Berlinale Tangents: The Military Entertainment Complex Unveiled…

February 12th, 2014







R.i.P. Shirley Temple Black – 1928-2014.

Perhaps a name for a new cocktail in Washington D.C. ?!?

Interesting to read what happens to super-cute child celebrities put through the military entertainment complex machine ! … From sweet innocence to the homemaker wife of a Navy intelligence officer Charles Alden Black ( son of the president and later chairman of Pacific Gas and Electric, James B. Black, one of the wealthiest families in California ).

She later became a conservative REPUBLICAN politician+diplomat appointed to ambassador positions by Nixon, Ford, Carter and G.Bush1 , and # of board positions inclu. Disney, Del Monte, and Bank of America, … talk about loss of innocence !

Mrs. Black served as United States Ambassador to Ghana and later to Czechoslovakia, and as Chief of Protocol of the United States.

And today, we discovered Wikileaks having a little ‘fun’, and some seriously depressing truth-sharing re: Shirley – a life in cables…

Here’s one from good ol ‘ Henry Kissinger to Shirley: (WL – SECRETARY’S VISIT TO GHANA – Date: 1976 May 3, 07:45 (Monday)


“The tentacles of power reaching under the skirt of Hollywood is funnier – and more depressing – than any sleazbag exploitation flik you could possibly imagine… ” Xlt analyst

Added: The irony of all the tributes w/o analyzing further was not lost on Davey D’ Cook, who writes some of the best bits on current race relations + situations in the U.S. – outta Oakland – wrote this:

” RIP Shirley Temple.. She captured the hearts of millions of Americans as a child hood star-who went on to become the US ambassador to Ghana..She dominated the silver screen when America was GREAT, had strong values and set an uncompromised example of how to be a beacon for democracy…

Check the clip, which features a pretty wretched examples of blackface representations of African Americans… w/ pre-diplomat-days of sweet INSTRUMENTALIZED Shirley.

“… somehow in all the coverage folks have forgotten that these movies were pretty routine and demoralizing for my parents who were subjected to them..Interesting news reports dont talk about this even in the context of how she ‘evolved’ over the years… ” Davey D.

And a funny additional anecdote from one of Davey’s readers:

“Artist Salvador Dalí lampooned her image in a painting where her face was depicted at the center of an evil octopus meant to represent the vile US monster of a country.”

Which might be referring to this, or some other work:


If you find another Dali work, let us know :)

Berlinale blah blah blah… Celebrity overdose!??

February 10th, 2014


< 6-16.02 > It’s the 10th Year of Director’s Lounge – a fringe smorgasbord of celluloid, video, performances, djs + vjs , cutting-edge underground media makers hanging around … and lots of booze … @ Naherholung Sternchen ( which we just heard will unfortunately close in May, due to the house being scheduled for demolition. )

Check Out the Full Program … All the off-the-grid unofficial la la la…

2nite – Monday – features lotsa stuff from Croatia… and a cool program from Media Werkstatt on the ever-present and ubiquitous theme of Surveillance !!


more tips coming soon!

And yeah, we might report again on various things happening at Berlinale Talent Campus… and even some red carpet ‘Kram’…  like we’ve done for several years now – but how much Spectacle Indoctrination can one take ?!! :)

We Break For A Short XLt Public Service Announcement…

February 5th, 2014


{ special guest, dj/xj Edgar Alien Pods }

“OH Man! Are We Ever Fucked !” XLt analyst

But not to despair entirely, THIS IS A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT FROM EDGAR ALIEN, and we’d like to invite YOU to our upcoming XLterrestrials events:

< Thurs. 06.02 > XLterrestrials present dj/vj/xj Podinski spinning a mix of Eastblock Globalista, Psychotronic Dub and Gothic Pfunk, etc … at Eschschloraque ! Rosenthaler Str 39, Berlin – Mitte 22:00h – ?

At < MIDNIGHT > we’ll present a small excerpt of our upcoming CiTiZEN KiNO
episode #35: “Seen But Not Heard in The Anthro-Obscene” ( an unauthorized Transmediale “Nachspiel” ). Our analysis of this year’s #TM14’s Afterglow.
With special guests Edgar Alien… and more…

< Weds. 26.02 > CiTiZEN KiNO #35 : “Seen But Not Heard in The Anthro-Obscene” with special guests. At Panke ! 21:00h

< Every Tues. Nite> dj/vj/xj Podinski digitally regurgitates some favorite bits from a musical globalista world at the long-running + infamous “stammtisch” nites at Buchhandlung Cafe ( on Fedbook ) – a strange convergence of nomadic arts+tech+politics+praxis tinkerers who like to socialize and inebriate – founded over 8(?) years ago by the mighty Telekommunisten. 21:00h – ?

