Category: transmediale

A review of the Reworking the Brain session at Transmediale in Berlin on 1st Feb

One of my students sent me this link to a review of Transmediale in Berlin earlier this month. It includes the Reworking the Brain session I contributed to with Hyphen Labs. It’s on the Contemporary Art from East Asia and East Europe website. Not sure who the author (EC) is, but if they want to become my agent, please let me know.

Read on… 🙂

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Image from Contemporary Art from East Asia and East Europe website

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Reworking the Brain at Transmediale, 2019 Berlin

Managed to get through (and survive) my talk at the Transmediale Festival here in Berlin yesterday. This one was with the wonderful Hyphen_Labs talking about their Neurospeculative Afrofuturism project in a session called Reworking the Brain.  We were in the auditorium in the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, which is this absolutely huge venue with one of the largest engaged audiences I’ve ever seen at an event like this.

Highlights from the first day were Jackie Wang’s keynote on Carceral Capitalism including some very affecting poetry. Only realized afterwards that it was Jackie who asked me two really interesting/challenging questions during the Reworking the Brain session.

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Link to Transmediale Events Schedule

Here’s the link to Transmediale Events Schedule: https://2019.transmediale.de/events/schedule

transmediale
31 Jan – 03 Feb
2019
HKW, Berlin

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transmediale 2019 focuses on how feelings are made into objects of technological design and asks what role emotions and empathy play within digital culture. One of the key questions of the upcoming festival is “What moves you?”, referring not only to an emotional response but also to the infrastructures and aesthetics that govern how affect becomes mobilized as a political force today.

With digital technologies being integrated into the liveness of experience, a new situation for social change and cultural practice has arisen, which currently seems to lead to either political extremes or extreme complacency. How to resist the manipulative and polarizing aspects of affect in the digital public sphere as it is expressed through a deadlock of the politics of feeling on the one side and disengagement on the other? What motivates social engagement and how can new forms of care and solidarity be developed and embodied?

For the first time in many years, the festival does not have a title in order to emphasize the possibility of emergence: In response to a critical time, transmediale wants to focus on live practices and the creation of learning environments rather than close down meaning.

Taking up the challenge of how to understand and work with new technologies of feeling, transmediale recognizes that digital culture has become instrumental for capturing and managing what Raymond Williams once called “structures of feeling”—lived experiences and cultural expressions, distinct from supposedly fixed social products and institutions. Such experiences and expressions now create the affective spaces of social media, form the design imperatives of artificial intelligence applications, and seem to be capable of evoking empathy through virtual reality. In these contexts, social and political issues tend to become emotionalized and get turned into binary choices of for and against. One of the contemporary challenges is how to be critical and affirmative at the same time while avoiding such oversimplifications. For this purpose, transmediale 2019 strives to feature living, and not yet fully formed digital cultures of artistic vision, speculative thinking, activist intervention, and counter-cultural dreaming.

Following its focus on cultural emergence, the 2019 festival aims for a high level of participant and audience engagement through discussion-based and educational formats: Preceding the public festival days, transmediale offers the new Student Forum to create an environment for concentrated, in-depth work and studying. The workshop program is extended and starts on 29 January, too, continuing throughout the festival. Furthermore, the transmediale Study Circles are integrated across the program, zooming in on specific aspects of the festival theme. The Study Circles Affective Infrastructures and Uneasy Alliances consist of working groups in which participants come together before, during, and after the festival and generate various outputs such as workshops, events, and publications.

Find all events in our 2019 schedule.

Reworking the Brain in Berlin

 

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Panel
Fri, 01.02.2019
15:30 to 17:00
Auditorium

What happens when the neurosciences shape culture and promise to assist in overcoming traumas and conflicts? Can technologies like VR foster new ways of understanding? Is it possible to expand the plasticity of the brain? In this panel, Hyphen-Labs present excerpts from their work NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism. They underline the importance of understanding how synaptic lineages are made, harvested, and experienced and discuss how speculative practices can assist in collectively materializing and (re)imagining memories, experiences, and future scenarios. Tony D Sampson introduces his thesis on neuroculture, which argues that capitalism is increasingly colonizing of our brains. However, the coincidence of capitalism and the neurosciences (neurocapitalism) points as much to what the brain can do, as it reveals what can happen to the brain.

