transmediale 2016 – Conversation Piece

Festival for art and digital culture

Screenshot der Website zur transmediale 2016

The transmediale is one of the largest festivals of art and digital culture in Germany and has been staged in Berlin every year for the past 30 years. It is one of Germany’s cultural institutions of excellence which the Federal Cultural Foundation has pledged to support in the long term.

At this year’s festival, titled “Conversation Piece”, the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin became a forum of intensive dialogue. Inspired by the painting genre of the same name, the transmediale presented subjects that sparked conversation and encouraged the exchange of ideas.

The festival wanted to scrutinise dialogically very different aspects of life in digital capitalism, and on the basis of four thematic streams (“Anxious to Act”, “Anxious to Make”, “Anxious to Share” and “Anxious to Secure”), investigate activities and behaviours which are necessary for cultural production and participation today.

Programme highlights

In cooperation with the online magazine Berliner Gazette, transmediale/conversationpiece presented a series of workshops and round tables. Subject of discussion were the Snowden Archives, a collection of all documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden in June 2013, as a kind of collective subconscious that will be consulted with regard to the social and political present and future.

As examples of the hybrid presentation formats that will take place throughout transmediale 2016, during the opening night the documentary video and mapping project Parallelograms by Steve Rowell has been set up as an installation in the HKW auditorium. The film "Echtzeit" by Hellmuth Costard and Jürgen Ebert from 1983, which addressed the interaction of computer graphics, military technology, and simulation at a strikingly early time, has been rediscovered and screened.

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
Curators: Oliver Lerone Schultz (Anxious to Act), Teresa Dillon (Anxious to Make), Ben Vickers (Anxious to Share), Theresa Züger (Anxious to Secure) and Florian Wüst (film and video programme), Daphne Dragona (co-curricular programme).
Artists and participants: James Bridle, Keller Easterling, Femke Herregraven, Geoffroy de Lagasnerie, Nicolas Maigret, Alona Rodeh, Harel Schreiber aka Mule Driver, Troy Conrad Therrien, Vermeir & Heiremans, Eyal Weizman.

CTM 2016 – New Geographies

The partner festival “CTM – Festival for Adventurous Music and Art” took place from 29 January to 7 February 2016. It investigated how digitalisation and globalisation have changed the contemporary music landscape. (external link, opens in a new window)

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)