Transmediale

2016

transmediale is a Berlin-based festival and year-round project that draws out new connections between art, culture and technology. All activities of transmediale aim at fostering a critical understanding of contemporary culture and politics as saturated by media technologies.

Invited curator: #make stream, 2016 (programme)

Statement

Maker culture has mainstreamed. Traditionally characterized by a do-it-yourself or do-it-together approach, maker methods and values such as peer learning, localized production, and material reuse have become incorporated into for-profit enterprises, while geek and hacker culture are now fashionable trends. Today Fablabs, rapid prototyping, and open-learning formats are becoming central aspects of higher education, cultural outreach programs, and social enterprises. From an educational perspective the values of maker culture such as project-led, open, creative, and group-based learning have become contemporary learning mantras. Collaboration and adaptability are considered essential skill sets, fostered in education and in commoning, gift-, and share-based economies.

Yet maker culture has never existed in a vacuum. This stream asks how we can establish a critical conversation about such a topic within the specific context of transmediale/conversationpiece. The program’s keynote conversation and panels focus on historical positions, contemporary labor, new industrial turns, policy changes, and institutional preparedness. Moving beyond the didactic and exclusively verbal, the events and workshops intentionally play with what it means to converse by focusing on performativity and sensorial exchange, from sound events to group therapy and multitouch aerobics. The aim is to provide a broader appreciation of contemporary making practices, in terms of their limits, potentials, and (dis)associated cultures.

Portraits, Cartwheels, Drumsticks, and Spikes photo essay with Lydia Goolia in collaboration with participants involved in the #make stream