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Capturing Transmediale

Berlin's most esoteric festival of arts, Transmediale, returns to Berlin, with a task to "Capture All". Catch it at Haus der Kulturen der Welt Jan 28-Feb 1.

Image for Capturing Transmediale
Photo by Jennifer Lynm

With Capture All, we follow up with a proactive approach, where life under predictive data capitalism is being communicated through comprehensible aesthetic forms in combination with critical discussion and constructive proposals of nothing less than new socio-technological models.” –Kristoffer Gansing, Artistic Director, Transmediale

Right about now you’re feeling that sphincter clench that comes with an onslaught of high art verbiage. Take a deep breath, because it’s very worthwhile to attend the “Documenta of the media arts” (or “the Lollapalooza of the media arts,” depending on your proclivities).

Transmediale: Capture All officially kicked off last night. Primarily based at the HKW Berlin, Capture All is full of interventions, criticisms and re-workings of social and technological modalities. At a time when human physiology is changing from having our necks craned down at our smartphone screens, our world is datafying at such a rate that we are forced to invent new words to describe it. You become “medialized,” your life is subject to “gamification,” your breakfast got “Instagrammed”. Transmediale brings together hackers, artists, and researchers to talk about post-digital awareness, and how to obfuscate, invert, and absorb said awareness.

Do you squirm at the thought of Facebook making money of your (voluntarily) provided private details? Artist Jennifer Lyn Morone took matters into her own hands and became a humanoid/corporate hybrid as “Jennifer Lyn Morone™,” (registered in the state of Delaware). At the “Capture People” conference on Friday morning, the discussion centres on what you absolutely could not stand to have “datafied” (also known as “secrets”). Need to erase all evidence you were somewhere? Check out “Invisible” by Heather Dewey-Hagborg, a suite of products that delete the DNA you leave in public (one spray to erase, one spray to cover the remainder with “noise”.)

Before you think it’s all negative, remember CAPTURE ALL purports to deal with (not simply against) our age of the full take. There are good-for-humankind projects like unMonastery, which combines three prevalent social problems – empty space, unemployment and declining social services – by finding empty spaces and filling them with people who can serve and help the surrounding community.

Best of all, each day ends with a DJ set or performance, so you can turn your phone off, unplug the laptop and go dance away all your anxious media jitters. At least until those notifications pop up again.

Full programme: http://www.transmediale.de

Transmediale: Capture All, Jan 29-Feb 1 | Haus der Kulturen der Welt