With all the art festivals and Biennials around these days you might feel a bit overwhelmed. However, Transmedial, the annual festival for media art and digital culture, which normally takes place for one week in February in Berlin, Germany doesn’t seem to think so. Transmedial are even organising a pre-event on the subject of… errr, ummm information overload!
reSource transmedial culture berlin is the new year-round initiative of transmediale festival, in partnership with CTM/DISK, Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien and the Post-Media Lab (Leuphana University of Lüneburg). The reSource is a project of networking, a work in progress based on the inter-connection of genres and practices, which aims to create occasions of sharing and reflections by bringing together communities and individuals who work critically with art, technology, politics and identity.
reSource 006: Overflow
In the current development of digital culture we are experiencing an “overflow condition”, where more information is being transmitted than machines can process, and humans can handle. This need for accumulation make us part of a constant flow of data, so big and complex that it becomes impossible to analyse and to filter. The urgent pressure of issues such as ownership and privacy related to data overflow makes us wonder if producing more data instead means generating more control. The way complex data is going to be distributed and shared requires urgent analysis. Furthermore, increasing information brings additional waste, which interferes with our physical resources. But this “overflow condition” also represents the growing desire to be part of an extended connectivity that generates more opportunities of networking, communication and grassroots participation. How do we find conscious ways of being active/activists, both in the digital and the physical sphere, without just becoming part of a system of abundant accumulation, or data overflow? Working on both a local and international level, this event highlights various strategies for rethinking our digital and physical spaces, and imagining both a more sustainable and conscious online/offline presence by bringing together artists, activists and cultural producers active in Berlin and beyond.
SCREENING AND PRESENTATION OF THE VIDEO: ART ACCOUNT DEUTSCHE BANK (2013) BY CARSTEN LISECKI
Thursday, 12 September: 16:00-16:30
Artistic practice is celebrated as autonomous, innovative and often anti-conformist, but what are really the conditions of artistic production? Art Accounts Deutsche Bank gives a glimpse on the adverse economic environment, where the artists have to survive. Competitive, individualistic, and always dependent on patronage, either from the state or from private organizations and collectors, the autonomy artistic production proves to be just illusory. On 5 April 2013, on the occasion of the opening of the Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle, artists were invited to bring an artwork to be exhibited in the new DB Gallery in Unter den Linden. Everything would be exhibited for 24 hours and the best artist would get a solo show sponsored by DB. Hundreds of artists of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities, queued for hours in the cold to have the “opportunity” to show the work in an “established” gallery and get some visibility. Problematic maybe, hopeless for sure, but what is the reason that the artists, despite their supposed distance from the commercial values that a bank represents, came in such large numbers to act as cheerleaders of the DB only a few years after the financial meltdown blamed in the irresponsibility of banks like the DB, a financial collapse that brought some of the same artists in Berlin as migrants fleeing the economic depression in their own cities. Art seems not so critical when is participating for free to the campaign of the DB. The problem is the very conditions of artistic production that lead to such desperate and politically uncomfortable choices, following from the precarious position of the artist and the difficulty of acting collectively.
OPEN DEBATE: RESOURCE CHATS: NETWORKING BERLIN TRANSMEDIAL CULTURE
Thursday, 12 September: 16:30-18:00
Conversations with independent cultural producers and curators (with: Christian de Lutz / Art Laboratory Berlin, Dr. Podinski / CiTiZEN KiNO, Ela Kagel / SUPERMARKT, Francesco Warbear Macarone Palmieri / Gegen, Erika Siekstelyte / Panke e.V., Allegra Solitude / Liebig12, John McKiernan, Kai Kreuzmüller and Daniel Franke / LEAP. Moderated by Tatiana Bazzichelli.
This debate wants to highlight strengths and weaknesses of the condition of being trans-genre in the cultural landscape of Berlin, and the hybrid character of activities that are mixing media, practices and languages. Even if they constitute an unique field of experimentation, they are still not recognized enough from the city’s cultural policies. The discussion is based on the reSource Chats project, a creative montage of interviews with various culture producers and local spaces in Berlin curated by Tatiana Bazzichelli.
