This Techno-Industrialist Fetish, Is it WOMB ENVY ?!

February 28th, 2016

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So maybe now you’re starting to wonder what all this new A.I. “Space Race”  is about… We don’t know about you, but our newsfeed is flooded with items about ROBOTS ! And THINKING Robots !

Well, some of our XLterrestrial analysts have started wondering what’s going on – you know, the big picture ! Especially after watching this video…

A NOVA / PBS clip about the work of Pierre-Yves Oudeyer - Research Director at the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation and head of the Inria and Ensta-ParisTech (FLOWERS) team …

And its not-so-strange artworld tie-in with David Lynch doing the design work, the little E.T-like ( penis ) heads … putting  “a literal face on the oddest collection of little learning robots. “

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XLT analysts

” What the f*ck is this techno-industrialist fetish and the predominantly male urge to desperately give birth to non-living “learning” gadgets, when it’s so painfully obvious that they are already such planetary deadbeat dads to the creatures of our current habitats, being so abundantly squandered + exploited +  slaughtered by their persistently detached brainspew and overstretched krapitalist-fueled narcissism and self-interest !?”  – Dr. Thrackmoore 3

Is it Vagina/Womb Envy !? ” asks Professor Flux

( borrowing a term from one of our hacker friends from the Berlin Crypto Parties, which he uses to refer to as a somewhat unusual but recurring trait of some hacklabbers, who do not wish to give up control of the things which they’ve created, which goes counter to the preferred open source hacker ethics. Though let’s face it, there isn’t much hope of reclaiming the commons in the landscape of industrial technospheres. )

” That sounds about right… And kinda feels like Lynch is stooging for A.I., which reminds me of Tim Leary’s dropping back IN for a little ( or a LOT of ) cash from Autodesk- an early Silicon Valley firm that sponsored him and others like J. Perry Barlow to go on the cyberhype lecture circuit…” Labcoat Kylie


“Ha, but I’m more interested in the bigger pic; What’s all the fuss about learning robots ? … I mean if you wanna learn about human learning,  work at a school with kids, and actually put some investment into living beings! … DOH ! ” – Dr. Thrackmoore 3

“Well of course the obvious answer there is: Ain’t no billions of dollars in venture capital for working w/ kids … for some strange reason… *sigh* … But who knows, maybe after TTIP, children will be back up on the market …  the commodity factor will incentivize more spending in new meat puppet development. ” – Labcoat Kylie

” Robots won’t need to be cared for… it’s the perfect house pet and/or slave for a psychopathic culture addicted to new things … Completely disposal labor… they can be tossed into a landfill in Nigeria after you’ve had your way with them. ” Prof Flux


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to be cont.

The Institute of Unchartered Waters, a C-KiNO #51 afterward…

February 25th, 2016

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Looking in search engines for an image of “unchartered waters” unveils a predominantly hideous eye-gouging collection of cheap graphic designs for a popular corporate game product. Interesting and disturbing how this title in the net world could render all other meanings of the phrase as secondary or insignificant.

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One might imagine these infantile + torturous game images being projected on the dingy wall of some Abu-Ghraib-like secret prison on the outskirts of Silicon Valley, where some poor art professor strapped to a chair is being forced to denounce his fellow resistance comrades for teaching traditional skills in a New Media recruitment college. There where a recent raid had uncovered a “radical cell” of the unconverted, who were attempting to subvert and evade the Great Digital Cultural Revolution.

Last week’s CiTiZEN KiNO #51 : Unmapping Existence and Unchartered Waters was a little bit like an analytical fruit plucked too soon from the tree. With less than a month to prepare, we didn’t have time to flesh out some more precise expressions of what it might mean to seek out those territories which go against the current tide of being swallowed up into the vast business vortices of the ubiquitous new tech.

And in Part 2 of the event, we got into some complicated discussions about the new DiEM25 movement launched by Yannis Varoufakis and many others. Pragmatic strategies and a political counter-force to the fractious divisions that will arise in Europe if the EU project becomes mangled by the financial winners/managers ( from above )  and fails to evolve as a democratic body, made transparent and held accountable by its constituents and an informed public.

Both are topics we hope we’ll find time to revisit again.

