[spectre] transmediale.04: Fly Utopia! Exhibition

Andreas Broeckmann abroeck at transmediale.de
Fri Jan 23 15:59:49 CET 2004

Newsletter 21.01.2004

Fly Utopia!
Further programme information:


1. Exhibition
2. Fly Utopia! Market
3. Video Installations
4. Video Works on Monitors
5. Screen-Based Works
6. Further Installations

1. Exhibition

The exhibition programme of transmediale.04 includes the Fly Utopia!
Exhibition, as well as other installations, screen-based works, and
videos on demand. The exhibition opens January 31st, and only the Fly
Utopia! Exhibition continues beyond the festival until February 15th.
Within the Exhibition, the Fly Utopia! market gathers utopian and
dystopian designs of economic concepts. Other projects articulate
positions on lost social utopia and present ideas for a better and a
different future.

During the festival the exhibition is open daily 10-22 hrs, from 5th
until 15th February daily 10-19 hrs. Admission 3 EUR, reduced 2 EUR.
Parts of the exhibition are open during the festival only, daily
10-22 hrs, no admission (House of World Cultures,
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10, 10557 Berlin, www.hkw.de).
The exhibition is supported by the Federal Foreign Office.

2. Fly Utopia! Market (part of the Fly Utopia! Exhibition)

In her installation Your Kidney Supermarket and the webproject
xeno.bio.lab, Shilpa Gupta (in) portrays a gloomy image of the global
organ trading system where moral concerns have no place. In this
candy-coloured world the organ is becoming a goody whose trade is
based on capitalist principles. The bizarre and out of control
consumer greed of the First World, often concealed by the utopia of
beneficial  globalisation, is exposed by the artworks' pretty
showcases, in which 'take-away' kidneys are waiting for their
customer, and luxurious offers are available online for medicinal
tourism. Visitors are informed about organ trade routes, reminiscent
of colonial times, as well as the life history of donors who sell
their organs for financial reasons.

BioLand is a fusion of department store, laboratory, and hospital. A
place to meet all our birth, death and marriage-related needs in a
genetically modified world. An existential shopping centre focusing
on deeply human needs and how biotechnology will impact on the ways
these needs are met and understood. transmediale.04 presents current
student works developed under the guidance of Gerrard O'Carroll und
Fiona Raby (Unit Tutors) in the AD(Lab)04, Architecture Department at
the Royal College of Art, London. Participating students: Joel
Dunmore, Andrea Goecke, Sally Quinn, David Pierce, Sheila Qureshi,
Philip Joseph, Paula Fitzgerald, Alaistair Steele, Tobie Kerridge,
Elio Caccavale, Georg Tremmel.

N55 (dk) will install a version of SHOP in the Fly Utopia! Market.
Exchange has been monopolised by profit-oriented motivations. SHOP is
an attempt to show that it's possible to meet each others' needs
without having to exploit one another. SHOP will enable the public to
exchange items instead of using money. At SHOP, one can contribute
things for others to use, borrow, swap or take as they need. All
sorts of items will be available at SHOP, and will be labelled under
different categories in order to show that they can only be used at
SHOP (yellow tag), borrowed (magenta tag), or they can be used,
borrowed, swapped, or if necessary, taken (cyan tag).
This installation of SHOP has been developed and adapted especially
for transmediale.04. N55 will be present throughout the duration of
the festival.

further projects in the Fly Utopia! Market:
re-code.com, Conglomco.org and The Carbon Defense League (us)
Remote Labor Systems, Alex Rivera (us)
Plug'n'Pray, UsineDeBoutons (it)

3. Video Installations (part of the Fly Utopia! Exhibition)

Auge/Maschine II by Harun Farocki (de): 'The film centers on the
images of the Gulf War which caused worldwide sensation in 1991. In
the shots taken from projectiles homing in on their targets, bomb and
reporter were identical. It was impossible to distinguish between the
photographed and the (computer) simulated images. - The loss of the
'genuine picture' means the eye no longer has a role as historical
witness." (Harun Farocki)
For Eye/Machine II, Harun Farocki has been awarded the Media Art
Award 2003 of ZKM Karlsruhe and SWR broadcasting.