The project “Networking berlin transmedial culture” started in the spring 2012 as part of Tatiana Bazzichelli’s practice-based research on networking communities, developed as a joint collaboration between the Centre for Digital Culture /Leuphana University of Lüneburg, and transmediale festival. After transmediale 2012 in/compatible, she started investigating the perception of various cultural producers, artists and curators on the newborn reSource project, and the transmediale festival in general. The aim was to document considerations and thoughts of people active within the cultural producer scene of Berlin, and the implications of their activity in terms of culture politics and networking models. She conducted ten interviews (named reSource Chats) with various culture producers and local spaces, applying what could be defined a “montage method”, brining artists, cultural producers and activists into a dialogue crossing different practices and languages: from radio stations to exhibition spaces, from music venues to queer parties, from independent cinema projects to open source cultural spaces.
The people who took part in the reSource Chats were: Christian de Lutz (Art Laboratory Berlin), Florian Wuest (Haben und Brauchen), Gregor Hotz (Ausland), Diana McCarty/Pit Schultz (Reboot.fm), Dr. Podinski (Citizen Kino), Ela Kagel (SUPERMARKT), John McKiernan, Kai Kreuzmüller and Daniel Franke (LEAP), Francesco Warbear Macarone Palmieri (Gegen), Erika Siekstelyte (Panke e.V.), Allegra Solitude (Liebig12).
By converging interdisciplinary fluxes – artistic, mediatic, political, economical, bodily – came as evidence that the hybrid character of this first research phase (which obviously does not want to be representative of the whole city), was not only at the core of the research methodology, but also of the activities of many of the people interviewed. They do not use only a same language of expression, but they try to combine different ones: and their programmes are not only about a specific field of cultural landscape or a specific genre, they work by combining them. This debate highlights such unique cultural perspective, but also the problematics derived by adopting such hybrid approach in the cultural production scene in Berlin.
A creative montage of the ten reSource Chats will be published on the upcoming transmediale magazine and on this blog before the reSource 006 event.
PRESENTATION: MAPPING THE RESOURCE NETWORK
Thursday, 12 September: 18:10-18:40
By John Wild, in collaboration with the Ph.D. Programme in Media and Arts Technology, Queen Mary University of London.
Form May to the end of August 2013 John Wild worked on a collaboration between the Ph.D. Programme in Media and Arts Technology, Queen Mary University of London and reSource transmedial culture Berlin, to map the reSource network of independent technology based art and hacker spaces in the city of Berlin. The mapping project rapidly developed a Schizoid split between a practical Cartesian rationalism and a Psychogeographic abstraction that was resolved by the development of two distinct approaches to mapping the network. A functional Android Mobile Phone application with the aimed of increasing the visibility of the independent art/hacker spaces within the city and a sonic abstractions of the network composed from recoding of the non-human aspects of the networks technological infrastructure. This presentation will give an overview of the projects outcomes.
TELEKOMMUNISTEN RECRUITING AGENTS FOR DEADSWAP // NUMBER STATION
Thursday, 12 September: 18:40-19:00
Agents Recruiting for deadSwap // Numbers Station by the Telekommunisten network activists. Whistleblowers. Spies. Covert action requires clandestine networks. Data hidden in public space. Seemingly random numbers spoken on the radio. What does it mean? There must be a system! How do you join the network? Can you be counted on? Are you committed? Do you have what it takes to join the network?
Telekommunisten will be recruiting agents for deadSwap during reSource 006: Overflow. deadSwap: a game of cloak and data. The edge of intelligence…
LAUNCH OF THE TRANSMEDIALE MAGAZINE, DJ-SET BY LUKAS GRUNDMANN + BUFFET & DRINKS
Thursday, 12 September: 19:00
transmediale/magazine is a new format of transmediale. A magazine on art and digital culture which marks the continued presence of transmediale in the city and internationally beyond the festival itself. A highlight in the first issue is a montage of our ongoing reSource chats series of conversations that have focused on the changing conditions of cultural practices in the city. The magazine also features a new visual identity for transmediale and introduces afterglow as the theme of the 2014 festival.
Please join us for the launch of the transmediale/magazine, supplemented by drinks and good food!
WORKSHOP: LEAKAGE CURRENT
Friday, 13 September: 13:00-16:00
By Jamie Allen & David Gauthier
The workshop is part of “CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE: reSource / transmediale Residency Project” granted by the Canada Council for the Arts, whose production will leading to elements of the transmediale 2014 exhibition.