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But here we wish to elaborate on schooners in the stormy seas, cause only by zooming out to some potentially poetic lens can we escape the grisly details of the challenges we face…

One of our recent deep encounters was learning about the work of Keller Easterling and her new radical angles on #extrastatecraft – the title of her new book published by Verso. Exceptional insights from a soft-spoken but penetrating sociologically-minded architect who forces us to think anew not just about the vicious urban space of the 21st century, but perhaps also (an XLT extrapolation to our recurring theme?) another way of seeing how our lives are caught in the now palpably volatile NETstream. And about operating systems, far outside the realm of any even-pretending democratic process or regulatory bodies. Deep, and creepy as hell.

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{ a painting by Charles Napier }

When the XLterrestrials were kids, we had a guest room at a relative’s house. In a mostly barren space, on the wall above the bed was a schooner painting in high seas. A static image, it never changed… Year after year it was always in its place, a little window through which to dream …

to be cont.

CiTiZEN KiNO #51 : Unmapping Existence + Unchartered Waters

February 11th, 2016

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< 17.02 > CiTiZEN KiNO #51: Unmapping Existence + Unchartered Waters at Spektrum, Berlin, 20:00h

The frackbook invite

The C-kino #51 Titan Pad for sharing ideas, media + resources

In part, a response to both the tsunami of metadata-like introspection of “conversation pieces” at Transmediale * and the coming 2 weeks of shrinkwrapped spectacles and celebrity-itis of the Berlinale Festival, we will attempt to use C-KINO #51 to go beyond the screens, the cozy discourse and analytical lenses with pragmatic art attacks !

The act of unmapping ourselves from the usual territories of arts and culture could be a method to discovering how we might initiate a more resistant mobility.  Searching for social interactions and interventions existing outside of flattened art representations  + objectification + narratives, as well as the industrial trends of obsessively tracking, visualizing, and data-frying human endeavors, we take a dive into Unchartered Waters…

Essentially this is wild card for what kinds of media bits + analysis we might present in order to provoke more activity off-the-grid of known territories and captured audience settings… and closer to the action !

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This is a video – news item – we came across 2day…

Artists Respond to City Sweep of Homeless for Super Bowl 50 | KQED Arts

… as we were imagining what tact to take to follow all the dense discussions and proposed ideas that took place at Transmediale 16… topics which went far deeper than most arts+media festivals, but still left us a little cold and somewhat lost in what concrete actions to take next … on a number of urgent situations…

We’ll be hunting more media which provide examples of pragmatic art attacks… ( which can certainly get more radical than what KQED – a long-established San Francisco media channel – would be allowed to broadcast )

So if you have other suggestions of media and/or project links to add to the mix, send us…

We’ll be posting a Titan Pad link shortly, to collect resources and discuss ideas for the C-KiNO event.

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* see XLT analysis of Transmediale – #TM16 – Festival

AddEd: to 2nite’s C-KINO #51, analysis of Berlin start-up porn ;) Don’t Miss ! http://xlterrestrials.org/plog/?p=15084 @Info_Activism


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+start_up_dubsmash8startup_5_selfie + startup_7_taxi

know your enemies ;)

http://www.the-hundert.com/


to be cont.

The Launch of DiEM25 in Btropolis, 09.02.16

February 10th, 2016

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Amazing debates were already unfolding around the initiative to form a new Democracy in Europe Movement – DIEM25 ( and the Manifesto ) on Monday in Berlin  …

A roundtable discussion w/ Talk Real – with Yanis Varoufakis, Marisa Matias, S. Sierakowski, V. Orazzini, Lorenzo Marsili … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vc1vMTTfaQc … skip to VID START: 19m:38s -  “Enjoy” and/or pull your hair out, but by all means … pay attention !

Today, we feel trapped between a rock and a hard place. Squeezed between a failing and undemocratic European Union and equally failing and undemocratic national states.
But beyond sterile arguments over the benefits of an independent nation-state or of a united Europe, we think that what we should really be talking about is how to organise to transform both.

Much to add about the day of deliberations/workshop and the evening launch event at the Volksbuehne, felt like an epic historical turn unfolding … we’ll have to come back to share some impressions.

An option and a force arises to save EU from fanatical krapitalism, austerity, idiocracy and nationalist devolution!