The Red Flag Flies (Hongqi Piao) by Zhou Hongxiang (cn): Is the
utopia of a communist society in China still alive or just kept alive
artificially? In Zhou Hongxiang's video essay possible answers are
interconnected, while presenting today's China as a nation torn
between communist rhetoric and capitalist
economy. Simultaneously, The Red Flag Flies critically reflects on
the slogans of Maoism as well as on all kind of '-isms' in the world
- albeit their economical, political or ideological origins. The Red
Flag Flies tries to deconstruct and reconstruct the phenomenon of
cinema by questioning current aesthetic
experiences and cognitive perception, and tries to explore a new
discourse on the power of images.

further video installations:
Celebrations for Breaking Routine, Kristin Lucas (us)
F(S)lags, Heman Chong (sg)

4. Video Works on Monitors

This past summer a 24-year chapter of repressive Italian politics of
imprisonment, exile, and house arrest ended for philosopher Antonio
Negri, who, in 1999, published the international bestseller 'Empire'
with Michael Hardt. 'The fact that I was a convict did not ruin my
life. Of course, I have the advantage of being an intellectual, but
my conclusion is always the same: being a convict is horrible, but
perhaps nowadays the prison is something obsolete and can't really
harm you anymore," said Negri on his last day of imprisonment in
Rome. In the report about his life as a convict he describes new
forms of control in prison that focus on the psyche and brain of the
convict, and forms of resistance, allowing him to keep the 'freedom
of his intellect".
’Die Zelle' by Angela Melitopoulos (de) is a DVD consisting of three
video interviews interconnected with each other: the first conducted
in 1997 while exiled in Paris, the second in 1998 in the cell of
Rebibbia prison in Rome, and the final one in 2003 in Rome.
Antonio Negri is key note speaker of the transmediale.04 conference.

After the loss of a countermodel for capitalism, alternative concepts
for economic and social development are facing difficulties at the
beginning of the twenty-first century. In industrialised nations,
alternatives are only discussed when they do not question the
existing power relations of the capitalist system. Other
socio-economic approaches are labeled utopian, thereby devalued and
excluded from serious discussion. Within the framework of the
theme-specific interview archive 'Alternative Economics, Alternative
Societies' by Oliver Ressler (at), the focus is on diverse concepts,
models, and utopias for alternative economies and societies sharing a
rejection of the capitalist system. For each concept, an interview
was carried out. In the exhibition, the videos are displayed in a
kind of archive situation.

Archivos Babilonia is a media archaeology project by OVNI (es) that
collects and compiles material from the dark side of our
civilisation: audiovisual educational and commercial material
generating the American Dream, early television advertising,
promotional material from military, pharmaceutical and genetics
industries, corporate publicity and global propaganda. Many of these
audiovisual documents were not produced to last, but rather to fulfil
specific functions at a particular time: training, publicity, etc...
This is why, when they are taken out of the context of their time or
intended use, their meaning is revealed with surprising clarity even
to those used to the constant publicity aimed at consumers. The
result is a disturbing catalogue of intentions, aims, and the means
used to achieve them.
The Observatory Archives are structured around particular themes and
aim to encourage a critique of contemporary culture. Past themes
include: identity versus media (1997-1998), community (2001),
globalisation (2002). In the 10 years since its foundation, OVNI has
acquired more than 700 documents and works for the Observatory

further videos/DVDs on monitors:
Flyover,  Ed Osborn (us)
Safe Distance, US Airforce/kuda.org (yu)

5. Screen-Based Works

Screen-based works, on display until February 4th, were chosen from
competition entries. The range of works shown (some net-based, some
presented on CD- or DVD-Roms) continues to diversify as the
computer's potential for design and display media is further explored.

How To Win 'Super Mario Bros.': The Radical Software Group feat. Alex
Galloway (us) created 32 text files, which document every single
click for a successful playing of the game 'Super Mario Bros.'32
video files show the respective finger movements.

