We spend with my master class of design informatics a week in Berlin attending the Transmediale festival. What do the futures of work, play and life look like through the black mirror of data? How will our quantified lives unfold? transmediale 2015 looks at how we make sense of a culture dependent on measurement and automation procedures, and how to act with autonomy within such a culture.
It has been a very inspiring week. I will share the notes I took during the festival as well as some projects which were the most inspiring for me or innovative.
This was our plan with Clément for the 3 days:
- 1 opening ceremony
- 1 concert @ Berghain
- 1 screening
- 5 conferences
- 4 performances
- 3 exhibitions
Notes and reflections
Keynote capture all_work
Work is done in time
Play as a commons practical utopias and p2p futures
Keynote Capture All_Life
DATAFIED RESEARCH: CAPTURE PEOPLE
Appropriate and Accelerate – Art Under Algorithmic Pressure
Jennifer Lyn Morone
Jennifer Lyn Morone is an American born natural person who incorporated her identity by founding Jennifer Lyn Morone™Inc in 2014 during her time as an MA student at the Royal College of Art. Since then Jennifer Lyn Morone’s mission is to establish the value of an individual in a data-driven economy and Late Capitalist society, while investigating and exposing issues of privacy, transparency, intellectual property, corporate governance, and the enabling political and legal systems.
Clément appeared every two lines on the Stakhanov installation… quite weird and scary.
Presentation Stakhanov is the BigData Oracle of the new era. In the era of Data, Information and Knowledge, Stakhanov is the expression of our new global data-religion. Stakhanov continuously harvests social networks for information and data, making connections, assumptions, correlations, using them to predict the future. Line-by-line, it emits its verdicts about what will be and that which won’t. This is the Word, coming from the Data-Above, in The Cloud. A playful neo-religious data-invasion of privacy, an exploration in false-hopes and in the ingenuity of contemporary determinism.
First I have been very impressed by her performance during the opening ceremony, then by her work in the exhibition space. I can’t really explained why I really like her work… I just found quite fascinating and very well executed. It must ask a lot of patience and hard work to perform like that.
Presentation A snapshot of mediated intimacy, Body Scan records through screenshots a process of photographing different parts of the artist’s body with an iphone similar image app that identifies visual information and links it to online data. At times assuming the instructive voice of a body scan meditation, the accompanying voiceover draws on the search results to convey relational uncertainties and sexual energies entangled with commodity descriptions. A game alone and between lovers turns skins into readable interfaces full of the potential for miscommunication, and signals connections between embodied, private experience and public, commercial data.
Presentation Networked Optimization is a series of three crowdsourced versions of popular self-help books. Each book contains the full text, which is however invisible, because it is set in white on a white background. The only text that remains readable consists of the so-called “popular highlights” – the passages that were underlined by many Kindle users – together with the amount of highlighters. Each time a passage is underlined, it is automatically stored in Amazon’s data centers.
Oliver Walker – One Euro
Stunning idea to represent inequality, labour, value…
Presentation One Euro is a six channel video installation, with each channel depicting one person working. Each video lasts as long as it takes the person depicted to earn one Euro. The films vary in length from well over an hour for low paid agricultural workers; to their slightly higher paid counterparts in industry; via those on middle income wages; down to one minute, and with one film little over a second long. The films do not offer a narrative, but rather quite detached observations of people at work. It is not intended as a didactic essay on wage inequality, though it invites reflection on these staggering inequalities, and this political position is ultimately not left ambiguous. Whilst we often encounter information about inequality presented through text or graphics, here time is employed, making direct comparison more difficult. Ultimately the people on the screens are simply taking part in their everyday lives, and we see six people on six screens, side by side.
Ellie Harrison – Timelines
Beautifull visual of our daily routine. Very inspiring.
Presentation For almost five years Ellie Harrison documented and recorded information about nearly every aspect of her daily routine as part of her artistic practice. These laborious, demanding and introverted processes grew ever more extreme until she devised the ultimate challenge in 2006 for Timelines – to attempt to document everything she did, 24 hours a day, for four weeks. The Timelines project was motivated by Ellie’s overwhelming feeling that she was ‘always at work’, it was to be an empirical study – monitoring exactly where all her time was going – to find out whether this was indeed true. What had seemed like a simple proposition quickly became an all-consuming ritual in which she was forced to take on the dual role of ‘observer’ and ‘observed’. On the first day she confessed that ‘It was horrible feeling so trapped – I couldn’t do anything without generating and accumulating data’, and so she rationalised the experiment by categorising her time into 17 possible activities such as ‘art practice’, ‘domestic work’ or ‘leisure’. Each day the data was transferred onto an expansive spreadsheet. By the end of the four weeks it contained 2,297 entries, which were then transposed into a series of 28 colour-coded timelines.
The Pirate Cinema
It was great. A bit overwhelming in term of chaotic sounds but the idea is brilliant and well executed.
Presentation The hidden activity and geography of real-time peer-to-peer file sharing via BitTorrent is revealed in The Pirate Cinema, a live performance by Nicolas Maigret and Brendan Howell. In their monitoring room, omnipresent telecommunications surveillance gains a global face, as the artists plunder the core of restless activity online, revealing how visual media is consumed and disseminated across the globe. Each act of this live work produces an arbitrary mash-up of the BitTorrent files being exchanged, in real time, in a specific media category, including music, audio books, movies, porn, documentaries, video games and more. These fragmentary contents in transit are browsed by the artist, transforming BitTorrent network users (unknown to them) into contributors to the audio-visual composition that is The Pirate Cinema.
It was AMAZING. An incredible work of very clever references. The sound track mixing live was perfect and same full of references. I would watch it again , because I am sure that there is some great moment you miss when you look at it once. I recommended ++++.
Presentation: A world premiere of the new audovisual performance of renowned collage artist People Like Us (Vicki Bennett). The project is a further development of the artist’s database approach to cinema, deconstructing cinematic clichés and representations into unique associative and playful narratives. Citation City sources, collage and edits 300 major feature films where content is either filmed or set in London – creating a story within a story, of the film world, living its life, through extraordinary times of change, to see what happens when these multiple narratives are combined… what will the story tell us that one story alone could never tell? Inspired by The Arcades Project by Walter Benjamin, this audiovisual performance is created from 1000s of clippings of text and visual media, collaged using a system of “convolutes”, collated around subjects of key motifs, historical figures, social types, cultural objects from the time. By gathering and assembling such groups of similar yet unrelated, he revealed a hidden, magical encyclopaedia of affinities, a massive and labyrinthine architecture of a collective dream city. In the live performance a series of story lines (convolutes) sit side by side with a soundtrack sourced both from the movie content, as well as new sample compositions thematically related to the visual content.
Robin Fox & Atom TM “Double Vision”
It was like seeing the sound in 3D infront of our eyes. Magical. The ceiling was transformed into a sky thanks to the laser and the smoke.
Interview of Robin Fox & Atom TM HERE