#DiEM25

to be cont.

XLterrestrials on Transmediale 2016 || v.2: Welcome to The Errors Of Tomorrow …

February 6th, 2016

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If one could say it one image…

No time yet to write down all our impressions of Transmediale 2016 so far… a little overwhelmed by all the insights and the entangled festival formats … 1.5 more days of programming and workshops …. stay tune … the XLterrestrials will attempt to analyze all the straaange, unsettling and/or inspired trails we’ve managed to absorb …

While we’re processing all the #TM16 threads… Anxious To Act, Anxious to Share, Anxious to Make, Anxious to Secure,  etc…

We’re also strategizing what topics to analyze for our next CiTiZEN KiNO #51 … which will inevitably revisit some ideas triggered by TM16 … a work-in-progress, and suggestions still welcomed… a possible title:

< 17.02 > CiTiZEN KiNO #51: ” Un-mapping Existence ” at Spektrum, Berlin

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Random insights

(that we can perhaps evolve later into an essay/review, when the storm + info overflow has subsided )

1. Three sessions that we’ve attended in the “Panic Room” seem to make an attempt at re-configuring or re-taking infrastructures in which we are trapped. Post-digital Anxiety + Re-programming the Internet of Things + Market Uncertainty

In each case, it felt as if the primary ideas to cultivate a cultural resistance in these abusive systems is to make those systems democratic and/or controlled by the people and communities… to make them elements or zones of autonomy.

But the infrastructure logic and architectures may already be an adversarial language and mechanism to societies…

i.E in the Market Uncertainty, alot of discussion was about developing alternative community currency and share economies. But it may be a far more radical departure to go about detaching from the systems that produce the very financialization of our existence. And it’s one of the roots that keeps us locked into the money game in an accelerated rent mechanics ( neo-liberal, hyper-krapitalist, and gentrified cities ) that forces us to play.

In short, rather than doing the tech infrastructure differently, we must perhaps develop the option to refuse the game that forces us to pay (market rates) , i.e. for housing ( and food ). We must play with and re-structure the essential physical + human landscapes that are required for survival. Through these necessities, we are locked into having to secure an economic intake, which usually requires jobs in destructive, unsustainable and meaningless enivironments.

Can these types of  root enclosures be hacked ?! ( squats, communes, cooperatives land trusts )

Something we might try to flesh out further for #moneylab v.3 conference in Amsterdam in Dec 2016… and/or a future CiTiZEN KiNO.

( that’s a very rough sketch )

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2. Very interesting debate ensued at ” New State Of Mind”, in the Anxious to Secure keynote lecture … regarding the whistleblower tact and subsequent mass media phenomenon around it …as to whether it remains inside the state’s info territory, and we require more outside the state gameboards to move forward, as opposed to a deluge of bad news, a politics of fear, heroes and oppressors.

The debate was mostly between James Bridle and Geoffroy de Lagasnerie about how exposing and making things visible (only ) remains within a ” rule-based information-based structure” …  dominated by what the XLterrestrials have long- considered a corporate framework of communications [ mass media + the data war ] .

Bridle states:

This idea of exposing the invisible or kind of making visible what is dark, or whatever, has a long long history that predates this kind of technical operation, predates journalism. This is inherent within art and within any number of other disciplines. And it has a very useful and very specific place. It’s incredibly powerful journalistically and politically, this idea of shedding light upon the thing, bringing it into public consciousness and therefore enabling change in various forms. And that’s not going to go away. That remains incredibly useful. But it shouldn’t be our only technique. If we become obsessed with this idea of transparency, then that’s really just the dark mirror, or the lighter mirror, of the kind of intelligence agency’s desire for surveillance data. This idea that, if we could only capture more information, we’d build this kind of better model of the world.

It’s useful for countering certain instances of state or corporate abuse, perhaps. Very useful in fact. But it doesn’t necessarily move us forward, because it keeps us within that paradigm of this rule-based information-based structure that, for me, feels incredibly backward. That feels almost 19th century in its desire for rationality. This may be a wild artistic hope, but I think that it possibly exists beyond this opacity-transparency binary, something that is perhaps a little more interesting that, for me, the internet is trying to kind of show us by making this stuff visible but not necessarily capturable.

