Our history

Street view of the argosfestival 2005 poster campaign for (13 –  22 October 2005).
Street view of the argosfestival 2005 poster campaign for (13 – 22 October 2005).

ARGOS was founded in 1989 in Brussels to stimulate and promote the then still emerging Belgian audiovisual arts scene. At the time, we mainly organised screenings in cultural centres across the country, but already started distributing videos to festivals, art institutions, and television networks internationally.

Today, as the audiovisual arts scene continues to grow and professionalise across Belgium, ARGOS develops a broad range of artistic programmes and various distribution activities. We also house a media library and a prominent collection of more than 5000 artist films and videos.

Throughout the past three decades, ARGOS has gained special expertise in the field of audiovisual archiving and preservation, in the initiation and accommodation of unique audiovisual research projects, and in supporting a broad range of artistic and discursive practices. We have organised a myriad of programmes, among them exhibitions, screenings, festivals, workshops, seminars, and conversations, both in and outside ARGOS, locally as well as (inter)nationally.

Since 1994, ARGOS has been primarily subsidised by the Flemish Community. In 1999, after several relocations across town, we found our current home in a former storage facility in the historic ‘Les Quais’ district of downtown Brussels. This industrial building has been gradually turned into a multifunctional platform containing two exhibition spaces, a projection room, a media library, a climate-controlled archive, studios, offices, a café, and a bookshop.

In late 2018, Niels Van Tomme became the director of ARGOS. He was preceded by Rolf Quaghebeur (2011-2018), Paul Willemsen (1996-2012), Katerina Gregos (2006-2007), and founding directors Frie Depraetere (1989-2013) and Koen Van Daele (1989-1993).