Spread The Word, And Bring Your Own Brains !

Transmediale 2014 v.7: Post-Human FreudenHaus

February 3rd, 2014


{ Henke’s Code + Lasers }


A friend of Robert Henke’s told us after the premiere performance of “Lumiere” for the finale of CTM and Transmediale, that Robert had considered making his show a tribute to Chelsea Manning. Maybe it was just one of those bar chats with half-truth tales. In any case, instead, what we got was a minimalist’s Ode To Code. Or more specificly, an epic military-grade laser light advertisement with its slogan seared into our retinas -”LOVE CODE”, the only words amidst other flickering numerical and geometric fragments.

Odd to think, if true, that the concept shifted from a focus on a human being – now sentenced to the gulag for decades – to the tools ( of a CYBERNETIC REGIME !), which were used to both implement war crimes and only subsequently make them visible.

We heard some very mixed reactions immediately after the barrage of light, lines, patterns, numbers, and cold e-beat soundscapes, ranging from “Wow, my eyes are still spinning!” + “OOof, that was Digital Rape! ” + “Henke’s a  master of the machines!” + “Sorry, I had to leave i was getting nauseous.” + “010101, Soul-less” … to + “WHat??! You didn’t like it ?”

In context of all that we absorbed over the 5 days of covering the deep examinations ( v.1- v.2.- v.3- v.4- v.5- v.6 ) of where we’re at in the Techno-Bubbles floating or zooming towards the edge of a cliff… a phrase kept surfacing in our minds:

Post-Human FreudenHaus!

We were reflecting on the legendary origins of Joy Division, who changed their name from Warsaw in 1978 borrowing the idea of Freudenabteilung, the brothel(s) of Nazi concentration camps, mentioned in the 1955 novella House of Dolls.

Surely we aren’t writing this here as an insult to the obvious talents Robert Henke has for executing his visions, and who is considered by many “practically a demigod in the electronic music scene” as the Ex-Berliner phrases it in this month’s interview.

[ And we might mention, XLterrestrials were generously given sponsorship some years ago by Ableton ( a company + tool which Henke's genius helped to build ) to do youth education projects in Romania, Hungary, Croatia and Serbia. So we are fans, but we'd also like to analyze at some point the ways that digital culture is shaping the music worlds + languages. Not all positive, from our perspective. ]


But seriously, “Love Code” as your primary message in a work of art today?  In the rising eco-cidal climate, up to our necks in a cut-throat coded world, pondering the results+situations of the digital colonies, we are astounded by the cool detachment, the oblivion that lingers in the techie art forms in this miasmic “afterglow”. Fuck, we now thoroughly hate that word! But it does seem to fit to the cybernetic hippies !

Did all those artists in the Henke-territories find any time inbetween visiting CTM performances to get a grip on what’s going down these days outside their studios, outside the clubs, outside their computer screens ?!


We are anxiously awaiting the archived talk by Sean Cubitt as part of Jussi Parikka’s moderated session called The Media of The Earth: Geologies of Flesh and The Earth… It is the probably the most relevant talk from this year’s #TM14 on where we need to go from here,

> “We thought the cyborg would look like Robocop. But in fact it’s a vast computer with humans embedded in it.” Sean Cubitt #tm14

> “The corporate cyborg is not human- because it has no shame!” Sean Cubbitt  #tm14

> People of the Internet: I urge you to track down Sean Cubitt’s terrifying & furious @transmediale talk on environmental exploitation. #tm14

> Here is the text of @seancubitt’s truly great @transmediale talk: – unquestionably one of the highlights of #tm14

( This article needs liberating from ! no log-ins should be required ! )

to be cont.

Transmediale 2014 v.6 : Unlocking The Enlightenment-Era Plunderpalooza TechnoBubble

February 2nd, 2014

Birdwatchers-001+Brazil Confed Cup Protests

{ 1. from Birdwatchers film 2. Protest in Rio }

IF you’re on Twitter ( yes, it’s another digital vortex )  you can follow our quicker, realtime reports:@podinski

Day 5 ( including opening ceremonies night ) at Transmediale.

