HKW (Haus der Kulturen der Welt)

‘Dark Drives’ exhibition videos part II @ TM – HKW, February 3rd, 2012

Posted on Updated on

Dark Drives. Uneasy energies in technological times – videos – part II. Text source: exhibition catalogue.

LED PH16/1R1G1B, 2011 – Jodi: LED panels has been exploited in the recent years by companies and artist operating in urban space. Las Vegas Strip, Time Square and Tokyo are well-known examples. Because the technology is becoming cheaper, predictions say that LED displays will be soon the primary visual surface in urban space, in 10 years there won’t be wall paintings, neither posters. Instead millions of miniature light sources producing ultra sharp  imagery aimed directly at the retina of the public. This piece is a demonstration of the LED technology and the strong imprint they make on eyes, bodies and spaces.

Linux virgin, 2005/2012, Karla Grundick and Mistress Koyo: Referencing the “home-brewed” origins of hacker culture and originally broadcast as a series of 5 episodes on Youtube Linux Virgin narrates the story of how Grundick -under strict guidance of Mistress Koyo-assembled her very first Linux-based personal computer on the floor of her bedroom sounrounded by pink walls and girly objects. The process of putting together a computer from scratch involve excitement, passion and discipline.

20010, 2010, Matteo Giordano: This work has appropriated, inverted and mirrored a commercial for a SANYO product. An unidentified screen-based gadget is spinning weightlessly in the air as if controlled by the mechanically moving hands of a pair of young girls dressed alike in light blue. What was most likely originally presented as spectacular design of tomorrow here becomes a strange almost disturbing object. Rather than containing the solution of all our problems and needs is this perhaps a Pandora’s box in disguise? We are left in a wondering anticipation.

Paidia Laboratory: feedback #6, 2011, Paidia Institute: conects with the specific history of feedback art by examining the playstation console as closed feedback system. Through a subtle hardware modification this piece turns this precious cultural object into a useless machine of perpetual motion. The work is part of an ongoing series of artistic experiments by Paidia Institute studying the feedback behavior of games and their software/hardware chars beyond questions of usability.

Steve Ballmer going crazy, 2000, Author unknow, VIRAL VIDEO: S. Ballmer sells operating systems, however his performative manners are reminiscent of a fanatical priest, hyped-up market-trader or dogged show-fighter.  A curious mix of technical euphoria, testosterone and capitalist optimism culminates in Ballmer’s eccentric stage in front of Microsoft employees.


‘Dark Drives’ exhibition videos part I @ TM – HKW, February 3rd, 2012

Posted on Updated on

Dark Drives. Uneasy energies in technological times – videos – part I. Text source: exhibition catalogue.

Costanza, 2011 – Costanza Candeloro & Luca Libertini: Ever since the practical value of electricity was discovered in the first half of XIX century, close connections between human body and electricity have unfolded multiplicity of trajectories in our culture. Costanza gets in front of the camera  touching her body with the tip of a mini jack cable connected to an amplifier. As she moves the cable over different parts of her skin, the current coming from the amplifier connected to the ground through her body and the sound of this electric circuit is heard on the loudspeakers connected to the amp. When she touches her covered parts, no sound is produced. The performance is reminiscent of a peepshow or sex internet video, except she is not striping nor sex, only her body and the electricity connected in a tense act of intimacy.

Armed citizens, 1998-2006. Daniel G. Andujar / Technologies To The People: Originally a website, is a series of images of handguns that can be bought online like the millions of other consumer goods the Internet offers the common user. The images simply present them one after objects of desire mode available by the new economy of digitalised network transactions. Hence, the “armed citizens” the title refers to, are, for whatever reason they buy guns, themselves the products of the commercial logic embedded in the contemporary access culture.

My Generation, 2010, Eva + Franco Mates aka If you were a teenage boy, what would you do if your mother cancelled your World of Warcraft account? screen like a pig, take off all your clothes, hit yourself with a shoe…? With material found online social platforms such youtube, Eva+Franco Mates demonstrates that computer games are far from mere recreational entertainment. They are extremely addictive and the games industry is fully aware of this. Gamers get hooked on the ‘high’ of the experience, but as any drug-infused high it is also destined to take control and produce effects such as frustration and rage…

Realigning My Thoughts On Jasper Johns, 2011, JK Keller: this is a glitch version of The Simpsons episode “Mom and Pop Art” (Season 10, Episode 19) in which the pop artist Jasper Johns appears as himself. Recalling Johns’ series of ecaustic collages begun in the 50s, Keller handles The Simpsons as mass-produced pop cultural object and distorts image and sound through the misappropiation of standardised software tools. The use Illustrator tool “Allignment abd Distribution” to process the video gives the name to the piece.

