transmediale.12: in/compatible

Festival for art and digital culture

From 31 January to 5 February 2012, the transmediale presented artworks, video screenings, workshops, performances and artistic interventions at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. Titled “in/compatible”, the festival focused on the artistic presentation of network culture in which everything is interconnected, but doesn’t necessarily fit or function together. Software developers and hackers both work to improve computer systems, the only difference being that hackers are not always motivated to keep them functioning, but to disrupt them in order to express criticism. In times of crisis, such resulting in/compatible tensions possess a regenerative potential. The transmediale examined such approaches applied to technological systems, transferred them to political, aesthetic and other social systems, and evaluated them in terms of the productive and destructive aspects of incompatibility.

The transmediale Award and the Open Web Award were discontinued in 2012. The Vilém Flusser Theory Award will continue as a residency programme for artistic research.

The two-day symposium “in/compatible: systems | publics | aesthetics” was comprised of interdisciplinary panels on the production logic of incompatibility in contemporary network culture. The thematically related exhibition “Dark Drives: Uneasy Energies in Technological Times” presented 35 works of art and everyday culture which explored the relationship humans have with technology. The performance programme “The Ghosts in the Machine” reflected on the in/compatible relationship between analogue and digital media. The video programme “Satellite Stories” examined to what extent humans are compatible with the products they create.

25th anniversary
To mark its 25th anniversary, the festival presented an overview of the artistic and cultural history of media in Berlin. The newly created platform “reSource for transmedial culture” succeeded in encouraging exchange between media artists, researchers and hackers, who collaborated in envisioning the future of network culture.

Artistic director: Kristoffer Gansing
Artists: Ant Farm, Babak Afrassiabi & Nasrin Tabatabai, Chris Burden, Jennifer Chan, Shu Lea Cheang, Gabriella Coleman, Jodi Dean, Harun Farocki, Matthew Fuller, Dominic Gagnon, Goodiepal, Orit Halpern, Graham Harman, Stefan und Ralph Heidenreich, Tsila Hassine, Susanne Jaschko, Jodi, Sture Johannesson, Joshua Light Show, Eckart Lottman, Basim Magdy, Bjørn Melhus, Rosa Menkman, Sergio Messina, Ziv Neeman, Neozoon, Johannes P Osterhoff, Morten Riis, Roee Rosen, Billy Roisz, Andreas Schneider, Pit Schultz, Robert Sakrowski, jon.satrom, Igor Štromajer, Florian Wüst, Siegfried Zielinski

Online Platform

The transmediale website features a number of participative activities and a search engine with which users can find in-depth information about artists and events. It also includes documentation on all the past festivals since 1997. (external link, opens in a new window)