From a fantastic interview with Tactical Tech - their Exposing the Invisible series.

This seems parallel to what we’ve expressed in other XLterrestrials critiques of the whole technotopian arena from other angles.

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3.  In relation to TOR, netzpolitik and Digital Activism, Digital Citizenry in general … re: an art installation project featruting a Tor Node by Jacob Applebaum, Trevor Paglen, and others.

We critique this from a rather tangent off-hand idea at the Autonomy Cube book launch:

“As an ardent atheist i’d love to see utilization of church infrastructure for #autonomycube.make them work for us” J.A. aka @ioerror # tm16

Similar to the questions raised by Bridle’s analysis we might ask: Is this More evangelical and romantic notions of where + how digital citizens can still supposedly re-appropriate the cybernetic regime ?!

We, somewhat cynically, answer :

In theory and praxis, reclaiming church spaces from anachronistic, defunct, manipulative and/or corrupt religions ( though not assuming that all spiritual centers are in such a sorry dysfunctional and already-hijacked state ) for community purposes is a great idea ! … But…

Isn’t the digi-cult already a church, which (still) promises (an ethereal, disembobied and uninhabitable) heaven in the corporate krapitalist inferno-sphere ?

While some parts of digital communications + culture might be recuperable, we have pointed out before that in it’s current manifestation , it exists as an acceleration of krapitalist consumerisms producing a massive, if not total,  ECOCIDE. The hope or intention net culture might have had to de-materialize human interactions has not occurred and may be some religious-like delusion that such a transition or exodus can occur. The physical world is where we as bodies+minds reside. While that might be an interesting question for some esoteric metaphysical inquiry around the nature of our existence, an interconnected virtual technosphere has still resulted in growth economies exploiting our needs and pushing us all over a cliff ( finite resources ). And pushing the developing world citizens ( refugees and colonial subjects ) over it first!

Not to mention, it’s trajectory of usurping and colonizing many creative livelihoods and intellectual content production ( communicative capitalism) . Consolidating + Entrenching power, privilege, wealth. Methods of hyper-managment + control.

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4. Border Visions at @transmedilale might have better been front + center, but is an early sunday session ?#?tm16? http://2016.transmediale.de/content/border-visions

Lots to write about this session, and about the context for the complex new border crises and border politics… brought on by decades or centuries of resource wars and colonization… fairly obvious… but not being commuicated in the converstaions around refugees and assisting them and accountabilities.

to be cont.

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ARCHIVES
( things we recommend + things we missed )
https://voicerepublic.com/series/transmediale-conversationpiece

RT > “After the Sharing Economy” is now archived: http://bit.ly/20NVT8F @leashless @hexayurt @OuiShareFest @francescapick @jaromil @benvickers_
w/ Vinay Gupta, Jaromil, and …
- In a world in which 17 percent of the world’s resources, the notion of a “sharing economy” offered, at least for a short period, a glimpse of hope for rebalancing the distribution of wealth. Yet despite its rhetoric of putting people and the planet first, the sharing economy has rapidly become more akin to a servitude economy, with the likes of Airbnb and Uber undermining existing services, enforcing their own labor regimes, and reshaping social infrastructures in their own image. Learning from these unfortunate developments, new initiatives, infrastructures, and practices have begun to emerge, seeking to address gross imbalances through a fundamental reconsideration of what ownership means. This panel will bring together a number proponents of new systems capable of “sharing” in wholly different ways, to discuss the lessons learned and unearth their emergent potentials.
more soon

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XLterrestrials on Transmediale 2016 || v.1: Faustian Shadows + Conversation Desserts

February 2nd, 2016

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{ image for Transmediale Vorspiel 2016 * }

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< FEb 3-7 >  Transmediale 2016, HKW in Berlin

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v.1: Faustian Shadows + Conversation Desserts

( desserts or deserts? … guess it depends on who you’re talking to, and whose picking up the tab )

XLterresrials are pouring over the Transmediale 2016 catalogue program for this years ” Conversation Piece ” themes.  It’s got some juicy text and context:

New vocabularies and sensibilities are needed to express and distinguish between the different possible social, economic, and technological models that are now being created in order to deal with the planet’s increasingly precarious living conditions. This entails a rebooting of conversation and a facing up to the anxieties of late capitalism.

