On the other hand, on January 31, the 31st edition of Transmediale
opens at Haus der Kulturen der Welt. Under the title Face Value
, it presents one hundred and sixty-seven participants and sixty-five events in five days, including conferences, film and video programs, workshops, and performances depicting the values and processes of creation that have contributed to our present moment of extreme political, economic, and cultural divides.
‘Take something at face value’ means to accept what one says without further verifying or investigating; that’s why its participants will seek possible new ways of resisting and deconstructing the alarming development of digital populism driven by algorithmically guided communication practices, the radicalization of net culture, and the new culture wars. (Post)digital culture today seems to support hate, racist and neo-colonial powers rather than provide an emancipatory alternative, which is why Transmediale tries to find a way for artists, cultural workers, and speculative theorists to respond to the current politics of taking things at face value whilst facing their own values.
The central exhibition encompasses the experimental exhibition Territories of Complicity
, the guest exhibition A Becoming Resemblance by Heather Dewey-Hagborg and Chelsea Manning, as well as the installation Hate Library
by Nick Thurston. Participating artists are Larry Achiampong and David Blandy, Zach Blas, Camp, Demystification Committee, Forensic Oceanography, Femke Herregraven, Yuri Pattison and Lisa Rave.
The performance program’s highlight is the premiere of Plague
, by composer and conceptual artist James Ferraro, a co-organized Transmediale/CTM concert. Featuring scenographic elements and live visuals by Nate Boyce, his performance is a work around speculations on a future society in which an artificial intelligence is simulating reality by using humans. The conference program examines the links between capitalism and racism, neoliberalism and fascism; it considers how prejudices and discrimination are enhanced within today’s algorithmic culture.
The film and video program addresses the role of language and media in constructing narratives of progress. The international selection of short films, feature-length films, and live theatre performances connects critical analysis, political agency and artistic vision. Among the featured films is Disseminate and Hold
by Rosa Barba, about manmade geographies and landscapes, referencing the highway Minhocão in São Paulo. In Johan Grimonprez film | every day words disappear
|, philosopher Michael Hardt speculates about a political system based on love rather than fear, and also works on the notion of the ‘commons’ and re-invent democracy. Hardt's statements are intercut with scenes from Godard's film Alphaville
(1965), set in a dystopian city-state where all words and concepts relating to love and affection are banned.