What started as a “VideoFilmFest” has now become one of the most prominent festivals for art and digital culture in the world. The transmediale is one of Germany’s cultural institutions of excellence which the Federal Cultural Foundation has pledged to finance in the long term. The transmediale 2018 will illuminate the political, economic and cultural divides of our times and scrutinise the values of our digital culture.
Taking Things at Face Value
“Face value” is a term used to describe the nominal or apparent value of an object. Literally, it refers to the value printed on the front of a bill or document, e.g. a coin, stamp or stock certificate. For its upcoming festival, the transmediale would like to discuss the tendency of taking things at face value – a tendency which has become more problematic in the context of populist communication practices and algorithmically manipulated communication.
How do artists, cultural producers and theorists reflect on, or face, their own value systems? This second fundamental question will be the focus of numerous curatorial approaches and formats which promote the exchange of knowledge. In light of the fact that (post-)digital culture seems to provide fertile ground for claims that incite hatred and racial prejudice instead of generating emancipatory alternatives, the festival plans to discuss such themes as race, class and gender – issues which normally receive little attention at other events of digital culture. Together with the participants, the festival’s organisers will explore the possibilities of resisting the increasing prevalence of digital populism.
Among the participants of the transmediale 2018, the Demystification Committee will present their project Offshore Investigation Vehicle. Based on ongoing research into offshore practices, the artists will describe their attempt to develop instruments which are capable of intervening into these financial systems.
The festival has also invited the artists’ collective CAMP (Shaina Anand and Ashok Sukumaran) to present its project Gulf to Gulf to Gulf / The Wharfage, highlighting the commercial trade routes which exist between the gulf of Sharjah and various Somali ports.
One of the keynote speakers will be Lisa Nakamura, professor at the University of Michigan. Her research work mainly addresses forms of social inequality which have manifested themselves in the digital world.
Transmediale is organised by Kulturprojekte Berlin GmbH in cooperation with the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. The Federal Cultural Foundation supports the transmediale as a cultural institution of excellence.
Artistic director: Kristoffer Gansing
Curators: Daphne Dragona (conference), Inga Seidler (exhibition programme), Florian Wüst (film and video)
Artists and participants: Demystification Committee (Oliver Smith and Francesco Tacchini), CAMP (Shaina Anand and Ashok Sukumaran), Lisa Nakamura and many others