Something that could come out of a Brian Holmes ( author of Continental Drift and Escape the Overcode ) situational cookbook preface… who is btw, on-hand to engage the conversations this week…

But let’s hope the meat + potatoes of the symposium is going to go beyond reboot CONVERSATIONS… we’ve done all that before! “Sensibilities and vocabularies” … been there, done that !

But hey, there are few arts+tech+media festivals even putting this urgent + heavy contextualization on their font burners !  So let’s give em that ! AND let’s go push that conversation over the chatty brinks …

Let the love + rage + strategies bubble over !

to be cont.

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Btw, XLterrestrials took part in this year’s Vorpiel program again to infiltrate and provocate, presenting our 50th episode of CiTiZEN KiNO : The Art Festival Corpse … ( read more here )

And we explored a few other intriguing + well-executed events in this 3-week long extensions of TM into the local spheres, i.e. multiple venues around town… over 35 venues and hundreds of artists…

There were some inspiring moments. Yet with all the TM talk of change, there was no funding provided to any of these artists ( nor curators + venue makers ), as far as we know… AND it’s a debate that needs a little xtra juice from the arts labor sector ! And not to criticize just TM, which does a pretty incredible job putting on their intellectual smorgasbord and challenging programs….

BUT a question to ask: why is such a festival so poorly funded ? .. AND what NEW DEMANDS are we gonna make from a city that purports to be a booming cultural capital of not just Art, but living, breathing ARTISTS, who presumably need to have a sustainable livelihood ?! … rather than selling themselves short to the arts+tech industry-hype, market capitalization + capture , and to the usual tech-fetischism fare ?!

and btw, FUCK “ART”, isn’t it time for realworld change … w/ some serious social artistry ?!

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Btw, we’ve set up a new Patreon page, where you can DONATE funds to help us with this arts+praxis news and analysis:

https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2757367&ty=h

But we don’t feel any desire to overdo our participation in the cybernetic regime ;) … so if you would like to get in touch directly and find out how you can help… you can bypass Patreon, and just send us a mail, and ask us how you can support the projects.

Dear Arts + Praxis friends, we’ve come to our 50th episode of CiTiZEN KiNO …

January 21st, 2016

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< Jan-27 > CiTiZEN KiNO #50, the art festival corpse, at Spektrum for Transmediale ( Vorspiel ), Berlin

(And the frackbook invite here )

AND: If you wish to contribute to discussions and collecting materials for this analysis, visit our TitanPad page here !

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Dear arts and praxis friends,

Hope this finds you all in feisty creative spirits !

Kind of hard to believe, but we’ve reached the 50th episode of CiTiZEN KiNO, our platform for navigating current global situations and the less-than-adequate arts + media environments.

And you are all invited, whether or not you live in the Btropolis… YOU can also participate online from wherever you are ! See more below.

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This is an extremely complex show to put together in which will re-examine our arts + media activism roots… i.e. how and why we found ourselves in this urgent mode of deconstructing the cinema medium, in the hopes of upgrading the collective community engagements and arriving at some public navigation system to deal with all the current social challenges.  A little self-analysis !

Following that, we’ll examine the “Arts Festival Corpse” :

For us – XLterrestrials  -  we imagine the days of the usual arts fare / festival platforms either a dying format OR they are taking the radical turn towards community engaged ARTS + PRAXIS…i.e. less spectacle + entertainment forms + less art on walls, less talk… and more engagement with the pressing and urgent challenges of our times. Then, we examine what it might mean to re-imagine artist livelihoods in these times of digital colonialism, which is de-valueing community creativity and production.

ANd we’d also like to celebrate that we’ve come this far ! So some little after”party” mix will probably be following the roughly 2-hour C-KiNO program, and it would be great to have you there with us.

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We have Big Plans for 2016, and we are looking for collaborators in various cities…

And we’ve set up a new Patreon page, where you can DONATE funds: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2757367&ty=h

But we don’t feel any desire to overdo our participation in the cybernetic games ;) … so if you would like to get in touch directly and find out how you can help… you can bypass Patreon, and just send us a mail, and ask us how you can support the projects.

