Transmediale 2014 v.4 : Seen But Not Heard in the Anthro-Obscene ?!

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{ pics: @jeliliatiku }

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#transmediale  #afterglow #Anthro-obscene

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Wired Africa, Seen But Not Heard in the Anthro-Obscene ?!

“On the internet, no one can hear you scream ! ” @non.

In general, XLterrestrials have been less focused on performance art at Transmediale festivals in the last years. Since the symposium-side grabs on to huge sociological themes, it becomes necessary and urgent to analyze what directions such a cultural ( and primarily academic) enterprise tries to steer us, the technological trends, and our behaviors within them. One might assume they take this as a serious agenda, or perhaps it is possible to look at it as merely a curatorial team which tries to assemble the best possible cross-sections of the global zeitgeist as it pertains to pressing realtime issues. Either way, certainly Transmediale is not an indifferent spectacle of arts and ideas, they are engaged.

It has been written by many before us about events such as Ars Electronica, Documenta, and other major cultural events, that agendas are visible, and corporate, commercial, industry, state, national interests all do in varying degrees often seep through or even dictate the platforms. It’s a delicate matter to articulate, and this is a high-speed blog, so we won’t have time to dissect the subtleties now.

But let’s just shoot from the blog-hip here, arts and technology festivals are a critical bridge between the public and cybernetic developments. We’ve written about it before, but worth reiterating here, the origins of the word “Cybernetic” is TO STEER.

Digital environments are like a churning multi-faceted factory of tools and functions, and as such are a powerful cultural map-making for the future. We might examine them like we would an ( infected ) animal in a cage, looking for what experimentation is taking place on a hypothetical ‘public sphere’.

Last night, as much as we have great respect for the all the panelists in ART AS EVIDENCE, it was a little hard to fully absorb a 2-hour long keynote from 3¬† American artivists, when we had just experienced an emotional and visceral performance which embodied all the pertinent problems of digital culture in one artist’s muffled solo scream. Jelili Atiku had himself bound in electronics waste from Nigeria and plastic saran wrap. He spent 20-30 minutes in the foyer wrestling to free himself.

After that, it didn’t really feel like there was much more that needed to be said to assess the climate. Though we found ourselves craving his presence, his voice amidst these 3 main-stage panelists who took a surprisingly calm demeanor to walk us through their creative processes in the mind- and/or mine-fields of an empire which they attempt to deal with in each of their work.

to be cont.


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