For its 29th edition transmediale reboots itself with a performative and participatory format at Haus der Kulturen der Welt. With the name Conversation Piece the event will create an intensive space of exchanges: through discussions, lectures, workshops, temporary installations, performances, and various experimental hybrid formats, artistic and research practice will unfold live.
The Conversation Piece borrows its name from a painting genre that emerged in the 18th century, depicting idealized scenes of groups of people interacting in everyday life. The term has evolved to mean any object that ignites conversation, a prop that prompts an exchange of ideas. transmediale 2016 likewise aims to provide the conditions for a reflection on “idealized” aspects of contemporary fragmented life under digital capitalism.
The event will unfold through a series of interconnected thematic streams that serve as conversation starters: Anxious to Act, Anxious to Make, Anxious to Share, and Anxious to Secure. “Anxiety” in this context is taken not only to mean fear or nervousness, but also the profound, irresistible urge to act provoked by such unease. Rather than attempting to resolve or overcome anxiousness, Conversation Piece inhabits that uneasy space between action and inaction: the space of conversation for its own sake.
With, among others, FM Einheit, Liam Young, Hito Steyerl, Keller Easterling, Eyal Weizman, Brian Holmes, Femke Herregraven, Vermeir & Heiremans, Isabell Lorey, David Lyon, Troy Conrad Therrien, Christoph Wachter & Mathias Jud, and a performance with Hatsune Miku.