In David Crawford's (se) project Stop Motion Studies, the body
language of subway passengers becomes the basic syntax for a series
of web-based animations exploring movement, gesture, and algorithmic
montage. www.stopmotionstudies.net

Hendrik Wendler's (de) planethamlet repeats performing all of
Sheakespeare's thirtyseven plays on a webserver - day and night, in
parallel, for infinity, impeccably.

Daniela Alina Plewe's (de) GeneralNews is a meta-browser that
performs real-time substitution of words on websites. The
substitutions may be synonymous with, an abstract of, or more
specific than the original expression. Using a slider, the user may
investigate emerging possibilities of spaces around text.

BumpList by Jonah Brucker-Cohen (us) is a mailing list that only
accepts a very small amount of subscribers so that when a new person
subscribes, the first person is 'bumped' from the list. Once
subscribed, you can only be unsubscribed when someone else subscribes
and 'bumps' you off. www.bumplist.net

Machines will eat itself by Franz Alken (de) is an answer to
commercial data-mining. Build a bot, and it will surf to where you
send it in order to fill out online forms with its worthless data
profile. www.superbot.tk

more screen-based works:
Bleeding through - Layers of Los Angeles 1920-1986, Norman M. Klein,
Rosemary Comella, Andreas Kratky (de/us) | Asphodel, Depart (de/es) |
FILMTEXT 2.0, Mark Amerika, John Vega, Chad Mossholder (us) |
Catalogue, desperate optimists (uk) | The Conceptual Crisis of
Private Property as a Crisis in Practice, Robert Luxemburg (de) |
.walk, socialfiction.org (nl) | nybble-engine-toolZ, Margarete
Jahrmann, Max Moswitzer (at) | Gravity, Dragan Espenschied (de) |
Pedigree, Annja Krautgasser, Gustav Mandl (at) | LMLB03,
Lia.MiguelCarvalhais (at/pt) | loogie.net TV, Marc Lee (ch)

6. Further Installations

Three installations do not relate to the festival's motto but were
distinguished by the jury: '(void)traffic', 'Haptic Opposition' and
’La Paza II' - they will be exhibited until February 4th, too.

’Haptic Opposition' by Simon Schiessl (de/us) is centered around a
text display that is mechanically movable, driven by both humans and
machine. If the machine stays untouched for a while, it ticks out a
flow of sentences assembled from text fragments pertaining to the
philosophy of man-machine relationships. When someone touches
the text display, the machine senses this contact and switches to
interaction mode. The human contact influences two main variables of
the control code: nervousness and aggression. In its highest
aggression mode, the machine physically opposes the interactor and
displays its own program code line after line.
Yunchul Kim's (kr/de)  ’(void)traffic' provides a spectacular
experience of data traffic: a direct, real-time visualisation of the
code being executed on the transmediale server. The code is displayed
in waves of activity - with increased activity, the waves grow
higher, and vice versa. ’(void)traffic' combines technical and
aesthetic ingenuity in a highly-aestheticised experience of running
’La Plaza II' belongs to Tania Ruiz Gutierrez' (co/cl) series of
films programmed
as closed systems or universes. The subject of ’La Plaza II' is
cyclic time and the crossing of simultaneous time in one space. The
piece is built from individual shots looping simultaneously and
desynchronously. Everybody is moving over an invisible endless
rolling corridor. The common ground reveals itself as an illusion
through the diverse direction of the shadows and spatial incoherence
of the architecture. The
reduction in motion applied to the figures operates as a reduction in
character, and their archetypal appearance is unavoidable.

Fly Utopia!
international media art festival berlin


transmediale.04 - Fly Utopia! - 31 jan - 4 feb 2004
international media art festival berlin
transmediale - Klosterstr.68-70 - 10179 Berlin
tel. +49 (0)30.24749-761 fax. +49 (0)30.24749-814
info at transmediale.de
Member of the European Coordination of Film Festivals

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