‘Transmediale’ Festival for art and digital 31th Jan- 4th Feb 2018 Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin

January 9, 2018 by Laura Gomez


Transmediale is pleased to announce further participants for the upcoming festival edition, which will take place at Haus der Kulturen der Welt from 31 January 2017 to 4 February 2018. Throughout its exhibition program, conference, film & video program, as well as in performances and workshops, transmediale 2018 face value is probing the values and processes of value creation that have contributed to our present moment of extreme political, economic, and cultural divides.

Transmediale has been funded as a cultural institution of excellence by Kulturstiftung des Bundes since 2004.

Confirmed Participants:

Larry Achiampong & David Blandy, Christian Ulrik Andersen, Rosa Barba, Eric Baudelaire, Jonathan Beller, Berliner Gazette (Sabrina Apitz, Krystian Woznicki), Ryan Bishop, Zach Blas, Megan Boler, François Bucher, Magnus Bugge, CAMP (Shaina Anand & Ashok Sukumaran), Ruth Catlow, Geoff Cox, Florian Cramer, Aria Dean, Demystification Committee, Faisal Devji, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, James Ferraro, Rasmus Fleischer, Forensic Oceanography (Lorenzo Pezzani & Charles Heller), Zachary Formwalt, Alex Foti, Marc Garrett, Baruch Gottlieb, Max Haiven, Jan Peter Hammer, Stefan Heidenreich, Birgit Hein, Femke Herregraven, Yuk Hui, Juliane Jaschnow & Stefanie Schroeder, Vladan Joler, Jennifer Kamau, Sybille Krämer, Lawrence Lek, Ewa Majewska, Oscar Mangione, Svitlana Matviyenko, Marian Mayland, Diana McCarty, Dan McQuillan, Angela Nagle, Lisa Nakamura, Stefan Panhans & Andrea Winkler, Jussi Parikka, Yuri Pattison, Marta Peirano, Nelly Yaa Pinkrah, Plan C (Nadia Idle & Keir Milburn), Nina Power, Lisa Rave, Roee Rosen, Stefan Rusu, belit sa?, Nishant Shah, Eric Snodgrass, Anna-Sophie Springer, Ana Teixeira Pinto, Cassie Thornton, Nick Thurston, Penny Travlou, Triple Canopy (Matthew Shen Goodman & Caleb Waldorf), Etienne Turpin, Françoise Vergès, Michelle Williams Gamaker

The exhibition program of transmediale 2018 face value, curated by Inga Seidler, encompasses the experimental exhibition format Territories of Complicity, the guest exhibition A Becoming Resemblance by Heather Dewey-Hagborg and Chelsea Manning, as well as the installation Hate Library by Nick Thurston.

Territories of Complicity:

Territories of Complicity is an experimental space of artistic research designed in reference to the freeport—a logistics hub and high-security storage space that allows free trade outside of national regulation. In an emulation of the freeport’s logistic setup, the works will be organized and displayed in boxes, accompanied by contextualizing research and documentation to be “unpacked” by the visitors and further activated by the artists in the form of screenings, performances, workshops, and discussions. The image of the freeport is used as a way of exploring how covert systems, technological infrastructures, as well as territories of exception within globalized networks of exchange and traffic shape our economic, socio-political realities. The featured projects investigate such structures and the various conditions that determine the circulation of goods as well as movements of people. They explore how mobility creates economic value, and how it is linked to our notion of who and what is valuable.

In their collaborative series Finding Fanon, Larry Achiampong and David Blandy set out to examine how the politics of race, racism and decolonization impact our relationships in an age of new technology, pop culture, and globalization. As movie characters and Grand Theft Auto 5 avatars they explore the postcolonial condition, referencing the radical oeuvre of philosopher Frantz Fanon on the psychopathology of colonization as well as the social and cultural effects of decolonization.

Participating artists: Larry Achiampong & David Blandy, Zach Blas, CAMP (Shaina Anand & Ashok Sukumaran), Demystification Committee, Forensic Oceanography (Lorenzo Pezzani & Charles Heller), Femke Herregraven, Yuri Pattison, Lisa Rave

A Becoming Resemblance:

A Becoming Resemblance by Heather Dewey-Hagborg and Chelsea Manning investigates emerging technologies of genomic identity construction and our societal moment. The centerpiece of the exhibition is Probably Chelsea, which consists of thirty different possible portraits of whistleblower Manning, whose sentence was commuted by former US president Barack Obama in early 2017. Dewey-Hagborg produced the algorithmically generated 3D printed portraits from DNA extracted from cheek swabs and hair clippings that Manning mailed out of prison. Probably Chelsea shows in just how many ways our DNA can be interpreted as data, and how subjective the act of reading DNA really is.