‘Dark Drives’ exhibition pics @ TM – HKW, February 3rd, 2012

Posted on Updated on

Dark Drives. Uneasy energies in technological times is the transmediale exhibition in which the main point is to engage with the multiple instances where uneasy energies and the in/compatible,  connect and generate processes that challenge consensual and standardized perceptions of technology.

“Uneasy energies in technological times” through an extensive and diverse group of examples claims that distortions, ambiguities, irritations, ironies, and unrest  constitute as a significant trajectory in our relations with modern technology and have done so since the use value of electricity was discovered.

The exhibition claims that uneasy energies are insuperable, an integral and constitutive part of  technological times. The exhibition is curated by Jacob Lillemose. Text source:

The sequence of pics shows the works in the exhibition, prior the title and after the piece, where it is found two subsequent titles is due to the fact that organization did not allow to film or photograph the next pieces: Dullaart’s video Re: Deep Water Horizon, Chris Burden’c photo+text Doorway to Heaven, Wellmer’s video Error 502… and Dahl, Peill, Zimmer video Web Warriors. Also Borroughs & Balch film The cut-ups and Ant Farm video Media Burn are not photograph or recorded  ’cause it was surrounded by 50 people therefore I could not take a close shot.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Manuel Göttsching & Joshua Light Show @ Tm – HKW, February 4th, 2012

Posted on Updated on

The performance programme of transmediale reflects the relationship between “old” and “new” media. A range of works will be presented which use digital “listening devices” to analogue media and thereby lure out the “ghosts in the machine” that gives name to this performances programm.

Joshua Light Show perform in a setting which combines analogue with modern digital projection techniques. As a special highlight, JLS featuring Manuel Göttsching (Ash Ra Tempel/Ashra, de), know as Krautrock / cosmic / minimalism giant, will be bringing together analogue and digital sound-production, and featuring exponents of so-called hauntology and hypnagogic pop.

Manuel Göttsching’s (de) carrier spans over 40 years. First known in the early 1970s as a founder of the German cosmic rockers Ash Ra Tempel – later known as Ashra – Göttsching earned a reputation with his usually atmospheric and subtle guitar work. After a number of albums throughout the 70s, Göttsching’s most decisive and enduring work was released in 1984: E2-E4, a masterpiece of economy. Its hypnotic, treated synth and drum machine loop morphs and unfolds gradually over the entire first side of the album without ever loosing focus – before side two continues with Göttsching’s unique guitar-playing, which unpretentiously blends into the soundscape. With its stringent funkiness and minimalist sonic precision, it became a touchstone for much of the electronic dance music that would later emerge from Germany and internationally. Göttsching has remained active throughout the years while maintaining his position as grand seigneur of Krautrock, cosmic and minimal music.

Text source:öttsching

Joshua Light Show @ Transmediale – HKW, January 31st, 2012

Posted on Updated on

In 1967, as the idea of synesthesia between music and light was becoming part of the culture, Joshua White founded the Joshua Light Show. JLS was a group of artists who performed together, improvising multi-media projections in live concert venues. While much of their work was created for classical music and jazz, a major turning point came with the opening of Bill Graham´s Fillmore East in the spring of 1968. The Joshua Light Show were resident artists at Fillmore East and performed live behind all the major musical artists of the time: Frank Zappa, Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, The Doors, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, and Jimi Hendrix. During this same period, JLS toured Europe and created the legendary party scene for John Schlesinger’s Midnight Cowboy.

The video below shows a piece of 1 minute of White’s vintage-light show, first time presented in Germany.

In recent years, the Joshua Light Show has received renewed attention in the art world as White collaborated with artist Gary Panter to recreate aspects of his legendary light shows at The Anthology Film Archives (2004) and with the artist Bec Stupac at The Kitchen, both in New York (2007). Since then, the Joshua Light Show has featured in many exhibitions in the USA and UK.
Text source:

‘Prepared Desktop’ by jon.satrom @ Transmediale – HKW, January 31st, 2012

Posted on Updated on

A glitch is a short-lived fault in a system. It is often used to describe a transient fault that corrects itself, and is therefore difficult to troubleshoot. The term is particularly common in the computing and electronics industries, and in circuit bending, as well as among players of video games.