Currently being transported by the Brazil perspective… no, not the dystopian Gilliam film version ;)

< > Micropolitics of the post-digital: From street protests to transitional spaces in Brazil, stream: … #tm14 #transmediale

Not the more positive sides of this lecture, but watch this incredible clip of protests against the World Cup ( in Rio?). Still looking for a version with the subtitles, because the song lyrics are powerful, something like, ” you are getting what you want, but you are provoking us “.

MORE Indigenous perspective and solidarity at TM on the main stage, wow, we’re starting to be impressed :)

RT> @jonasfrankki Wish Fabi Borges would have had another hour to get deeper into techno-shamanism and “open our fucking white brains” @transmediale @tm14

to be cont.

Transmediale 2014 v.5 : Post-Digital Colonialism

February 1st, 2014


{ XLt pic: We interrupt this message… }

Literally TWO min after entering, this uninvited art citizen was being questioned by security. Possibly TOO post-digital + dangerous !?! #transmediale

We didn’t stick around to see him bloodied to a pulp in a backroom ;) … But safe to say he will either be allowed to wander the premises and give the Transmediale guests a little chuckle, or he will be told he can’t make art with a sign, unless he submits a proposal to Transmediale 2015.

It certainly makes us hungry for more outrageous, outraged and far more aggressive interventions and citizen or civilian initiatives taking place here.

Are we all just going to accept this tedious formation of a new Post-Digital Colonialism department from the Ministry of Sleep-Inducing Culture ?!!

With that said, the panel on Post-Digital Research w/ Florian Cramer, Soren Pold, Christophe Bruno, and many others, did seem at some point to politely agree the term is perhaps just a little misleading… and even slimy.

But we”ll have to try and come back and examine the archives for the parts we missed.

BTW, as much as we may sound thoroughly annoyed, there are some jewels of insight amidst the cloudy muck, and we’ll have to spend a little more time to do them justice…

Just briefly, we thought the non-obfuscating language of Kate Crawford in Uses and Abuses of Big Data will probably be one of the more valuable archives to study and re-use. And yet we are just a little worried that M.I.T. – one of the primary spawning grounds for the Cybernetic Regime – where she works at the Center For Civic Media, may simply devour her if she becomes too popular and/or effective.

Indigenous atrocities and RIGHTS, human rights, environmental catastrophes, etc/ etc, … are put on the table…finally … on Day 4. Thx to Sean Cubitt ! The conference can now begin… Maybe we can start getting tactical and start hacking this Enlightenment-era Plunderpalooza Science. … more on all that later… we need a drink or 2 or 5 !

to be cont.

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

January 31st, 2014



{ pics: @jeliliatiku }

+ + +

#transmediale  #afterglow #Anthro-obscene


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.

Transmediale 2014 v.3 : Just Another Round Of The Tool Monkeys !?

January 29th, 2014



{ foto by @olofster : @arthackday #afterglow (by Mario de Vega & Victor Mazon) }

There is no technological redemption in a civilization of tool monkeys! XLt analyst  *

Here we go (again) ! … Transmediale 2014: Afterglow

A little orientation to the Festival program… which is broken down into 3 basic sections :

Hashes To Ashes / And Afterglow of The Mediatic / Will You Be My Trashure ? (But more on those later. )

::::: XLt Highlights, High-Lows, and Recommendations :::::

:: Day 1 ::

< 29.01 :: 19:00h >  Tonight’s opening ceremony in the main HKW auditorium will give Sci-Fi luminary Bruce Sterling the floor, who already presented a wild and humorous rallying call for actions last weekend at #Eddcon at Volksbuehne … performed with unguarded provocations reminiscent of Berlin’s own patron saint of Beautiful Trouble, Christoff Schlingensief… Don’t Miss! Arrive early.

< 29.01 – 02.02 > Art Hack Day Berlin, the results of a 48-Hour hackathon will be on display for the entire festival. This is perhaps one of the more interesting and fresh experiments where the TM together with LEAP galerie and some 80 artists and hackers explore a more laboratory and praxis approach to the themes… but likely too short a window to come up with any long-tail hacks to solve the already loaded techno-capitalism’s myriad obstacles to species and consciousness upgrades. And the clock is ticking !

