XLt on BWPWAP – v.2 + v.3 : Democracy on Pluto


{ “pluto to earth, pluto to earth! can you hear us ?! ” }

XLt analyzes the Transmediale 2013 – BWPWAP

[ part 1 -intro = resources are here ]

We are working within a very visual medium, so we picked the image above which we had gathered for our latest CiTiZEN KINO performances of “20th Century Fix”… to get your attention… and because the fotos we’ve taken at the festival , and others we’ve seen, don’t really convey the required jolt.

We are the 4th day into the festival, and just over a week if you count the P2P Vorspiel (the ‘foreplay’) programs which took place the previous weekend at various local venues and DIY spaces in Berlin…

For us, the beginning of the Haus Der Kulturen programs + exhibition were extremely disappointing. They simply did not match the speed and import of the ticking clock our society struggles under, nor the racing beating heart and breathlessness which one might have if you were to take seriously the challenges we face, as a community, as a species, as a planet.

In other words, there would simply not be time to dwell on the banalities of “Evil Media” ( title of one of the more distracting and exceptionally academic and tactless sessions, and accompanying exhibition )  when in fact nearly the entire communications + culture spectrum is rendered into some kind of deadly toxic environment, a massive radioactive spill of mis-education  and manipulations, deportations, disconnections, volatile feedback and entertainment loops … if you will.

Having glimpsed the program weeks ahead, and covered the festival numerous times before, we could forsee the elements of the “intellectual circus tent” coming to down, to analyze, or at the very least address, the state of arts, culture and media via the format of a SHOW. Not exactly with showbiz as its ultimate goal – as we greatly respect the high curatorial levels and experimentations and social contexts applied. And surely we – as an XLt arts and praxis group- can appreciate the challenges of the artworld + culture industry, having to compete for attention, and in this scale having to plug in the numerous funding bases required, the  spectacle-like collusions, and luring people into the pertinent themes… by any means necessary. And these days, if you want to engage an audience and more importantly a CITIZENRY,  multi-faceted artistry, and perhaps even adept magical interventions, will undoubtedly be required.

For if you were to attempt to lay out the heavy truths today, w/o some narratives, solutions, proposals, strategies and grand artistry, the public would probably wish to kill you AND/OR promptly run screaming from the door as if the B-movie monsters had stepped out of the screen and into the theater, which more or less, they have.

From another more constructive perspective, and now having attended a number of more illuminating sessions, we are now deep into some very rich materials and ’soil samples’ to begin to unveil a deep perspective on what is going on with our over-mediated and lost worlds.

Crucial analysis i.e:  Geert Lovinks’ BWPWAP Networks, Social Media- From Complaints to Alternative Tools , Post-Media Labs’ Remixing Digital Cities, to Dmytri Kleiner and the whole Octo crew – a project by the Telekommunisten, examing the metaphoric (and anachronistic) corporate capitalist tentacles… and others….

But without presenting them in the proper light, they would just be like explaining and critiquing just another new media arts show, 2nd-hand at that, and one where all the work is put upon you to dig to find the golden survival kit, that resonates personally with your own current and Very jeopardized existence.


We are working on sharing some of these incredible insights and translating them to the Small Screen, stand by…

XLt on BWPWAP – v.3 :

Why do So Few Academics Have A Spine ?!


{ Mars exploration … in a Utah desert }

It’s really time to get the heated debates going….

We just attended an extraordinarily dense session this morning called Back When Pluto was Another Cold War Heavenly Body:
Militarisation, Media and Space
, and it opens up so much material to discuss and debate … and we’ll have to assemble an overview of those incredible discussions, but while the topic is freshly boiling in our hearts and minds… we’d like to sum up a recurring theme that the XLt has attempted repeatedly to grapple with in these arts and technology conferences: why do so few academics have a spine?! … Ok, that’s a bit of a joke, but when we unfold the tales, the usual patterns, you may also be left with that similar bitter provocation…and scream enough is enough !

Following the discussion about cold war architectures and agendas, we can get a glimpse of the Big Industrial Complex Picture, that our mediated environments are a kind of one way ticket excursion to Mars. Well that’s our analogy in a nutshell, for now.

We referenced this idea in discussion with the panel. Our own Citizen Kino project – titled “20th Century Fix – Social Media… Is Retro-hackable !” – took off at one point around the now viral clip about the Mars One initiative, a Dutch enterprise planning a mission in the coming decade to send people to Mars for a one-way mission to explore another planet, for the rest of their lives. Guinea Pigism made to look slick and sexy, technologically and financially achievable… and inevitable.

This for us is an incredible metaphor for the computational + mediated worlds we are constructing around us, the immersions, the projected fictions and agendas, which we DO NOT necessarily have to agree with. We do not have to accept this one way ticket into permanent binary, technological + physically and spiritually downgraded vacation. And yet nearly everyone paid to speak at arts and technology conferences are a part of this game plan. And they continually propagate these fallacies:

It’s a done deal ! ( or as Jussi Parikka states in more calm and softly disguised form, it’s already been mapped, there’s no way back. )

Guess what?… Fuck You ! This is techno-facism ! And any academic , or any citizen, who is not willing to analyze and question this from a more humanitarian perspective, is only worth his or her weight in institutional salaries… this position is all a part of the ( academia) showtime void !

This goes hand-in-hand with the post-human arguments , the idea that to be human is itself a prosthetic, we’ll have to come back to fully deconstruct that language. But for now,  if we rephrase the debate: that we Can go back, can  re-salvage, and revive our humanity, or let’s call it, reclaim a caring and responsible consciousness and community – that way we will not have to bother debating the spineless  academics who like to pull this Joker Card out of a hat ( which even in their most structured rational forms take on similar fanatic and escapist singularian cult, future fantasies, which merely push the problems into aesthetic and ontological debates and technological fetisch).

We ARE currently human, tangible and breathing humans, and the mechanisms and systems that degrade us, exploit us, annihilate us, need to be outed, ridiculed and objected!

There is no other way to make it into the future… with our spines (?) , our consciousness, our individual and collective integrity, and living being (shared with other living beings and species on earth), intact.

Note: Fallacy #2 : “We are not outside technology, there is no in and outside, we are enmeshed, it is all of us. “… another academic Joke Card ?!! It’s sure up for debate, unless you’re talking to the institutional automatons…

But we’ll have to get deeper into that later… in part 4… Another Earth?


{ Earth? we are not entirely sure, this may be slightly fotoshopped … }

Note: We do thank the incredible Transmediale Team for the ability to bring these topics to the table… even if they haven’t yet provided us an appropriate platform for how to scream ! And to all the participants…  many of whom we’ll try to cover in coming analysis bits.


Leave a Reply