With pre-registration only. Please register via email to rsvp[at]transmediale.de. Costs for the workshop are 10€. Please bring your own laptop!
For this Overflow event, artists Jamie Allen and David Gauthier present the digital ooze and technological seepage; the leakage of and within infrastructures of electronics and code. The workshop provides opportunities to play with apparatus in code and electronics. These leaks example the advantage making and taking opened when leaks are detected, measured and exploited in information and power systems.
PRESENTATION: ESCAPE, OPACITY, AND DARKNESS: THE UNIVERSAL STANDARDS OF IDENTIFICATION AND QUEER ILLEGIBILITY
Friday, 13 September: 17:00-18:00
By Zach Blas, introduced by Tatiana Bazzichelli
This talk focuses on queer, feminist, and transgender responses against digital identification technologies that employ illegible and dark tactics. Today, in an era of universal standards of identification exemplified by biometrics, GPS, data-mining technologies, and genomics, it is no surprise that themes of opacity, illegibility, darkness, and nonexistence are coterminously emerging. In media theory, there are concepts like Alexander Galloway and Eugene Thacker’s “tactics of nonexistence” and Hanna Rose Shell’s “camouflage consciousness.” New works in queer theory have brought about many useful conceptualisations, such as Jose Munoz’s “queer escape,” Nicholas de Villiers’ “queer opacity,” Jack Halberstam’s “queer darkness,” and Jaime del Val’s call to “devisualize.” These concepts and theories insist that illegibility is a tactic for political autonomy. In this talk, Blas will center on biometrics and facial recognition technologies as a form of identification standardisation and control and also consider the structural violence it enacts on non-normative populations. He will then present his current artwork Facial Weaponization Suite that deploys such illegible tactics against biometric facial recognition. The project provides “collective masks” for public intervention that allow a person to simultaneously wear the faces of many. Each mask is generated from the aggregated biometric facial data of many peoples’ faces, which results in an amorphous facial mask that cannot be parsed by facial detection technologies. One mask in the suite, the Fag Face Mask, responds to emerging scientific studies that link successfully determining sexual orientation with rapid facial recognition techniques. Blas counterbalances this work with another current project called Face Cages, a critical dystopic installation that explores the relations of biometric facial analysis, criminalisation, informatic capture, and torture.
PANEL: LUDIC OVERLOAD – LUDIC OVERKILL
Friday, 13 September: 18:30-20:30
A collaboration of transmediale and Leuphana University, Centre for Digital Cultures
Panel with Julian Oliver and Ricard Gras (part I), Daphne Dragona and Marcus Bastos (part II).
Moderated by Mathias Fuchs and Paolo Ruffino
“Gamification” is a buzzword of today’s marketing business, but also an accurate description of a fundamental shift in modern society: the permeation of economical, political and social contexts by game-elements. Rule structures and interfaces, inspired by computer games, are exceedingly used by corporations to manage and control brand-communities and to create value. What is missing up to now, however, are artistic interventions, critical analyses of concrete examples and theoretical reasoning about the ethical and political implications of gamification. The objective of our panel is to change that: gamification might be a buzzword, but it surely is a symptom of an underlying, fundamental trend in our society. The panel aims at stirring up common sense notions of gamification as a marketing tool and will discuss activist tactics, artistic concepts, and subcultural strategies in regard to a ludification or a de-ludification of society. Dragona’s concept of “counter-gamification”, Escribano’s Mene Tekel of a “ludictatorship” and concrete interventions as the “destroy the surveillance cams” game will be discussed
PANEL: MINING THE IMAGE
Saturday, 14 September: 15:30-17:30
With Rozsa Farkas, Harry Sanderson and Vera Tollmann. Moderated by Anthony Iles and Josephine Berry Slater (Mute Magazine and Post-Media Lab /Leuphana University of Lüneburg)
Rozsa Farkas, presently a guest researcher at the Post-Media Lab and director of Arcadia Missa has organised the conversation as a precursor to, and additional research on, Sanderson’s render farm project, opening at Arcadia Missa gallery on 15 October 2013 (featuring the work of Kade Ranger and I.U.Y, Clunie Reid, Hito Steyerl, Maja Cule and Takeshi Shiomitsu). The discussion will focus on the issues raised in Sanderson’s text, ‘Human Resolution’ from which the render farm project developed. The render farm project is comprised of video works from the artists involved, within the gallery installation containing Sanderson’s self-built render farm – a super computer comparable to those typically used for rendering Hollywood animations, but built for a fraction of the price by sourcing the individual components independently of each other and thereby ending up with a machine that is self-assembled and without one brand or a warranty.
