transmediale presents and pursues the advancement of artistic positions reflecting on the socio-cultural, political and creative impact of new technologies, network practices and digital innovation. As a festival aiming to define the contours of contemporary digital culture, it seeks out artistic practices that not only respond to scientific or technical developments, but that shape the way in which we think about and experience the technologies which impact virtually all aspects of our daily lives. As such, transmediale understands media technologies as cultural and aesthetic techniques that need to be embraced in order to comprehend, critique, and shape global societies.
The festival includes exhibitions, competitions, conferences, film and video programmes, live performances and a publication series called ‘transmediale parcours’. Moreover it cooperates with club transmediale (CTM), which deals with electronic music and club culture.
On the weekend prior to the festival (28 – 30 of January), transmediale, CTM and a multitude of Berlin partners together invite you to the Digital Art & Sound Weekend. This first edition of DAS Weekend draws attention to the many artists, spaces and initiatives active in Berlin with great commitment and exciting ideas to promote artistic work and discourse in the converging zones between digital arts, experimental music and sound art. DAS Weekend invites organizations, venues and individuals to present activities by setting up their own events.
In the first week of February, Berlin’s House of World Cultures will play host to transmediale.11 RESPONSE:ABILITY! Presenting a dynamic programme of cutting edge artworks, breathtaking live performances and leading thinkers from around the world transmediale.11 addresses the ways in which our digital culture is radically redefining our physical presence and the ways in which we interact as interdependent global communities. By looking at the emergent forms of bio-political, economic and affective dimensions of a society increasingly manifesting itself live and online transmediale.11 reaches beyond the Web 2.0 era, examining the Internet in terms of the abilities and potentials available to its users, not only to participate but to actively shape it as contemporary society’s central zone of inquiry, creative and cultural development – while pushing the urgent need to defend it from restrictive political and legal intervention.
Manifested through open studios, challenging workshops and temporary project offices run by leading artists and international experts from the open technology and creative sectors such as Kelly Sutton, Heath Bunting, Mushon Zer-Aviv, Elizabeth Stark, Peter Sunde, MODD_R and the Open Design City transmediale probes and expands our abilities to respond to the volatility and constant flux of digital life. Helping along the way will be Angel_F, the digitally conceived spyware entity born through the technological-sensual relationship between Biodoll and Derrick de Kerckhove.
Joining the BODY:RESPONSE conference renowned speakers, researchers and activists such as BIFO / Franco Berardi, Maurizio Lazzarato, Tim Etchells, Jordan Crandall, Mark Hansen, Carolyn Guertin and Paul Vanouse will be leading a debate into the ways in which we as physical autonomous entities, challenged by the redefinitions of space and an increasing “dematerialisation” through our digital presence ultimately experience space, reality and our digitally extended being.
Daily screenings of curated film and video programmes and a special Sunday matinee featuring an early example of affective cinema, join the week-long programme of inspiring talks, performances, actions and installations by internationally celebrated artists including Les Liens Invisibles, Heather Kelley, Daito Manabe, Ursula Endlicher, ubermorgen.com, Christin Lahr, Evan Roth and the HONF collective from Indonesia. At Test Signals, organised by the trans-national non-profit Sourcefabric, radio-makers and activists will come together in panels and workshops to discuss the future of radio in the digital age.
As a special annual highlight the winners of the transmediale.11 award competitions will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on 5 February 2011: outstanding and critical artworks with the transmediale Award, exemplary media research works with the Vilém Flusser Theory Award, and radically innovative projects defining and developing the open Net with the new Open Web Award.
In our post-future era of acceleration and densification of information, the state and nature of being live and online becomes one of the crucial definers of our social presence. Response and action are compressed into an existential here and now triggering a durée of continuous digital stimulation.
With RESPONSE:ABILITY transmediale.11 explores the emerging qualities of liveness as a fundamental nature of our present digital culture and discusses the abilities, that are required to respond to social, political and economic processes triggered by the intensity of our participation and interaction.
RESPONSE:ABILITY is also a call to action – to seize and transform the moment of our own individual liveness within the cacophony of communications density. The resultant convergence of media, interfaces and accelerated data flows being increasingly merged into mega-infrastructures with little oversight risks turning the greatest republic on earth – the internet – into an empire of control and freedoms lost. The abilities required to respond, to enact and steer collaborative energies become the new means to co-opt the tools and systems of our live culture – and use these to create new forms of societal interaction, communication and mobility. How do such systems act to enable new forms of liveness, entrench the assertiveness of individual thought and expression, and ultimately move toward the forms of open structures and flows that visionaries such as Marshall McLuhan and later the pioneers of the early internet envisaged? In an equally open competition for resources, attention and sensory stimulation the ability to fuse the desire for digital emancipation with the necessity to act is our task.
