Dear nettimers old and new,

I hope some of you are dropping by the transmediale festival next week.
Have a look at an outline of the programme that I provided below!
/Kristoffer Gansing, artistic director, transmediale.

transmediale 2013 BWPWAP

Mobile phones were dumb. Letters traveled by pneumatic air. Tweeting was for birds. Users were chatting on the Minitel. ICQ beat IRC. Xerox challenged the Thermofax. YouTube was just another Web 2 start-up. Fax was the new Telex. You were calling up Bulletin Board Systems. Only university students were using facebooks. History had ended. We had nine planets.


For its 26th edition, transmediale boldly goes BWPWAP – Back When Pluto Was a Planet. A net culture expression, BWPWAP is used for that which lies in the past or that possess an anachronistic character. In the context of transmediale, it does not mean entertaining nostalgia for the past. On the contrary, Pluto and its reclassification is taken as a metaphor for how quickly cultural imaginaries can change and be contested in a world underwritten by parallel developments. Adopting the BWPWAP expression in the form of a meme, transmediale 2013 recontextualizes cultural and technological forms through a travelling in time and space that creates moments of crisis in contemporary media culture.

The program follows four threads: Users, Networks, Paper and Desire. The festival will look at what these topics meant BWPWAP, what they mean today and how they might develop in the future following the sense of alternate realities that lies at the core of the theme. These threads run transversely across the different festival events and by following them, visitors can experience constant shifts of modalities and perspectives.

The Users thread explores the user as one of the most important figures occupying the 21st century cultural landscape: adopting a broad perspective which includes a historical look at user cultures' development in consumer society and cybernetics, as well as the changing roles of the user.

In Networks we ask what it means when networks are BWPWAP, when (social) networks have become a pervasive part of daily life and have contributed in changing the way we create friendships and connections.

The Paper thread traces the history of paper as a transcendent cultural form and its various artistic appropriations from Mail Art and visual poetry to electronic literature and beyond.

In the Desire thread, we look at how critical reflections on sexuality and pornography can inform digital culture and politics of the present, by creating juxtapositions, decompositions, fragments and unexpected combinations as forms of queer expression.

As with Pluto itself, these threads are “objects” in crisis. Their identity is not to be taken for granted in the post-digital age as is evident through the cultural, political and economical crises that they are all undergoing. These states of crisis are taken as opportunities for artistic intervention and reflection. In each thread, we search for new ways to engage with the histories, practices and futures of these familiar domains according to the time and place-shifting logic of BWPWAP: areas that we might have taken for granted until recently, but where we now need to learn from the past in order to intervene in the present and create new concepts for cultural practice.


transmediale 2013 Exhibition programme: The Miseducation of Anya Major, curated by Jacob Lillemose. This exhibition is presented in three parts and openly investigates questions of knowledge, learning and education in relation to contemporary media, from the photocopier and paper shredder to computer games and the latest smartphone. Within this framework, the exhibition "Tools of Distorted Creativity" presents a series of contemporary works that expands the notions of software tools and their affordance of creativity in nonconformist, and even dysfunctional directions. "Imaging with Machine Processes. The Generative Art of Sonia Landy Sheridan", is a survey exhibition of an artist who experimented with the machines of technological society as instruments of the philosophical mind and artistic imagination from inside educational institutions. Finally, "Evil Media Distribution Centre" by the duo YoHa (Graham Harwood and Matsuko Yokokoji) is an installation that takes its point of departure from the book Evil Media (2012) by Matthew Fuller and Andrew Goffey.

Three Ongoing Networking Projects brought to you by reSource transmdedial culture, Berlin, curated by Tatiana Bazzichelli. Last August 2012, during the transmediale event reSource 002: Out of Place, Out of Time event, three installation projects were launched. Their ongoing production lasted six months, leading to transmediale 2013 BWPWAP, where the final results are shown and performed. The projects are OCTO-P7C-1 Intertubular Pneumatic Packet Distribution System which is transmediale 2013’s Official Miscommunication Platform by Berlin-based collective Telekommunisten with the support of raumlaborberlin. ReFunct Media #5 is a circuit-bending installation made of obsolete technologies conducted by a team led by Benjamin Gaulon. Composting the City | Composting the Net is a collaborative art installation and performance project initiated by Shu Lea Cheang, processing discarded food scraps and the immaterial junk of net data.

Everything but the Planets - Film as Imaginary Museum curated by Marcel Schwierin. The film & video program of the transmediale 2013 BWPWAP, consists of 47 films, 2 installations, a panel and a guest curated online film program. It revolves around the idea of film as imaginary museum and the framing and re/contextualisation of reality. Guests of the program are: Dennis Adams (us), Babak Afrassiabi (ir/nl), Karimah Ashadu (uk/ng), Ralph Kistler (de/sp), Boaz Levin (il/de), Tonje Alice Madsen (dk), Eleonore de Montesquiou (de/fr/ee), Muntean/Rosenblum (at/il), People Like Us (uk), Elizabeth Price (uk), Volker Schreiner (de), John Smith (uk), Andrew Norman Wilson (us). Additionally, there is a guest program, Videodrones, curated by Oliver Lerone Schultz and Vera Tollman of Video Vortex #9.

BWPWAP Event Selection

BWPWAP Networks with Geert Lovink
Social Media: From Complaints to Alternative Tools
31.01.2013 19:00-20:30 - AUDITORIUM
With respondent Craig Saper

BWPWAP Networks: Consequences (One Thing Leads to Another)
By People Like Us
31.01.2013 21:30-22:30 - AUDITORIUM

BWPWAP Users with Olga Gorinuova
Aesthetic growth: becoming a human, a thing or a piece of code
01.02.2013 19:00-20:30 - AUDITORIUM
With respondent Finn Brunton

BWPWAP Users: Coded Narratives
By Vanessa Ramos-Velasquez with guest musician A Guy Called Gerald
01.02.2013 21:30-23:00 - AUDITORIUM

BWPWAP Paper with Kenneth Goldsmith
On Uncreative Writing
02.02.2013 17:00-18:30 - AUDITORIUM
With respondent Florian Cramer

BWPWAP Desire with Sandy Stone
03.02.2013 16:00-17:30 - AUDITORIUM
With respondent Francesco WARBEAR Macarone Palmieri

BWPWAP Desire: Eier Haben
By Diane Torr with Anus B. Haven, Anaïs Héraud, Kai Simon Stoeger and Viola
03.02.2013 18:30-20:00 - AUDITORIUM

With participation of Alejandro Jodorowky through a live video stream
02.02.2012 20:30-22:00 - AUDITORIUM
Moderated by Hasko Baumann
Introduced by Jacob Lillemose

Followed by
Darkness Bright:
Demdike Stare; Gatekeeper
02.02.2012 22:30-00:15 - AUDITORIUM
Performance Double Bill

Kristoffer Gansing ✈ artistic director
transmediale 2013 BW_P_WA_P_ <> ◒♇ Haus der
Kulturen der Welt ♇◓ Berlin/DE:29.01-03.02

transmediale ♒ festival for art and digital culture berlin
Klosterstr. 68, 10179 Berlin, Germany ♒ fon +49 30 24749 761 ♒ fax +49
30 24749 763, Kulturprojekte Berlin GmbH ♒ Amtsgericht Berlin Charlottenburg, HRB 41312 B, Aufsichtsratsvorsitzender André Schmitz ♒ Geschäftsführer Moritz van Dülmen <>

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