A Becoming Resemblance is a cooperation between Fridman Gallery with Roddy Schrock and transmediale.

Hate Library:

Installed as a public reference resource, the installation Hate Library by artist Nick Thurston explores the language of far-right political groups and parties across contemporary Europe, especially their use of online forums as recruiting and collaboration tools. The library’s interrelated components mix allegory and literalism by presenting texts as documentary artworks within a symbolic and social stage for reading, understanding, and dialogue. The source material reproduced in Hate Library is offensive, mundane, and just a few clicks away. It remains publicly available to internet users anywhere in the world and is traceable via the metadata about its collection left on show.

Performance Program:

Musician, composer, and conceptual artist James Ferraro will premiere his new stage performance, Plague, as a transmediale/CTM concert. Featuring scenographic elements and live visuals by Nate Boyce, Ferraro’s Plague is a choral work built around speculations on a future society in which an AI is simulating reality through the manipulation of living humans with the goal of creating the ultimate consumer product. As the AI struggles to emulate what it means to be human, tensions arise between the clinical gaze of the machine and the imperfection of its emulation. The piece is a joint commission with Abandon Normal Devices festival within the ongoing Creative Europe network The New Networked Normal (NNN).

Conference Program:

The conference of transmediale 2018, curated by Daphne Dragona, uses face value as a point of departure to address the crisis of politics, values, and meanings in today’s economized world. Examining the links between capitalism and racism, neoliberalism and fascism, the program emphasizes the role of persisting relationships of exploitation based on social and cultural differences. It considers how biases and forms of discrimination are enhanced within today’s algorithmic culture, and looks into the ways in which processes of value creation are involved in the circulation, filtering, and categorization of information. Pointing towards recurrent and emerging forms of racial capitalism, this conference edition invites its speakers to discuss related phenomena, to revisit existing counter-strategies and to reflect upon new shared territories and forms of coalition.

The keynotes will be held by Jonathan Beller, Lisa Nakamura, and Françoise Vergès.
Jonathan Beller, Professor of Humanities & Media Studies at Pratt Institute, will deliver a keynote on the rise of computational racial capitalism and the challenges of platform communism. He will problematize the toxicity of the current correlation of media, finance, and information, while also looking into how cryptographically secure computational platforms can become models of radical finance and sociality.
Lisa Nakamura will talk about the sexist and racist worlds of today’s mediasphere in her keynote. Nakamura, who is Professor of American Cultures and Screen Arts and Cultures at the University of Michigan, will focus on the role of women of color as actors of resistance in today’s internet infrastructure, and discuss the importance of critical race theory as a tool of surviving the so called post-race world.
In her keynote, Françoise Vergès will address the racial capitalocene and the inequalities that pervade the history of environmental politics, colonialism, and Promethean thinking. She is currently chair of Global South(s) at Collège d’études mondiales in Paris and a visiting professor at Brown University.
In the panel The Many Faces of Fascism, Rasmus Fleischer, Alex Foti, and Ewa Majewska will discuss the contemporary facets of fascist movements and their zones of influence. They will examine possible counteroffensive forms of ideological and political organization, addressing, too, the role of “weak resistance.”
In the light of 2017’s incidents of xelnophobia, hatred, and racial violence, the discussion session Built-in Values: On the Politicization of Media Platforms—featuring, amongst others, Marta Peirano, Roee Rosen, and Vladan Joler—addresses crucial questions about the role of the media and explores how different architectures of communication can still be imagined.
Extracting (Hi)stories of Complicity is one of the events that result from the intersections between the conference and the exhibition program, and activates Femke Herregraven’s and Lisa Rave’s artworks. Both artists are concerned with the human drive to possess, exploit, and control natural resources. In this panel, they will investigate the connections between postcolonial ideologies, unstable territories, and Western complicity, all within the context of their artistic practices.
Ana Teixeira Pinto, Yuk Hui, and Lawrence Lek will come together for the panel Biased Futures. What will a new infrastructural and territorial constitution bring, if it depends on deep learning algorithms? The speakers will speculate on the changes and forms of discrimination that AI can bring to territories, cultures, or groups of people, and discuss emerging political counter-fictions and imaginaries.

