for the best self-made Snap Camera Mask, a Best Guest Performance Award and you can request a Spotlight Moment if you wish to be centre stage for an instant.  If you want to know more about how to make masks and virtual backgrounds, take a look here 

But don’t take it all too seriously. The main purpose of the Bal Masqué and the battles is to have some online fun in these dark times.

Special artist presentation
In addition to the battles, we include short artists’ presentations in the Bal Masqué. We invite artists who experiment with the possibilities of masks and virtual environments. Earlier editions of the Bal Masqué featured presentations by We Algo  and Sander Veenhof . For the Bal Masqué at EMAF, we have invited Anne Horel who will take you on a journey into the culture jamming work she has done with digital masks.

Special guest: Anne Horel
Anne Horel has been working with social media as a creative tool and a collective playground since 2009. Since the beginning of the Pandemic, she started making face filters on Instagram, and more recently on Snapchat, using her collages as a base to create augmented faces people can wear like a mask. Each filter is thought as a living collage, a creature mixing pop culture elements allowing anyone to be incarnated into a work of art. She sees these new techniques as ways to spread art outside of the walls of (the closed) museums and make it accessible to a larger audience without the label of “Art”, and more like a visual game.

Bal Masqué history
The Bal Masqué is an online event concept conceived by IMPAKT [Centre for Media Culture] in response to the corona pandemic. IMPAKT is based in Utrecht, the Netherlands. For more information

About EMAF
EMAF is internationally known as one of the most influential forums of contemporary Media Arts from Osnabrück. The festival sees itself as a place of experimentation and a laboratory where extraordinary works, projects and ventures are created and presented. Each year the festival offers its visitors a current overview of experimental films, installations, performances, digital formats and hybrid forms, ranging from personal and political subjects to formal experiments. The upcoming, 34th edition of the festival is taking place from 21 to 25 April 2021. For five days, Osnabrück will become an international and trend-setting platform for media art and a meeting place for artists, curators, gallerists and students. Read more here 


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