Thirty years of transmediale

2 February until 5 March 2017

transmediale Berlin just released the highlights of the one-month program of ever elusive – thirty years of transmediale. From 2 February until 5 March 2017, various events will be presented across the city of Berlin. With transmediale 2017, Haus der Kulturen der Welt re-opens its doors after a period of extensive renovation.

Throughout the run of the festival, excursions, and closing weekend, around 180 international thinkers and cultural producers will reframe the question of the role of media today in the special exhibition "alien matter", as well as through panels, performances, workshops and screenings. The central question to be addressed: In a world where technology increasingly operates independently of humans, where does the power to act and mediate lie?

On the first day of the three-day festival at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (3–5 February 2017), transmediale and CTM – Festival for Adventurous Music and Art will feature Lexachast. The audiovisual performance will be presented by the futuristic sound design duo Amnesia Scanner and PAN label founder Bill Kouligas. Their dystopian soundtrack revolves around artist Harm van den Dorpel’s generative, live-streaming visuals, based on algorithms filtering random Not Safe for Work (NSFW) content from across the widest reaches of the Internet. These visuals appear as potentially provocative surprises—even to the performers, referencing our culpability and vulnerability with a view upon the Internet’s overkill of material.

Digital technology has become part of the general infrastructure of society, and increasingly takes on active roles in our environment on its own. This poses a challenge for how we think about infrastructure as well as anthropocentric perspectives about the role and impact of technology. In the keynote conversation Becoming Infrastructural – Becoming Environmental, media scholar Lisa Parks and philosopher, media and culture theorist Erich Hörl explore the challenges and limitations of this new infrastructural and environmental turn.

Another highlight is the artistic documentary The Sprawl (Propaganda About Propaganda)(2016) by the Dutch design and research studio Metahaven, screened on the second festival day. The film argues that the Internet has become a disruptive, geopolitical super weapon: Who benefits from Social Media? Does image manipulation software express an ideology? Is the Internet facilitating aesthetic terrorism? With restless futurist beats by Kuedo, The Sprawlis a paranoid digital trip in which form and content continually influence each other. 

The keynote conversation Immediate & Habitual: The Elusiveness of Mediation between New Media Studies scholars Wendy Hui Kyong Chun and Richard Grusin raises questions about what ties different actors together in ever-expanding media environments. Human and nonhuman actors, users and machines, bodies and media objects—the blurry boundaries between man and machine point towards futures of ongoing yet mostly unnoticeable transformations.

In the keynote conversation Strange Ecologies: From Necropolitics to Reproductive Revolutions, artist Steve Kurtz, co-founder of the artist collective Critical Art Ensemble (CAE), together with performance artist Johannes Paul Raether explore the power mechanisms and politics behind our environmental and evolutionary thinking, examining the contradictions and questions they raise. Additionally, they will focus on the less visible, or even unacknowledged territories associated with the politics of death and reproduction in the so-called Capitalocene.

During the closing weekend (4–5 March 2017), the performance and multimedia artist Laurie Anderson will show a recent version of The Language of the Future. The first version of this work was iconically featured in the 1984 show Good Morning, Mr. Orwell by Nam June Paik. In this new work the artist blends spoken word, violin, and electronic sounds crossing borders between dreams, reality, and the elusive world of information. As a pioneer in the field of multimedia art, Anderson showed her CD-Rom artwork Puppet Motel at the 1996 edition of transmediale, when the festival was still called VideoFest. The Language of the Futureexplores the inextricable links between past, present, and future and is Laurie Anderson’s first performance in Berlin since five years.

Stay Tuned.



Amnesia Scanner (fi/de) & Bill Kouligas (gr), Bager Akbay (tr), Morehshin Allahyari (ir) &Daniel Rourke (uk), Emanuel Almborg (se), Heba Y. Amin (eg), Laurie Anderson (us),Marie Luise Angerer (at), Aristide Antonas (gr), A Parede (Pedro Oliveira (br) & Luiza Prado (br)), Clemens Apprich (at), Emilien Awada (fr), Ayhan Ayteş (tr), Kevin Bewersdorf (us),Ryan Bishop (uk), Moor Mother (us) & Rasheedah Phillips (us) of Black Quantum Futurism,Andreas Broeckmann (de), Finn Brunton (us), Andreas Bunte (de), Diana McCarty (us),Shu Lea Cheang (tw), Wendy Hui Kyong Chun (us), Geoff Cox (uk), Matthew Creasey (uk),Constant Dullaart (nl), Critical Media Lab Basel (Jamie Allen (ca), Johannes Bruder (de), Moritz Greiner-Petter (de), Shintaro Miyazaki (ch), Flavia Caviezel (ch)), Natalie Fenton (uk),Maya Indira Ganesh (in), Sarah Garcin (fr), Abelardo Gil-Fournier (es), Baruch Gottlieb(ca), Gabriele Gramelsberger, Richard Grusin (us), Louis Henderson (uk), Hexagram(Thierry Bardini (qc/ca/fr), Orit Halpern (qc/ca/usa), Chris Salter (qc/ca/usa)), Brian House(us), Erich Hörl (at), Martin Howse (uk), Geraldine Juárez (mx/se), Theun Karelse (nl), Kain Karawahn (de), Nora N. Khan (us), Dmytri Kleiner (ca), Rainer Kohlberger (at), Paul Kolling (de), Steve Kurtz (us), Laboria Cuboniks (Diann Bauer (uk), Patricia Reed (ca)),Adrian Lahoud (au), Robert Latham (ca), Esther Leslie (uk), Olia Lialina (ru), Geert Lovink(nl), Alessandro Ludovico (it), Elke Marhöfer (de), Jesse McLean (us), Armin Medosch (at) & Felix Stalder (ch) & Gerald Nestler (at) of Technopolitics, Dorine van Meel (nl), Rosa Menkman (nl), An Mertens (be), Metahaven (nl), Alan Mills (gt), Michael Murtaugh (us),Jussi Parikka (fi), Lisa Parks (us), Matteo Pasquinelli (it), Sascha Pohflepp (de), Søren Pold (dk), Johannes Paul Raether (de), Miriam Rasch (nl), Jara Rocha (es), Constanze Ruhm (at), Dorothy R. Santos (us), Brett Scott (za), Maximilian Schmoetzer (de), Sita Scherer (de), Susan Schuppli (ca/ch), Paul Seidler (de), Sarah Sharma (ca), Florian Sprenger (de), Caspar Stracke (de), Lisa Tan (us), Armin Thalhammer (de), Suzanne Treister (uk), Marloes de Valk (nl), Yvonne Volkart (ch), Jutta Weber (de), Elvia Wilk (us),Krystian Woznicki (de), Ebru Yetişkin (tr), YoHa (Graham Harwood (uk), Matsuko Yokokoji (uk))