Glitch-artist Jon Satrom presents in Transmediale 2k+12 opening ceremony at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin) his signature performances for Prepared Desktop. The three videos below show pieces (30 sec duration) of this performance, in which while using continuos glitches in the background can be listened the text on license acceptation terms when installing an application.

jon.satrom is a Chicago-based dirty-new-media artist/organiser, who spends his days fixing things, making things work and educating. He spends his evenings breaking things, learning and searching for the unique blips inherent to the systems he explores and exploits. With a background in video, sound and new-media, Satrom strings together a collection of home-brew systems for production and play including video games, renegade computer scripts, abandonware, necroware, artware and corrupt data. Text source:

Transmediale: festival for art & digital culture 2k+12, opening “in/compatible” @ Haus der Kulturen der Welt, January 31st 2012

Posted on Updated on

Transmediale title 2o12 is in/compatible and this year is the 25th anniversary of the festival. Transmediale engages reflective, aesthetic and speculative positions in between art, technology and culture. The festival articulate the relationship between technology and culture in non-linear, dynamic ways . Accordingly, transmediale is a transdisciplinary platform, always searching for new avenues of artistic, academic, activist and everyday expressions. It is a project always on the look out to re-model the production of contemporary culture.

During the opening: First pictures: Performance for prepared desktop by jon.satrom followed by Joshua Light Show and its  psychedelic analogical art lighting.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

TM also cooperates with club transmediale (CTM), which deals with electronic music and club culture.

in/compatible curatorial statement: When everything fails

Incompatibility is the condition arising when things are not working together. Given the current worldwide proclamations of crisis, be they political, financial, technological or environmental, it may seem as if incompatible elements and situations are everywhere, that everything is failing. Ironically, it is the supposedly ever-more compatible media-scape, where everything connects, that render such crises instantly visible. This raises the question if connective media and all-present data collection are even complicit in the production of crisis itself? Where do incompatibilities arise and how are they integrated in a world-order built on the paradox that it is predicated on convergence, but is in fact also constantly leading to divergence?

These are among the difficult questions we aim to tackle at transmediale 2012. With the theme in/compatible, the festival probes the productive and destructive sides of incompatibility as a fundamental condition of cultural production. To be in/compatible means to refuse a quick return to business as usual. It means to instead dare an investment in the unusual: aesthetic, ambiguous and nervous expressions of politics and technology that are contingent with the dark sides of network culture.

The too old and the too new are two sides of the same coin: nothing ever works perfectly.

Since years we have heard about the coming “promised land” of convergent technology, culture and economy as proclaimed by new media entrepreneurs, neo-liberal economists and development experts. Instead of a smooth operation, it is increasingly clear that processes of convergence bring about new tensions in everyday life,economy, politics and technology. Tensions and states of crisis are not contradictory to convergence which is instead a process that should be understood as dependent on the production of the incompatible.

“The media age proceeds in jerks, just like Turing’s paper strip,” Friedrich Kittler wrote, and in this he could just as well have been talking about technological development in general where the production of incompatibilities is central to having any development at all.

The simultaneous monumental failure and global ubiquity of technology seems to move us beyond the polarity of utopia and dystopia. Instead we are entering the blurred environments of the unadapted, monstrous and “uncorporated”. The increasingly unclear tension-states between open and closed, freedom and control, idealistic and commercial are giving rise to a new kind of “techno-cultural uneasy”. The in/compatible in this context is a singular moment of transversal reflection. Artists, hackers and tinkerers engage the imperfect nature of technology. They give it a cultural shape, developing a modular reflexivity that responds to the ever-changing social and economical terrains of the networked world.

transmediale 2012 is an in/compatible being, moving not necessarily forward.

More than a failed operation, incompatibilities lie at the heart of the governance of the inherent differences in network culture. This means that the incompatible is not the outside of networks but it is an internal and constant state of disruption which is necessary in order to enable the “open” state of a never completed system. Capitalism evolves according to the principle of “creative destruction”, as Joseph Schumpeter once formulated it. Allowing for incompatibility is central to the capitalist logic of always being “open to business”, the constant integration of new areas of production. But this does not necessarily mean that incompatibility always leads to co-optation. The in/compatible moment produces a gap in capitalist production, a temporary moment of stasis which may be used to reflect on where we are going, if anywhere at all, and on what conditions.

As an in/compatible being, transmediale 2012 highlights projects and cultural phenomena that saviour this stop in the incessant flow of things and posits it as a moment of tension that allows for a redefinition of our initial terms of engagement. The in/compatible being is one that moves with the particular rhythms of this tension, but not necessarily forward. Contrary to the fear of the incompatible, so prevalent in the age of cloud-computing, the festival raises the question of what happens when incompatibility is brought to the fore rather than hidden away in the dark underbelly of digital culture?