The net we operate in is itself a living entity, built by others. Now it is up to the power of our response:ability to put it to use!
Club Transmediale – CTM.11
// February 1 – 6, 2011
// Various venues, Berlin
The 12th edition of Berlin’s unique and radically open-minded music and art festival, CTM (club transmediale), takes place from February 1 to 6, 2011. The festival, repeatedly designated as “Germany’s prime meeting point for electronic and experimental music” and as “Berlin’s best pop festival”, puts down roots at new venues in Berlin Kreuzberg, namely the HAU theatre and a cluster of spaces around the “Kotti” square – Festsaal Kreuzberg, West Germany, Monarch, Kotti-Shop and Paloma Bar – where a Berlin stronghold for daring, independent music and art has developed. High profile club nights at Maria am Ostbahnhof and Berghain are planned too, as well as a concert series reviving chamber music at the .HBC and an exhibition at the Kunstquartier Bethanien.
With these new and already established venues as partners, the festival follows not only a new agenda, one that helps create optimal conditions for each of the many musical styles and projects within the wide-ranging programme – minimalist synth drones, audio-visual experiments, conceptual performances, retakes on cold wave, neo kraut and psychedelia, contemporary club sounds and combinations of neo classical music and electronica. But the festival again, and more than ever, makes a strong statement for an independent, experimental and risk-taking music culture, one that steers clear of commercial concerns and shallow routines and keeps operating with an alert socio-political sensibility. Something that is, despite Berlin’s exceptional musical and cultural diversity, still by no means a given.
Staying true to itself, CTM.11 again assembles a unique blend of concerts, parties, laboratories, exhibitions and conferences, which will inspire nightlife hedonists, friends of breakneck experimentation and critical minds alike – not to mention those in who all three qualities are fused.
CTM.11 kicks off on the evening of January 31 with an exceptional concert in the beautiful premises of the HAU 1 theatre. Morton Subotnick, intermedia artist, electronic music pioneer and developer of one of the world’s first modular analogue synthesizers presents, in a German premiere, an all new piece in collaboration with Berlin video artist Lillevan. Performed live on stage by Subotnick, Lillevan and the Korean piano virtuoso SooJin Anjou, the piece titled “Silver Apples of the Moon Revisited” weaves together the various musical phases and techniques invented by Subotnick during his fifty years of explorative work. Additionally, Morton Subotnick will give an extensive lecture in which he offers insights into his work and approach.
PROGRAMME IN SHORT
Extended Club Nights at Berghain and Maria am Ostbahnhof on the weekend of February 4 to 6 present the state of affairs from within the ever-expanding club music universe. There’s a special focus on the diverse and continually permuting styles derived from the exploded genres of dubstep, grime and UK funky. Catch up with the latest developments of the UK scene at the big Hyperdub night at Berghain on Friday 5, which gathers the advance guard of the label’s many forward thinking artists, Darkstar, King Midas Sound, Ikonika, Cooly G and others, around mastermind Kode9. Other highlights include a Perlon night at Panorama Bar, club concerts by Swedish techno-minimalists The Field, and young Cologne trio, MIT, who fuse Kraftwerk-inspired conceptual electronic music with the cold wave aesthetics of Joy Division.
The experimental Concert and Performance Programme at HAU, Festsaal Kreuzberg, West Germany and .HBC explores the interfaces between music, art and technology, and in doing so displays various strategies and takes on the idea of “live” performance, bringing, through firsthand experience, questions and conflicting conceptions which orbit around the festival theme #LIVE!?, out into the open. These will then be addressed by a specially invited team of international theoreticians and artists in a two-day Symposium at HAU 1. Other Discourse Formats, a Film Programme, Workshops in Kotti-Shop, and an Exhibition at Kunstquartier Bethanien produced in collaboration with Den Haag-based art space, TAG, further the exchange between theory and practice.
In cooperation with partners from the ECAS-Network, the Recombinant Media Labs from San Francisco present in HAU 2 their spectacular immersive CineChamber, featuring audiovisual compositions and live performances from renowned musicians and media artists such as Semiconductor, Biosphere, Scott Afford, Ryoichi Kurokawa, Maryanne Amacher, Edwin van der Heide and Monolak.
The festival will close with a lavish After Party at Panorama Bar in the afternoon and evening of Sunday 6, featuring notorious New York House eccentric, Green Velvet aka Cajmere and the head of Clone Records, Serge.