:: Day 2 ::

< 30.01 > Art as Evidence, w/ Laura Poitras, Applebaum and Trevor Paglen. 20:30h

:: Day 3 ::

< 01.02 > Military Trash, Invisibilities and Temporalities, 22:00h

:: Day 4 ::

< 02.02 > Circumventing the Panopticon

< 02.02. > Micropolitics of the Post-Digital (Brazil)



Some perspectives…

Tuesday night’s pre-opening talk by Canadian novelist Doug Coupland was a nice entry point, that should have you primed, alarmed and ready to go beyond mere literary musings … His talk skillfully painted an absurd and dismal picture of your future “cloud-ganger” more or less sprouting from your (eunuch-oid or sterile-like) digital loins… and growing up to Not Like you !

One of Coupland’s most recent ( non-fiction) works from 2009 is Extraordinary Canadians : Marshall McLuhan published in March 2011. His quick and latecomer portrait of MM was useful… Here’s a glimpse of what that was like his 2011 UK Guardian article. And there’s more coming on that theme…

< 1.02. :: 14:00h > The embassy hosts another TM-related night on Saturday. McLuminations 14:1 Counter-Environment Infrastructures and Substrata of the Global Village w/ Baruch Gottlieb, Jamie Allen und David Gauthier.  ( Fedbook invite )

An in-depth interview w/ M.M. was posted as a little historical orientation to the themes… This quote was highlighted…

“I see no possibility of a worldwide Luddite rebellion that will smash all machinery to bits, so we might as well sit back and see what is happening and what will happen to us in a cybernetic world. Resenting a new technology will not halt its progress.” – McLuhan from a Playboy Interview in 1969 reposted at Next Nature

( ‘Next Nature’, keep an eye on that term ! )

From an XLterrestrials’ perspective this is another profound entry point into HOW the techno-milk got spilt !

IOHO, the above quote epitomizes detached non-resistance theory practices and an excellent springboard to challenge both a previous and current generations’ passive acceptance of their new mediated submersions and/or psychic + material re-colonizations.

And we encourage the audiences to bring a little FIRE to the discussions this year as we consider HKW + TM’s Afterglow approach to understanding, coping, responding to the new digital environments, and its festival settings… not just a little problematic ! We should not allow ourselves that professorial ( and soft artist-framed ) sit-back-and-examine approach to the severe dystopian realities that are now an easily-downloadable B-Movie Horror Show sure-as-the-screen-of-day enveloping us !

With that said, there’s some highly-charged and compelling presenters + program themes in this year’s TM ! Get ready to support and/or take ‘em on… no expertise required. You are all fully-equipped planetary citizens now, bring your voices, concerns, emotions, bodies, minds, and collective struggles to the high-arts + showtime table !


* This monkeys w/ tools  line of thinking began from a posting from McKenzie Wark today, who may or may not be turning a bit technotopian ;) ?? :

” If you say science is nothing but instrumentality and capitalism’s technical wing, then you’re saying we’re doomed. Those are the two most powerful social forces on the planet, and now it’s come to a situation of science versus capitalism. It’s a titanic battle. One is positive and the other negative. We need to do everything we can to create democratic, environmental, utopian science, because meanwhile there is this economic power structure that benefits the few, not very different from feudalism, while wrecking the biosphere. This is just a folk tale, of course, like a play with sock puppets, like Punch and Judy. But I think it describes the situation fairly well.” Kim Stanley Robinson

Science vs. Capitalism, True or False?!

… uh, Kinda begs the question, will we evolve into ethical and compassionate humans, or die off soon ??

XLt has a few thoughts on that :) stay tune…

Transmediale Prelude v.2, Break-Ins and Breaking Out of Darkness #Eddcon

January 27th, 2014


{ pic from Kiev Occupation }

Breaking-In and Breaking Out of Darkness  – Part A

RT @pondswimmer “It’s great to fight over how to deal with “intrusion of neo liberal logic” but eventually we should take it outside this small room” #eddcon.

RT @Linuzifer “I guess few people are happy with @bruces telling everyonr off, but it’s exactly what we need to be told.” #eddcon

“Is it now easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine disconnecting from a cybernetic regime?” XLt analyst #eddcon ( @podinski )

Waking up monday morning from the bubble of the both fascinating and irritating conference Einbruch Der Dunkelheit, we saw this imagery from the incredible reports from Ilya Varlamov in Kiev. Internet imagery of course, but still a little closer-to-the-ground view of things as they play out AFK ( away from keyboard-s ) and AFC ( away from conferences). As expected, a stark contrast to the plush foyer of the Volksbuehne discussing the “theory and praxis of self-empowerment in the times of digital control.”

