Transmediale is an annual, international festival devoted to art and digital culture, taking place at Berlin’s Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW). Now in its 25th year, the festival stages an impressive array of exhibitions, workshops, performances, talks, publications and projects to examine and reflect upon the relationships between art, technology and culture. Since 1999, Transmediale has run cooperatively with CTM (Club Transmediale), an independently curated festival dedicated to electronic, digital and experimental music, and art in club culture.
Arguably, this is an event that could only have emerged in Berlin, a city whose musical and artistic legacies are as unique as they are profound.
Entitled In/compatible, Transmediale 2012 is themed around “investigating the productive and destructive sides of incompatibility as a fundamental condition for cultural production in times of crisis.” In an era of flux, the programme rejects a return to ‘business as usual’, incorporating, for example, discussions entitled Isolation and Empowerment after Web 2.0, Crashed Economy: Debugging and Rebooting, and Porn, Patriotism and Paranoia on the Chinese Internet.
The exhibition vernissage is called Dark Drives: Uneasy Energies in Technological Times. Reflecting on the darker side of our ‘technologised’ lives, curator Jacob Lillemose features work from a range of artists including William S. Burroughs, Chris Cunningham and Aphex Twin, Art 404, and JK Keller.
Another highlight is the Joshua Light Show, a groundbreaking, psychedelic liquid light show, resident at New York’s famous Fillmore East in the late sixties and early seventies. The light show provided backing for legendary performers of the time, including Frank Zappa, Janis Joplin, The Doors, and Jimi Hendrix. The Joshua Light Show has enjoyed a revival of late, sparking renewed interest, mainly within the art world. Their renewed luminous spectacular will be accompanied by Supersilent on Wednesday 1st February, Oneohtrix Point Never on the Friday and Manuel Göttsching on the Saturday.
The theme for CTM this year is ‘spectral’, and aims to “explore the current reemergence of all things ghostly and dark in experimental music, avant-pop, and art.” In addition to collaborative projects at the HKW, CTM will be hosting a comprehensive music programme at some of the city’s top venues, including Berghain, Horst, Kater Holzig and HAU.
With creative collaborations spread across the city like a spider web, a new pre-festival partner programme, Vorspiel, will be taking place on 26th to 29th January, the weekend before Transmediale and CTM. The project provides an exciting insight into independent art, music, and media spaces throughout Berlin, including Ghosts Off the Shelf, an intriguing exhibit by curator and architect Thibaut de Ruyter at Kunstraum Kreuzberg / Bethanien.
Prices for the festivals vary depending on how many events you want to attend. Full ticketing options are available at http://www.ctm-festival.de/ctm-festival/tickets.html and http://www.transmediale.de/festival/tickets
We have 1 x 2 tickets to give away to see Joshua Light Show support Neothrix Point Never in Berlin on Feb 3rd. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by local resident Natalie Holmes