Next week Transmediale is opening its annual festival that reflects on the interaction and fusion of art, technology and culture. Visitors navigate what is constructed of our contemporary culture through various exhibitions, conferences, live performances, and video and sound pieces. There’s no better way to prepare than to take part in the Transmediale Vorspiel, what very well could be translated as Foreplay. On our radar are two events held by LEAP – Laboratory for Electronic Arts and Performance, Body Controlled #2 and Drawing in the Age of Electronic Expressions.
The gritty and raw exhibit space of Leap has all of the characteristics of what one would expect to find in the midst of Berlin’s most urban of cityscapes and hubs, Alexanderplatz. Shards of glass and paint chips on the cement floor from shows and events past, a spacious terrace and towering view of the iconic TV tower that has come to define Berlin.
The art of robotics
Both events tackle the Transmediale theme of (in)compatibility, that is when thing simply don’t fit together – inciting tension or an internal/external crisis. In our times, what comes to mind can be the Arab Spring and worldwide Occupy protests; financial crises and austerity measures; climate change and natural disasters that uproot and unsettle society. But Leap goes beyond these newsworthy crises and seeks to examine and tease the productive and destructive sides of an increasingly definitive part of our society and identity: digital technology. From the complex acoustic bodies of space that emerge via electronic instruments, to the existential dilemma of artist or machine prevailing in the use of electronic machine art.