Out to Get You, afterglow, Transmediale 2014, Berlin
Out to Get You, afterglow, Transmediale 2014, Berlin

Out to Get You, afterglow, Transmediale 2014, Berlin

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Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt, Berlin

The revolution is over. Welcome to the afterglow.

29 January – 2 February 2014

The digital revolution was a dinner party but its afterglow is not. The once utopian promises of high-definition audiovisuals, real-time electronic communication and infinite storage possibilities are just some of the digital culture perspectives that are now widely disseminated. At the same time as these phenomena are still shrouded in the glossy aesthetics of the digital, their tarnished appeal cannot be denied in a world where 'big data' is also the 'big brother' of mass surveillance and where the 'cloud' is made of the metals and minerals of the 'earth' on which data centers are built. Far from immaterial and neutral, our post-digital culture is one where tech is deeply embedded in the geophysical and geopolitical. This is evident at the significant 'other sites' of digital culture such as e-waste dumps, mines, mass-digitisation companies and security agencies. transmediale 2014 proposes the post-digital moment of 'afterglow' as a diagnosis of the current status of the digital hovering between 'trash and treasure'. afterglow conjures up the ambivalent state of digital culture, where what seems to remain from the digital revolution is a paradoxical nostalgia for the futuristic high-tech it once promised us but that is now crumbling in our hands. The challenge that this moment poses is how to use that state of post-digital culture between trash and treasure as a still not overdetermined space from which to invent new speculative thought and practice. Are there means of renewal in the excess, overflow and waste products of the digital afterglow?

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Curated by Marcel Schwierin
works by Nadav Assor, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Maha Maamoun, Chris Marker, Ivar Veermae & Andy Weir

Q+A with Nadav Assor, Maha Maamoun, Ivar Veermae & Andy Weir

Constant control of the individual is a vital element of all modern societies. Currently, however, contemporary democracies seem to be shifting fundamentally into new, digitally supported, surveillance states. From a Night Porter's Point of View portrays a night security guard who has made it his obsessive life’s work to control, by completely analogue means, his fellow citizens. Feelers staged an encounter between exponents of two completely opposite types of physical examination: a security guard and a healer. Desert Scan focuses on uses of brain scanning to accelerate data gathering. In The Formation of Clouds, animations of satellite photos explore the peculiar, computer-chip-reminiscent architecture of data centres. Night Visitor documents the storming of Egyptian State Security headquarters in the revolution with YouTube clips. Stopover in Dubai is based on a video from Dubai State Security in which the killing of a Hamas official by Israeli agents was almost completely captured by surveillance cameras.

From a Night Porter's Point of View, Krzysztof Kieslowski, pl 1977, 16 min
Feelers (Esotropia Conversations II), Nadav Assor, us 2012, 16 min
Desert Scan, Andy Weir, uk 2013, 3 min
The Formation of Clouds, Ivar Veermäe, 2013, 3 min
Night Visitor: The Night of Counting the Years, Maha Maamoun, eg 2011, 8 min
Stopover in Dubai, Chris Marker, fr/uae 2011, 27 min

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