Among the participants are: Larry Achiampong & David Blandy, Shaina Anand, Jonathan Beller, Berliner Gazette (Sabrina Apitz, Krystian Woznicki), Ryan Bishop, Zach Blas, Megan Boler, Ruth Catlow, Florian Cramer, Aria Dean, Demystification Committee, Faisal Devji, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Rasmus Fleischer, Forensic Oceanography (Lorenzo Pezzani & Charles Heller), Zachary Formwalt, Alex Foti, Marc Garrett, Max Haiven, Stefan Heidenreich, Femke Herregraven, Yuk Hui, Vladan Joler, Jennifer Kamau, Sybille Krämer, Lawrence Lek, Ewa Majewska, Svitlana Matviyenko, Diana McCarty, Dan McQuillan, Angela Nagle, Lisa Nakamura, Jussi Parikka, Marta Peirano, Nelly Yaa Pinkrah, Ana Teixeira Pinto, Nina Power, Lisa Rave, Roee Rosen, Stefan Rusu, Nishant Shah, Eric Snodgrass, Anna-Sophie Springer, Nick Thurston, Penny Travlou, Etienne Turpin, Françoise Vergès

Film & Video Program:
The film and video program of transmediale 2018, curated by Florian Wüst, addresses the role of language and media in constructing narratives of progress. In the face of failing progressive democratic models and the resulting propagation of traditionalist ideologies, an in-depth reflection of prevalent notions of individuality and competition, cultural differences, and identity will facilitate an examination of both value and values. Through distinct references to historical events and current developments, the international selection of short experimental and documentary films, feature-length films, and live theater performances connects critical analysis, political agency, and artistic vision.

This selection includes the German premiere of Disseminate and Hold by Rosa Barba. Referencing the highway Minhocão (engl. “big worm”), which leads directly through São Paulo, the filmmaker investigates manmade geographies and landscapes, and how these are often deeply enmeshed with political agendas and utopian visions.

In Rubber Coated Steel Lawrence Abu Hamdan deals with an incident from 2014, in which two Palestinian youths were shot dead by an Israeli soldier in front of a camera during a demonstration in the occupied West Bank. The soldier later claimed to have used rubber bullets instead of live ammunition. Sound artist Abu Hamdan provided the decisive proof of the soldier’s guilt with an audio-ballistic analysis of the recorded shots; here he revisits the incident in the form of a film.

Juliane Jaschnow and Stefanie Schroeder present the Berlin premiere of their film The Effect of Cannonry on Thunderclouds. In 2016, the highest number of potential tornadoes was reported since the beginning of the weather records in Germany. Likewise, the internet, television and press are being flooded by weather allegories: shitstorms, data floods, refugee waves. Language, metaphors, and images are tools of control. They dispel fears—and raise them. To what extent is an image a document, fiction, trophy, or counterattack? How similar are manipulation and prognosis?
The starting point of The Offspring Resembles the Parent is emergency currency printed in the 1920s—banknotes used during times of crisis and inflation or in colonies. In their contemplation of the often propagandistic and dramatically colored notes, Lina Selander and Oscar Mangione conjure up a bygone era that laid the foundation of our own welfare society.
Machiavelli’s famous quote that it would be better for the Prince to be feared than loved was Johan Grimonprez’s main inspiration for | every day words disappear | Michael Hardt on the politics of love. In the film political philosopher and co-author of Empire, Multitude and Commonwealth Michael Hardt raises questions about the implications of a political system based on love rather than fear.

Participants in attendance: Rosa Barba, Eric Baudelaire, François Bucher, Zachary Formwalt, Birgit Hein, Juliane Jaschnow & Stefanie Schroeder, Marian Mayland, Stefan Panhans & Andrea Winkler, Roee Rosen, Stefan Rusu, belit sa?, Michelle Williams Gamaker

Transmediale Advisory Board 2018

Filmmaker and author Hito Steyerl, who has previously taken part in the festival as an artist and keynote speaker, has recently joined the transmediale advisory board. The board is comprised of art and culture professionals who discuss the long-term development of the festival. Current members are Alex Adriaansens, Marie-Luise Angerer, Dieter Daniels, Jan Edler, Micz Flor, Hito Steyerl, Moritz van Dülmen, and Hortensia Völckers.

Transmediale is a project by Kulturprojekte Berlin GmbH in collaboration with Haus der Kulturen der Welt. It is funded as a cultural institution of excellence by Kulturstiftung des Bundes.


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