“Afterglow” was the motto of the transmediale 2014 which took place at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt under artistic director Kristoffer Gansing.
According to the organisers of the transmediale, the motto of 2014 symbolised the current state of digital culture – somewhere between trash and treasure, between high-tech brilliance and electronic junk – a culture of big-data firms and surveillance systems, where the digital revolution of yesterday has yielded media technologies that are rapidly consumed and discarded.
In numerous exhibitions, performances, screenings and discussions, the invited artists and theorists addressed a variety of issues like post-digitality, surveillance, e-waste and data overload.
Following the opening ceremony, the festival began with the second part of the Art Hack Day Berlin, featuring a 48-hour exhibition blitz, developed by some 70 hackers from 15 countries. In exhibitions, performances and presentations, the transmediale 2014 responded to the results and discourse of the first part, which was presented in cooperation with the Berlin Lab for Electronic Arts and Performance (LEAP). The first part, titled “Going Dark”, dealt with the effects of data overload and possible reactions to it. In line with the festival motto “Afterglow”, the second part addressed the current glut of data and hardware.
The festival has invited a number of guests to hold lectures and discussions, including the philosophy, art and design theorist Benjamin H. Bratton, the design duo Metahaven and the American documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, who has been documenting America’s transformation into a surveillance state ever since 9/1,1 and who, together with Glenn Greenwald, publicised documents revealing the NSA’s surveillance activities. As part of a special late-night discussion series, James Bridle, the founder of the network cultural theory “New Aesthetic” and web artist Olia Lialina talked about the interplay of the analogue and the digital in contemporary politics and aesthetics.
The transmediale is a project by the Kulturprojekte Berlin GmbH in cooperation with the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. The Federal Cultural Foundation supports the transmediale as one of Germany’s cultural institutions of excellence.
Artistic director: Kristoffer Gansing
Artists and participants: Jamie Allen, Ryan Bishop, Benjamin H. Bratton, James Bridle, Luke Fischbeck, David Gauthier, Louis Henderson, Olia Lialina, Maha Maamoun, Metahaven, Trevor Paglen, Laura Poitras, Luther Price, Sarah Rara, Jack Stevenson