It was about half-way through the conference, that someone finally questioned “Self-empowerment” as opposed to a “WE” in the sub-header. “Praxis-of-the-self”, should in fact be the GMO-like-label for the social products “Made in New Age Silicon Valley”.


Missing in the english translation “As Darkness Falls” is the full import of ‘Einbruch’ which spans a range of active doings i.e. break-ins, raids, intrusions, trespassings, and even slumps [ econ.] By the end of the conference we certainly felt the topic of the New Digital Order had been “slumped”! Thoroughly divested of solutions and radical actions, one might say.

But it’s not as if no one had tried to stir up the crowd to get us moving toward the path of what-the- F*** we should do ! But apparently we’re still spending alot of time to convince people just how dark it has become.

Evgeny Morozov opened fire from the outset in his usual, irreverent cut-to-the-non-digital-chase ! It’s the Political and the Economical, Stupid ! Low-and-behold, you think it’s bad now, wait til ya see The Internet Of Things, that which we might call the industrial-strength Digerati sci-fi when us and our Things are gloriously and cybernetically bound forever !

And Bruce Sterling that same night was one of the most rousing and simultaneously hilarious speeches we’ve ever encountered at the Volksbuehne. “How many Snowdens do you neeeeed ?! How many (data) Chernobyls will we take ?!!” he asked. and then essentially declared the internet to be dead ! The room was awoken and emotionally charged ! We got the impression that if he sticks around in town long enough, he will be anointed the New Texan Schlingensief ! That kind of wild energy, imbued w/ a psychotropic sci-fi imagination could scorch the latest dreamy start-up Mecca, E-Cloudy Berlin ( imagined in a 1930s font above the pearly gates – thx @jkleske for the link. )

There were many other worthy contributions and relevant insights, but not all intentional… and as usual in these fully-stacked programs, more than we are able to process at this time. Archives should be appearing online very soon, to review and/or catch-up.

To back up and begin anecdotally, we might introduce the angles by saying that the XLterrestrials have not been too kind in our analysis of the technological fixer mindsets, the rising hacktivist consciousness (so often detached from sociological perspective, among other fields.), nor the policy advocate campaigner sorts that would attempt to intervene by lining up to have a serious chat w/ Brussels parliamentarians ( Sterling-esque cackles here).

Each day as we headed toward the Volksbuehne for #Eddcon, we were shocked and disturbed to see one of a small band of homeless people who regularly camp out in and around Rosenthaler Platz, a woman now alone curled beneath a sleeping bag and blankets in an uncovered corner against a building, a storefront for a Yoga school, btw. The temperatures in Berlin now close to -10c.

At first, we passed feeling empathy, distressed but w/o solutions, w/o the will and the time to act, remaining on track toward that serious business of what to do about all these new and inflamed digital dilemmas. The image haunted us a little at the conference. That night we were told by one of the conference organizers about a project which one can call to pick up people and bring them to shelters. It was late, our heads were full of a muddle of meandering lectures, still searching to recall the name and find a link. Still haven’t called. Writing this article, instead of searching deeper for a link.

In our minds, we said to ourselves… somebody will surely do this. Germany’s surely one of the better-equipped as a society to deal with this. And yet paradoxically knew that the next day we’d see this person still there. We packed some extra wool gloves – not used anymore – to take along. And we gave her the gloves and felt a little less guilty for having passed before without acting.

We mention this here, because in a sense, in light of the conference context here we were making a hasty, minimally-invested ‘technological solution’ to a dire situation.

Technical, and yet we felt a bit like it was somehow a more realworld practical offering to her, than if we had just tried to get her to a shelter. Because we imagined that we would not be the 1st to have tried getting her there before. Speculative, but it was possible she was refusing to go, out of fears, or had already been thrown out of the system b/c of drugs or alcohol, or ? … psychological help needed perhaps, etc.

Obviously the situation is still on our minds; It is not resolved. And it is a useful and painfully penetrating analogy to consider technological fixes in an emergency situation !

And in our heads, we imagine the digital culture crowd responding – if at all – in an even more removed and more ’self-empowering’ version or application, which would be like leaving an android app for homeless shelters throughout Berlin to a ‘realtime patient’ in the streets, whose mind was too numbed and fingers already grown too cold to even turn a gadget on, much less navigate its complex functions.

