Announcement // Quantifying Life: The Imperative of Digital Capitalism Exposed at transmediale 2015

Blog entry by Alison Hugill in Berlin // Tuesday, Jan. 06, 2015

The 28th edition of transmediale will run from January 28th to February 1st, 2015 at HKW, under the theme CAPTURE ALL. Curated by artistic director Kristoffer Gansing, Daphne Dragona, Robert Sakrowski and Marcel Schwierin, transmediale 2015 aims to investigate the quantification of life, work and play, and its discontents.

berlin-art-link_discover_transmedialeLoKan Sardari – “Trying to be the KOM”; The Laboratory of Manuel Bürger, transmediale 2015

In a society ruled by algorithms, we are more or less consciously contributing to a permanent capture of life into data, due to the drive to quantify everything: value can now potentially be extracted from everything, and productivity can be measured in all fields of life. This particularly redefines the relation between work and play, as ludic and participatory structures are purposefully used to render personal information traceable, social relationships and behavioural patterns recognizable.

The festival is structured in four sections: a symposium, an art exhibition, a film programme, and a series of performances. During the symposium the participating researchers, artists and designers approach the festival theme in panels and lectures following three streams: CAPTURE ALL – Work, CAPTURE ALL – Play, CAPTURE ALL – Life.

Highlights include Judy Wajcman, one of the main representatives of feminist technical sociology, in conversation with Tiziana Terranova, the main theorist of free labour in the digital economy. The #play keynote by McKenzie Wark deals with gamification as the latest strategy of the “vectoral class” to control networks, manage algorithms and extract value from a world where there is no longer an outside. Wark turns his attention to the hackers and the datapunks as the ones who know how to play with the rules and reprogram a world which is dependent on algorithmic control.

In the exhibition, Jennifer Lyn Morone approaches self-tracking in a critical yet playful way: In her work JLM Inc she turns herself into a corporation, generating the value of its shares from the data about the online and offline activities of the artist.

At the centre of the festival is a living workspace developed in cooperation with raumlaborberlin and featuring a rich programme of workshops, discussions and project presentations. The festival will also host an impressive line-up of films and performances.


Additional Information

transmediale 2015
“Time & Motion: Redefining Working Life” – GROUP SHOW
Jan. 28 – Feb. 01, 2015
Opening Reception: Wednesday, Jan. 28; 7pm
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10 (click here for map)



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