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Souvenirs From Earth
Type Broadcast television network
Livestream via
Branding SFE
Country Germany, France, Austria
Availability International
Slogan Art has to be part of one's everyday life.[1]
Headquarters Ellerstrasse, Dusseldorf
Launch date
April 30, 2006 (2006-04-30) (television)
Picture format
1080i (HDTV)
576i (SDTV)
Callsigns SFE
Callsign meaning
Souvenirs From Earth
Official website

Souvenirs from Earth (SFE) is an independent TV station broadcasting a 24/7 program of art films and video art. It is based in Germany and currently can be viewed via French, German, and Austrian cable as well as over the internet through the website's livestream and in certain public locations.

A catalog of 2500 videos of art, experimental films, contemporary dance videos, avante garde music videos, and films of photographs are in constant motion within the channel.


Close to the ideas of Nam June Paik and Brian Eno, the concept for the channel was first presented at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in 1998 and at the Venice Biennale in 1999 by Marcus Kreiss. The program finally went on air in 2006.


SFE is an alternative approach to television and is referred to as "anti-television" or "the MTV of contemporary art". The content is submitted by artists around the world and then curated into constantly changing broadcasts by Alec Crichton. The channel has no broadcast schedule and is constantly bringing in new content, so each viewing experience is completely random and unpredictable.

SFE programming is largely non-verbal due to the nature of video art and can be understood no matter what language the viewer speaks. SFE plans for this to appeal to a broader international audience and is the first international art channel thanks to the lack of a language barrier. The online lifestream broadcasts the same content around the world so everyone is always watching the same content in real time.

The channel also gives universities the opportunity to have their own broadcast time so students can showcase their own work on the same platform as other renowned artists, such as Tom Sachs and Mike Kilo. In these cases, the broadcasts adopt the title "Souvenirs from ________ " (ex. Souvenirs from Mars is the name of the broadcast from The University of Marseille).

Programming software and international development is provided by telco engineer Markus Kienast from Vienna

A large portion of the broadcast is allotted to externally curated programs, often provided by young, up and coming curators, or to Carte Blanche special formats for artists (Iris Brosch, Tom Sachs…) or institutions (Art Cologne, Centre Georges Pompidou.)

SFE expands the idea of television, giving it opportunities to be viewed both actively and passively as "video paintings" through the integration with public spaces.

Public Spaces[edit]

Venue/Client Location
Palais de Tokyo Paris, France
Electric Paris Paris, France
Ecole des Beaux Arts de Marseille Marseille, France
Le Petit Bar Cannes, France
Oui Madame London, England
Le Méridien Hotels worldwide
Neuehouse NY, USA
Bandol Sur Mer Berlin, Germany
French Institute of Cologne Cologne, Germany
The Quest Cologne, Germany
Nam June Paik Center Seoul, South Korea
Platoon Kunsthalle Seoul, South Korea
Le Petit Musee Shanghai, China


SFE distributes its programming continusously:

  • In France by Orange S.A. (channel 167), Free (channel 169), and SFR (channel 183)
  • In Germany by Unitymedia and Kabel BW
  • In Austria by Kabel Eins
  • Via onine streaming at


The channel refuses to have advertisements broadcast on the channel in order to maintain the integrity of the art space and viewing experience. Companies looking to have their name on the channel have the option of making an art video that can be seamlessly integrated in to the programs or the station can air an "anti-commercial" in which the station broadcasts a solid color field with the name of the company in it for 30 seconds.

Notable clients who have advertised on the channel include:

See also[edit]


Further Reading[edit]

External Links[edit]

  • ^ Viola, Bill. [ "Souvenirs from Earth"] Check |url= value (help).