Some genius code to deal with just these kinds of situations, written from their Fabrik Etage in Prenzlauerberg… just around the corner !

Now ’scale’ that problem up to city-wide, national and global situations, and you will begin to understand the DARKNESS ! And that’s before we even start talking about the mesmerizing and sinister post-Snowden view of A Cybernetic Regime.

2 be cont…


Part B: AFK and AFC, Breaking Out Of Darkness


Prelude to Transmediale 2014: The Eternal Dying of The Digital…

January 16th, 2014


{ XLt remix }

This year the XLterrestrials + CiTiZEN KiNO declined to participate in  Transmediale ( p2p Vorspiel ). There are a number of complex reasons, but most important is that increasingly we have no faith in Festivals (for digital culture) to adequately take on the struggles inherent in a colonial situation. No optimism that a radical position can be formed, when a cultural enterprise, with expectations – and obligations – to entertain the masses AND please the digi-cult industry, is at stake.

But there are certainly many artists, speakers and contributors whose insights we value and/or can learn from, so XLt analysts will be investigating….

And deep respects to those who ARE pushing the envelopes as far as humanly possible !

< 29.01- 02.02 > Transmediale Festival – Afterglow, Haus Der Kulturen – Berlin

< 17.01- 1.02 > P2p Vorspiel, a program of distributed partner events, various venues in Berlin

< 24-25.01 > Einbruch Der Dunkelheit, International Conference w/ Evgeny Morozov, Eleanor Saitta, Bruce Sterling, Jacob Applebaum, and many more… at Volksbuehne, Berlin

< Feb > CiTiZEN KiNO is preparing an unauthorized ‘Nachspiel’, an afterword, critical analysis, retorts, calls to action … in Feb., TBA. Dissidents and malcontents welcome to get in touch ;) …



more to come…


The Eternal Dying Of the Digital … or … an Indigenous Awakening !

To begin:

Early on, the XLterrestrials were beginning to sense that Transmediale (2014) was on a very soft + fuzzy track to deal with the current media environments and the social crises being exacerbated by the developments in the digital colonies.

We went to a number of TM’s extended Re:Source events and meetings -  throughout the year ( and the year before that ) and were getting discouraged by the focus on the term Post-Digital and the concepts of Afterglow. (Among other problems.) *

“Post-Media” is a term arising out of the work of Felix Guattari. [ Its origins provided here by the Leuphana University team and Mute. ] “Post-digital” is the extensions made by its ‘followers’ on the lunar surfaces of white european academia.

As much as we feel affinities and nostalgia for the ‘orgasms of history’ (Yves Fremion – i.e. 1968) … we are not exactly students of these labyrinthian theories. If we take just this particular Guattari text, we can see some value in its language and certainly meaningful in (radical) media history context, but we now see little value in the linear and academic progression of a disconnected and privileged position, nor in its acceptance as a primary situation. [ Or should we look at it simply as a terrible miscalculation in light of the 'recent' militarization of the net ?! ] **

Ask the Congolese digging in the copper and titanium mines or the Nigerians on the banks of an oil spill about “Post-Media”. Ask the mothers in Chiapas about “the production of immaterial reality”. Ask the 12 year-old kid recently relocated from Fukushima province and living in a gymnasium w/ cardboard separation walls w/o the ability to return to his home forever about the “delirious universe of mass-media subjectivity”.  Ask the indigenous tribes, the Xingu in the Amazon likely headed for extinction, or even those in Canada fighting against the fracking and pipeline invasions, and the risks to their rivers, their drinking + fishing waters about “the beginning of a post-media era of collective-individual reappropriation and an interactive use of machines of information, communication, intelligence, art and culture.”

Ask us, the XLterrestrials – all of the above – and/or us writing this on the precarious edges of Btropolis, now concerned with keeping up w/ rents, and livelihood evaporations and traversing other volatile neo-liberal shifts, concerned with stepping too far out of the calm, ordinary and obedient in the post-Snowden era… Ask us about “Post-Digital” – we will not kindly point you to all the signs of a digital deportation disgrace !

And then ask: should we really be spending time searching for a means of “renewal in the excess, overflow and waste products of the digital afterglow?” ( text from this year’s theme )

The disconnection has been serious business which is not going gently into that good black night… its re-location plans are far from completed. Its methods and objectives of control are in full swing, because the power players aren’t Total idiots. They know a lot about the coming days and nights, about the systems wreaking devastation to our habitat, and they are turning their backs on any possibilities to co-exist.

