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transmediale.06 Berlin


Berlin, February 3 - 7, 2006

Akademie der Kuenste
Berlin, Hanseatenweg 10


The transmediale.06 conference runs under the title 'Reality Addicts' and deals with artistic and social ideas that don't stop at the borders of mediatised reality. 'Reality Addicts' does not approach the relationship of media and reality from the perspective of technologies that impose specific perceptions or constructions of reality. Rather, within five panels and four lectures the conference explores ways in which these constructions can be subverted, exaggerated or reduced to absurdity. 'Reality Addiction' is a positive, affirmative attitude towards reality, faithful to the power of humour as a form of critique and social practice. Being addicted to reality means to long ever-more for it, always contradictory to and inconsistent with what we already know. The conference offers a reality-check of the present, taken from artistic, cultural and socially committed perspectives.

In cooperation with the Federal Agency for Civic Education.

Humour Politics
Fri 3 Feb 2006, 14h

For artists, humour is one of the most important strategies to deal critically with social and political issues and to explore the potentials of social change. Parody, play and the carnivalesque are forms of criticism that both artists and activists from political and social movements use in order to gain the attention of the public. By means of humour they rebel against the limited views of a realism whose only concern is functionality, not consequences. They unmask the media's fixation with the spectacular and protest against new judicial and political restrictions, as well as against all attempts to limit the freedom of expression. For the politically-committed arts, humour is a means of survival.

with Anne-Marie Duguet, Gerald Raunig, Sebastian Luetgert
hosted by Brian Holmes

Dominique Noguez: 'L'humour n'existe pas'
Fri 3 Feb 2006, 19h - 20h30

Dominique Noguez, French philosopher, author and essayist, is the most important contemporary thinker concerned with humour as a concept and social practice. By pointing out the boundaries of humour Noguez discusses the multiple nuances of humour, its numerous forms of expression and its cultural and historical significance.

Media Addicts I
Sat 4 Feb 2006, 12h

The panel 'Media Addicts' deals with the phenomena of a fully mediated world. It discusses the technologies which permeate our existence and examines the representation, perception and transformation of reality by media. Have we arrived in the futurological scenarios and 'science fiction' of the 1980s? And how are the subjective, social and political structures evolving that the techno-utopians so often ignored, or painted in the rosiest of colours? This first part of 'Media Addicts' (the second part follows the next day) places the emphasis on the socio-political aspects of media technologies.

with Jordan Crandall, Simon Penny, Lu Jie
hosted by Matthew Fuller

Sat, 4 Feb 2006, 16h

Contemporary culture is characterised by the paradoxical juxtaposition of excess and control. While the transgression of aesthetical and moral borders is becoming as normal as the daily dose of shock and horror, we also learn to live with increasingly rigid mechanisms of control and exclusion. This panel deals with artistic and theoretical aspects of this antagonism between extreme freedom and control. Are there any more ethical borders or walls against which art can rebel? And how significant are the aesthetic strategies of transgression within today's reality?

with Shu Lea Cheang, Jens Hauser, Katrien Jacobs
hosted by Sigrid Schade

Gerburg Treusch-Dieter: 'Mouthpiece-Pipe-Container. Effects and Defects of a Desiring Machine'
Sat 4 Feb 2006, 19h

Gerburg Treusch-Dieter has been dealing with the gender codes of human-machine relations for many years. With a profound sense of humour and unrelenting questions she approaches the phenomena of contemporary life as well as those of historical mythologies, and connects and combines whatever belongs together. Her talk is devoted to the vacuum cleaner whose multiple psychological layers are exemplary for the way in which technologies and bodies are interconnected.

hosted by Marie-Luise Angerer

Media Addicts II
Sun 5 Feb 2006, 13h

Many people today surround themselves with a panoply of digital gadgets. Mobile phones and MP3-players, GPS and navigation systems, as well as a multiplicity of media channels for information and entertainment are part of their everyday lives. Wavering between the terror of consumption and comprehensive auto-surveillance, these 'Media Addicts' move through a world determined by technologies, in which the borders between the individual, media prostheses and the hybrid layers of cyberspace are blurred. How is our subjective perception of these 'augmented realities' changed by mobile media, and what are the effects on social cohesion and on the public sphere? Which desires and which necessities drive us to enter these extended media realities?

with Michael Bull, Janet Cardiff, Marie-Luise Angerer
hosted by Matthew Fuller

Sun 5 Feb 2006, 16h30

Every technology has its mistakes and accidents already built in. This insight is not new, but it is still consistently ignored in an approach to technology that demands it to be controllable and safe, functional and useful. Technical dysfunctionality is 'repressed' by modern society, in a Freudian sense. Functional discrepancies between people and machines are called 'human failures' even in cases in which the technology is making impossible demands on its human user. Machines and their mistakes are thus an inexhaustible source of humour and parody.

with Claus Pias, Norman White
hosted by Inke Arns

Sun 5 Feb 2006, 17h30
Simon Critchley
'To be or not to be is not the question - on Beckett, Humour and Film'

As Beckett aptly states, 'nothing is funnier than unhappiness'. Simon Critchley's talk explores the dark humour of Samuel Beckett through a screening of his one-and-only experiment with cinema: 'Film' (1965) starring Buster Keaton. Critchley focuses on 'the agony of perceivedness' at the core of Beckett's work and on the way in which this avoids Hamlet's famous dilemma. As Critchley shows, humour is much more tragic than tragedy.

Sun, 5 Feb 2006, 19h - 20h30
Jean-Jacques Perrey

Jean Jacques Perrey was born in France in 1929 and is among the most seminal pioneers of electronic music. In the early 1950s, he gave up his medical studies in favour of his love for the then new and now legendary Ondoline synthesizer - he has devoted himself to electronic music ever since. Together with another obsessive synthesizer musician, Gershon Kingsley, he began producing 'Music for Laughs and Smiles' in the 1960s in New York, using the Ondoline and the Moog and reworking field recordings a la musique concrete - music to make you happy. Perrey and Kingsley are known as the founders of Space Age Pop and had their first big success with their LP 'The In Sound from Way Out'. Perrey not only worked with such celebrities as Raymond Scott, Robert Moog, Pierre Schaeffer, Edith Piaf, Walt Disney, Angelo Baladimento, but his music also served as material for samples and remixes by musicians of younger generations, like in the 1996 Beastie Boys Album 'The In Sounds from Way Out', or in the remix of the seventies funk classic 'EVA' by Fatboy Slim. On the occasion of transmediale.06, Jean Jacques Perrey comes to Berlin for the first time. On February 6th he, together with Dana Countryman, will present his new CD at Club Transmediale. One day prior, he goes on stage at Akademie der Kuenste where he presents sound samples and images illustrating his exemplary career.

hosted by Timothy Druckrey

festival for art and digital culture berlin
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transmediale is funded by the Federal Cultural Foundation. **********************************************************