Hidden spots - transmediale 2020
This year I participated in the Film & Video day and the two-day symposium as well as in some performances.
After all I have the feeling we are floating somewhere in between of different time and space that is not yet defined. I'm going deeper through some of the lectures I participated as a short summary of all.
Film & Video - just do it
I was diving into the festival with Trine Bjørkmann Berry who was making a nice summary of the early forms of video blogging. A funny side effect was the Skype call with a frozen video every now and then, which made the lecture to be an unintentional performance about the topic.
When comparing the early video blogs and vloggers not so much has changed in the aesthetics but in the pureness and motivation of content. Before likes, shares and subscriptions the content was made for small audiences and for the vloggers themselves.
Two levels of life
Short videos under the title Telematic New World build a timeline between the early form of telecommunication art with the first fax performances until questioning the role and power of open networks. We still live in the physical world but are under the rules of networks.
The most I liked short film This Makes Me Want to Predict the Past (2019) that gave some meaning and beauty over very sad human acts.
In the evening autonomous pirates Jan Gerber & Sebastian Lütgert showed that being a pirate does not mean just to use and take, but also to give back and to have fun. The open source movie database 0xdb.org offers many different ways to experience and research movies. I like the way to experience movies as a visual timeline and to see what is the colour scheme of each. This similar feature has been used already a lot in different kinds of projects, example on this Twitter account.
One of the messages was just do your thing and just do it. If nobody is paying you for doing it, just do it with your own passion and interest.
Symposium - networks as mirrors
Overall, it was very interesting discussion and thread through the two-day symposium about hidden spots in the networks and datasets.
Recently, I have been interested in the visibility and variety of different kinds of content in datasets, especially about gender. Michelle M. Wright was giving good insight for the hidden spots of class and race and also had a very interesting theory of time and space.
How we see race and gender depends where and when we are, because those things don’t appear the same but have their own language dependent on the environment (physical or virtual).
Janina Loh was questioning the real meaning of work after the time of industrialisation and who is deciding what kind of work robots will do. Not so new questions but we need to keep asking them because nobody has yet answered.
I would add here also questions of the meaning of human life and what are the things people would like to do in urban society if one day we don’t need to feed the economy and don’t need to do our modern factory work on laptops anymore.
Messages with beats
In between of many other topics, glitch, climate change and capitalism, John Longwalker & Geert Lovink gave us a break with a catchy performance Sad by Design that had still deeper message how social media is liking and sharing us.
This kind of concept really worked well as a mix of lecture and music performance, but it made me to feel confused in some meta level of the same time criticising social media scrolling and liking, the same time watching infinite scroll of memes and silently liking them.
After all and as closure and summary Stephanie Dick put things quite well together as presenting how datasets are based on our history and repeating the same history over and over again the same way as we expect statistics to realise themselves again.