Looking fwd to hearing from you .. and seeing those of you who are here in the Btropolis !

Solidarity + Schoene Gruesse !

XLterrestrials

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www.xlterrestrials.org/plog
arts + praxis organisms
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Invite yur friends, engage yur enemies ;)

On the XLt Radar for Winter 2016 …

January 6th, 2016

XLterrestrials Arts+Praxis Picks

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< Jan 28 – 31 > Globale 2016 – Grassroots + Collective doc fest, Moviemento in Berlin

After a couple? years hiatus, Globale is BACK in Berlin, at one of the best cinemas in town… the Real Stuff for engaged citizens … no spectacle prancers here ! Support it,  and get ready to absorb powerful media, and then take it to the next level… i.e. organize + (re-)act !

the zuckerborg invite

we’ll try and come back to highlight some of our picks.

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< Jan-27 > CiTiZEN KiNO #50, the art festival corpse, at Spektrum for Transmediale ( Vorspiel ), Berlin

In this episode, we will examine what is happening to the arts when it aligns itself with the current frenzy of techno-industrialism. And what is possible when arts+culture make the transitions to an outside praxis, engaging with the crucial dilemmas of our times… and ask ourselves if we can still re-position our creativity into sustainable livelihoods.

If you wish to contribute to discussions and collecting materials for this analysis, visit our TitanPad page here !

And the facecrooks invite here

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< Jan 15 -  Feb 2 > Transemdiale + CTM Vorspiel – various venues, Berlin

fartbook opening nite invite

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< Jan.08 > Bandista Soli Konzert + afterparty w/ Il Civetto at SO36 - Berlin

Bandista is a collective musik group from Istanbul. One of the few bands we know that gives away ALL their music for free and copyleft. This event will partially benefit Kreuzberg Hilft, assisting refugees. They have been a favorite on our dj playlists for 2015, and for a number of years now. Highly recommended to SUPPORT !

frackbook invite

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< Jan 10. > Finissage : Bodenlos – Vilem Flusser und Die Kunste, Akademie Der Kuenste, Berlin

frackybook invite

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< Jan 9 > Screening of The Uprising, w/ Peter Snowdon in discussion, Kunstraum Bethanien, Berlin

Frackyfook invite

to be cont.

Post-Cop21 + Post-32c3 = Organisms Unite !

January 4th, 2016

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Much to report back …

work in progress !

CiTiZEN KiNO #49 : The Civil Ninja Engine, at 32c3

December 25th, 2015

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new update: time and locations for Citizen KiNO at 32c3 are not easy to arrange without a writeable Wiki … but we’ll try, here’s our plan:

2x CiTiZEN KiNO @ #32c3, guerilla version 2nite 23:00h at Exploitbar and official version 2morw in Room C4 at 20:00h http://xlterrestrials.org/plog/?p=14959

for #32C3 reports see: XLT / DR.PODINSKI TWITTER

< Dec26-30 > CiTIZEN KiNO #49: The Civil Ninja Engine

A possible Re-rooting the Home Base in times of corporate climate terror … bridging eco-defense with the hacker communities.

Where: the 32nd Chaos Congress in Hamburg

We are a “self-organized session” …

Here’s the CiTiZEN KiNO page on the 32c3 assemblies WIKI, scheduled here for 27.12, we will try to do multiple nights… we have several Years worth of film+media archives in the XLterrestrials disk cellars. ;)

More details will be posted here on the Podopolog ( and the 32c3 wiki )

Much of C-KINO will be revisiting our episode in Berlin #48: The XLterresrials Guide to Corporate Climate Terror and PostCOPs … in order to bride the hacker communitites and digital culture-nauts with eco-defense and planetary sustainability issues.

Check out our plog coverage of the #COP21 summit (v.1-9 ) in Paris

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And hey, we got a limited supply of CiTiZEN KiNO and XLterrestrials T-shirts… cause we need to fundraise to take the project on tour in 2016 … ask us how you can get one and/or how you can help get the XLt to your town/ area / hood…

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We may do a silent auction, with a sign up sheet for bidding… but you can also try to make an order for one… and we’ll make another batch upon return from 32C3… so,  in 2016.