There will be massive unrest if we continue in this direction of Techno-Fantasia ! There IS massive unrest ! The path of the digital is getting harder and harder to differentiate from Techno-Fascism, and the further dependent we are upon its infrastructures, the further we are from sustainable living and a bottom-up social revolution.

Technotopian Revolution is indeed over! ( Been testing + dropping that news for years ) Not even the Silicon Valley Kings truly believe their latest wild pitches, but perhaps they perceive it as a last-ditch castle moat between them and the inevitable crash of their ever-westward exploits and empire-grabbing addictions.

One might have noticed the Google Boys who for some time now fly in and out of military bases, recently purchased a fighter jet to go with their fleet – sorta like a self-decorating star on their civi-lapels, and how they partner with the all-scooping secret state.

We ain’t gonna bother digging in the military industrial complex waste bins or the consumer landfills to see what we can find to boost our standing in the industry 2day, nor to feed ourselves 2morw.

We are far more curious about how autonomous town hall meetings will replace digital culture and IT ‘festivities’, its enclosures, its brandings … and all those unpaid hours of online mining for a little golden bit-prize.

New Social Praxis will replace the show n tells, the galerie objects, the products, the data flows and narcissistic e-plunges. And we are no longer entertained by the word jazz lectures from inflated campus egos and salaried perspectives. We in the streets know enough about the mass media and internet agendas and where they landed us. We don’t need a performance or a concert or cute and/or dire song of bleak robotic westerns, don’t need to reach for some glimmers of hope in the latest tech trends and cyborg-fetishes, often game-like hacklab innovations/interventions, digital libraries nor sermons on technological salvation. Nor even more presentations in the vein of our own tales of electro-Disney-dystopia uber alles. ( Hence another reason for declining to produce another show for the art tourists ).

We aren’t mourning over a lost digital revolution !

We are standing tall on tangible common grounds and common struggles. Concerned for clean drinking water, untainted foods, stemming forced evictions and parasitic land-owners. Keeping the corporate lunacy in check and looking for tools to topple all those unaccountable shell games.

And we are ready to dream of the transitions to basic incomes and replacing unsustainable work forces w/ meaningful community interactions, communications, consensus-democracy building and resource sharing. ***


And for sure we believe INDIGENOUS SOLIDARITY is on the rise ! And paradigm shifts and rapid awakenings are absolutely inevitable !

These won’t be coming with long-winded terms and contracts written by profiteers and their lawyerbots (on the back of packages and/or downloads). And the way to get off this toxic cloud, could be local step by local step, not by the reckless industrial and technological puppet shows of big power – nor little brother start-ups – making clean sweeps on all our locally inhabited territories.


* | ** |***


* We should mention, we are no strangers to the festival, and have analyzed and written about its successes and disappointments for several years now. We are still optimistic about the growing network of Re:source and the p2p Vorspiel which began last year. But our own desire – and tactical analysis – would be to see it take on a more durable and confrontational life outside of showtime/event scenarios. And perhaps an unlikely scenario, but interesting to consider what it would look like if the festival organization shifted its priorities (+funding) toward these kinds of local seedings, rather than the short-term ‘big circus tent’ symposiums. ]

** A perfect 101 crash course in Deleuze and Guattari – clearly from another portal in time that doesn’t appear to resonate with the crises of 2014:

“… What would Deleuze and Guattari have made of this domestication – this perversion – of their arguments? It seems that the further their ideas have travelled from their roots on the far left, the more they have been incorporated by the system they opposed. Indeed, the language of desire, multiplicity and all the rest is no longer the language of revolution. It is the language of cyberspace, and of neoliberal capitalism. Deleuze and Guattari’s desiring machines, constantly seeking out new sensations, look a lot like today’s permanently distracted consumers and websurfers. François Dosse is keen to portray his subjects as visionaries, but they anticipated a future neither of them would have wanted to live in.” @adamshatz

This is not any definitive conclusion to our interest in Deleuze+Guattari, but it certainly gives us some orientation to the strange and misaligned attractions of the high-art media festivals today.

*** a quick reference to a recent Jacobin article on re-imagining work, as some small bit of sun light, and as a possible direction (?) from here :

XLt xtra note : It is possible to improve your mood after this article by listening to MIA’s Matangi album ( esp. title track ) at high volume !

( possibly still listen-able here )

to be cont.