The panel is organized in collaboration with Winchester School of Art.

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Transmediale 2019 Programme Updates

This year’s Transmediale programme is shaping up well.

31 Jan – 3rd Feb HKW, Berlin

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“Transmediale 2019 focuses on the role of emotions, empathy, and cultural emergence in digital culture. Responding to this thematic focus, it aims to create an environment for the emergence of experiences and knowledge that goes beyond the limited time frame of the public festival days. The newly introduced transmediale Study Circles have already started in October 2018 and not only offer a space for reflection and in-depth exploration of some of the festival’s key questions, they generate various outputs which frame and form a part of transmediale 2019’s core program. This approach is also reflected in an accompanying documentation through the transmediale/journal, which will feature two new online issues taking up central topics of the two Study Circles’ thematic strands Affective Infrastructures and Uneasy Alliances.”

“Besides established event types such as keynotes, performances, and short film screenings, participatory and educational formats play a significant role at transmediale 2019: The workshop program is extended and starts—together with the new transmediale Student Forum—already two days before the festival officially opens.”

Check programme updates here: https://2019.transmediale.de/program

transmediale 2019 HKW, Berlin

Very pleased to say I’ve been invited to talk and take part in a panel at the next transmediale in Berlin.  The blurb (below) looks fantastic! “New technologies of feeling”, “structures of feeling”… The programme will be out soon.

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transmediale
31 Jan – 03 Feb
2019
HKW, Berlin

transmediale 2019 focuses on how feelings are made into objects of technological design and asks what role emotions and empathy play within digital culture. One of the key questions of the upcoming festival is “What moves you?”, referring not only to an emotional response but also to the infrastructures and aesthetics that govern how affect becomes mobilized as a political force today.

With digital technologies being integrated into the liveness of experience, a new situation for social change and cultural practice has arisen, which currently seems to lead to either political extremes or extreme complacency. How to resist the manipulative and polarizing aspects of affect in the digital public sphere as it is expressed through a deadlock of the politics of feeling on the one side and disengagement on the other? What motivates social engagement and how can new forms of care and solidarity be developed and embodied?

For the first time in many years, the festival does not have a title in order to emphasize the possibility of emergence: In response to a critical time, transmediale wants to focus on live practices and the creation of learning environments rather than close down meaning.

Taking up the challenge of how to understand and work with new technologies of feeling, transmediale recognizes that digital culture has become instrumental for capturing and managing what Raymond Williams once called “structures of feeling”—lived experiences and cultural expressions, distinct from supposedly fixed social products and institutions. Such experiences and expressions now create the affective spaces of social media, form the design imperatives of artificial intelligence applications, and seem to be capable of evoking empathy through virtual reality. In these contexts, social and political issues tend to become emotionalized and get turned into binary choices of for and against. One of the contemporary challenges is how to be critical and affirmative at the same time while avoiding such oversimplifications. For this purpose, transmediale 2019 strives to feature living, and not yet fully formed digital cultures of artistic vision, speculative thinking, activist intervention, and counter-cultural dreaming.

Following its focus on cultural emergence, the 2019 festival aims for a high level of participant and audience engagement through discussion-based and educational formats: Preceding the public festival days transmediale offers a workshop program as well as a new student platform to create an environment for concentrated, in-depth work and studying. Furthermore, a new format called “Study Circles” is integrated across the program, zooming in on specific aspects of the festival theme. The “Study Circles” consist of working groups in which participants come together before, during, and after the festival and generate various outputs such as workshops, events, and publications.

For more information: https://transmediale.de/festival-2019