transmediale 2018 face value - promotional image | © The Laboratory of Manuel Bürger
Courtesy of Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Chelsea E. Manning, and Fridman Gallery, New York. Photo © Paula Abreu Pia
Things are what they are – but could they be different? Under the title of face value, in its thirty-first year the festival is probing the values and the processes of value creation that have contributed to our present moment of extreme political, economic and cultural divides.
The 2018 transmediale is a stocktaking of current events: How does a profound understanding of the alarming political tendencies of the present arise? And what is needed to change direction? Artists, theorists and cultural professionals seek possible new ways of resisting the development of digital populism, the reactionary turnaround of Internet culture and the rekindled culture wars.
Literally, “face value” means the nominal value of a currency or document – the amount indicated on the front of a coin or stamp. “Taking things at face value” has become just the norm of public discourse as has the reduction of life to economic motives which is widespread in neo-liberalism. But what happens when we focus on deeper, less obvious problems? Doesn’t the (post) digital culture offer racist and neo-colonial powers a fertile breeding ground rather than producing emancipatory alternatives?
In panels, performances, workshops, film screenings and an exhibition program, the participants will delve into crucial topics of the times such as inequities of race, class and gender. They will thus reflect on value systems that run counter to the tendency to largely judge things by their outer appearance – their face value.
With Rosa Barba, Jonathan Beller, Zach Blas, CAMP, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, James Ferraro, Zachary Formwalt, Lisa Nakamura, Roee Rosen, Nick Thurston and Françoise Vergès. Curated by Kristoffer Gansing, Daphne Dragona, Inga Seidler and Florian Wüst
The transmediale is a project by Kulturprojekte Berlin GmbH at Haus der Kulturen der Welt. It is funded as a cultural institution of excellence by Kulturstiftung des Bundes.