With the title of “The revolution is over. Welcome to the afterglow.” Transmediale opened its doors last Wednesday 29 January until 2 February 2014.
proposes the post-digital moment of ‘afterglow’ as a diagnosis of the current status of the digital hovering between ‘trash and treasure’. afterglow conjures up the ambivalent state of digital culture, where what seems to remain from the digital revolution is a paradoxical nostalgia for the futuristic high-tech it once promised us but that is now crumbling in our hands. The challenge that this moment poses is how to use that state of post-digital culture between trash and treasure as a still not overdetermined space from which to invent new speculative thought and practice. Are there means of renewal in the excess, overflow and waste products of the digital afterglow?
Transmediale is a meeting point between art and technology, artists and hackers, a space to open a reflection of what is the impact of technology, how is it evolving and to think about the meaning of a post-digital area.
This year I went to the opening mainly because a friend from the #hackership had taken part of the 48h hackathon Art Hack Day Berlin, I was curious to see the out put of this hackathon that involved not only software hacking but also art.
The number of people in the Opening was quite amazing, and there must have been a high expectation on the Art Hack Day exhibition because this is how it looked, there was quite a queue before being able to come in.
Some samples of the output that came from the hackathon are the following, I took randomly pictures of things, not necessarily the more interesting ones, I just wanted to get an idea of different things, and the amount of people just allowed sometimes to take pictures.
This was called “Mining the arbitrary”, it presents and analyzes a sample of substances found in Berlin, as an example of the production of waste of information and materials.
I liked this one very much, called “Honeypot”, and the description says: “In computing a honeypot is used by security researchers to attract attacks in the wild. It is deliberately left insecure. We like to think of our personal electronic devices as secure. But recent revelations have shown, that they might be just as open as a honeypot. All your devices are belong to whom?
This is called Circe’s New Equipment , the description says: Assemblage of paraphernalia. Presented as if it is an altar, although not to worship, but to contemplate the wreckage – the sacrificial destruction of utility, the drives , forms and structures , the exuberance and vertigo that embrace both the human and non-human orders.
But while thinking about post-digital era, and while being in an event that proposes reflection on ‘trash and treasure’, do the conditions of the workers in the Transmediale belong to the trash more then to the treasure?
In the hall there were several workers holding a banner that says “Wie ist die Korrelation zwischen dem transmediale Festival und prekärer Arbeit?”( What is the correlation between transmediale Festival and precarious work?)
Well, yes for sure, once again lots of things to think about, while walking under a dark and frozen night.