Berlin’s long-established festival, transmediale – which brings together art, culture, and media – could never really be called static. This year it’s aiming to push boundaries even further by curating its events around the idea of discussion, transformation and whispers. Conversation Piece will flow through various venues in Berlin via panels, lectures, workshops, temporary installations, and other exciting hybrid formats. Through a multimedia artistic dialectic, the 29th edition of transmediale is aimed at critically examining the impact of digital capitalism on society.
This exploration will happen under the umbrella of four conceptual themes including Anxious to Act, Anxious to Make, Anxious to Share, and Anxious to Secure, which hope to elucidate human tensions around current economic and political systems and the ways that people react, whether via paralysis or intensification. Within an integral conversation of the Anxious to Share segment, the architects, authors, and professors Keller Easterling and Eyal Weizman will facilitate a thought-provoking discussion on space as a power and an information system.
Perhaps one of the most anticipated facets of this year’s festivities includes the interdisciplinary reflection on popular culture, personal desire and globalization entitled Still Be Here. The centre of this loosely structured narrative is Hatsune Miku, a Japanese virtual singer and performer that was originally created as the product of a vocal synthesizer device, and has since performed more that 100, 000 songs through a a cyber community user-base. This installation is the collaboration of artist Mari Matsutoya, music producer Laurel Halo, choreographer and visual artist Darren Johnston, virtual artist LaTurbo Avedon, and is produced by digital artist Martin Sulzer.
Amid the program’s many opportunities, workshops such as Graph Commons, with software and data artist Burak Arikan, are offered. This opportunity has a directed focus on the design and understanding of complicated information pathways through mapping and visual data interpretation.
Before the festival itself begins enthusiasts will be able to get a taste of what’s to come through the Vorspiel program. These events will employ different genres and practices to build a connection between communities and individuals. Like the transmediale line up, Vorspiel reflects on the dynamic interconnectivity between art, digital developments, power dynamics, and personalization. Events for this program begin with a speech by Tim Renner, Berlin Secretary of State for Culture, and a panel discussion featuring representatives of Berlin project spaces on January 15. To situate yourself within this year’s progressive, challenging, and medium-defying events beginning on February 3 with the main events going until February 7, check out transmediale’s full list of programs, participants, and venues and ticket information on its website.