There was an immense need for the creation of BAN (Balkan Art Network), as there were not many links in this field between the Balkan countries, due to the well-known situation of the nineties. Despite all divisions this in fact represented a situation never accepted by the artists and cultural workers in our region. This latent energy resulted in the forming of the Balkan Art Network on the "Initial Conference on Reconstructing the Cultural Production in the Balkans", in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 02. -04. December 1999. The Network was at fist seen as facilitating the communication and opportunities for Contemporary Art Centers by structuring of a systematic approach to the possibilities and difficulties in the arts. The goals of BAN were proclaimed: to facilitate artist mobility and exchange of production and presentation of artwork to support curatorial workshops and educational projects in the arts to enhance the awareness of local, regional and common problems as well as resources to work for a establishment of an open platform for funding the development of independent art production to establish conditions for a functioning art market Today just six months after that BAN represents a Network of more than 30 Art Institutions and Artists. It is unburdened by traditional limitations aiding its members in establishing and maintaining the highest possible synergy between them, hence increasing the contribution of these art centers to the Balkan societies. It also serves as an exchange forum regarding information and exploration of ideas, as well as a channel through which joint concerns are expressed. BAN recognizes that the problems in the region of the Balkans have mutual dimensions and cannot be challenged successfully by a single country, institution or individual. BAN therefore serves as a generating factor for the will for togetherness in the region and engages in initiatives, which overcome the confines of national, governmental and non-governmental, public or private institutions. BAN also defines the vision towards a future reorganization of the Balkans characterizing the Balkanian artistic and cultural profile by introducing the network principle, making thus links with other networks across Europe. By utilizing the synergic cross platform of networking the Balkan Art Network organizes and promotes series of exhibitions of the Balkan contemporary art with a special stress on new media, video art, installation, conceptual art and performances, in the major cities of the Balkans and Europe. Balkan Art Generator, during SHORTCUT 2000, is the first of a series of exhibitions assisting in the process of integrating local and emerging artists with the international scene, and opening of the communication to the European cultural scenes and resources. Following planned events of BAN are exhibitions and conferences dedicated to theme "From Art Production to Art Market" on TRANSART - Istria International TransDisciplinary Art Festival, Istrian Citizens Action "X" (September, 2000), and "Understanding (on) the Balkans" Conference in Ohrid, Macedonia (October, 2000). BAN believes that the experiences achieved by the interaction through this complex pattern of relationships will trigger a significant alteration of our cultures and societies. *Membership of BAN is open to everyone who is interested in contributing to it.

Melentie Pandilovski