Harry Sanderson’s work interrogates the material reality of digital technology and labour behind the image. The ease with which intangible images are embedded in capitalism and exploitation still effects the flesh. The discussion at reSource 006: Overflow will build on the render farm project, staging a conversation that looks at the artist’s process, and the changing value form we ascribe to images, putting it in the context of international media and communications industries’ conditioning of online, urban and exurban space; through the introduction by Farkas, and the exchange between Sanderson and Tollman – shedding light on both the artist-worker perspective and also not only on the process, but also the experience of how these processes play out from in sites such as Tiananmen Square in Beijing, where Tollman has recently been working.
INTRODUCTION TO TRANSMEDIALE & CTM FESTIVAL 2014
Saturday, 14 September: 18:00-19:00
With Kristoffer Gansing and Jan Rohlf
PSYCHOGEOGRAPHIC WALK: NETWORK NOISE DRIFT
Saturday, 14 September: 19:15-21:00
With John Wild (in collaboration with the Ph.D. Programme in Media and Arts Technology, Queen Mary University of London)
Network is a plurality of (organic and artificial) beings, of humans and machines who perform common actions thanks to procedures that make possible their interconnection and interoperation.For reSource 006: Overflow, John Wild will lead a sonic drift composed from field recoding of the non-human machine processes that enable the reSource network. Constructed as a sonic abstractions of the network, the route of the drift will pass through a number of geo-situated ambiances constructed from filed recordings carried out in the various reSource network spaces. A GSM sniffer, electromagnetic induction coils and a broad spectrum RF receiver were used to record the electromagnetic imprints created by each spaces networked devices.The drift will start at Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien and finish at Mindpirates.
 Franco Berardi, 2011, Swarm & Disruption quoted in Tatiana
Bazzichelli, Networked Disruption. Rethinking oppositions in Art,
Hacktivism and the Business of Social Networking, Aarhus University,
Digital Aesthetics Research Center, Aarhus, 2013.
REALITY OVERFLOW: CONCERTS PRESENTED BY MINDPIRATES E.V. AND UNREAL, CTM FESTIVAL AND TRANSMEDIALE
Saturday, 14 September: 22:00
Dracula Lewis (HundeBiss), Primitive Art (HundeBiss), Bill Kouligas (PAN), Tom Ass (UnReal), BlackBlackGold (UnReal). Presented by Mindpirates e.V. and UnReaL, CTM Festival and transmediale.
Photo: Fag Face Mask, Facial Weaponization Suite by Zach Blas
Thursday, 12 September
16:00-16:30: Introduction by Tatiana Bazzichelli. Screening and presentation by Carsten Lisecki: Art Account Deutsche Bank
16:30-18:00: Open Debate: reSource Chats – Networking Berlin transmedial culture
18:10-18:40: Presentation by John Wild: Mapping the reSource Network
18:40-19:00: Telekommunisten recruiting agents for deadSwap // Number Station
19:00: Launch of transmediale/magazine, DJ-Set by Lukas Grundmann, Buffet and Drinks
Friday, 13 September
13.00-16.00: Workshop: LEAKAGE CURRENT by Jamie Allen & David Gauthier (pre-registration)
17:00-18:00: Presentation by Zach Blas: Escape, Opacity, and Darkness
18:30-20:30: Panel: Ludic Overload – Ludic Overkill
Saturday, 14 September
15:30-17:30: Panel: Mining the Image
18:00-19:00: Introduction to transmediale and CTM festival 2014
19:15-21:00: Psychogeographic walk by John Wild: Network Noise Drift
22:00: Concerts by Mindpirates e.V., UnReaL, CTM Festival, transmediale: Reality Overflow
The reSource programme is curated by Tatiana Bazzichelli