3-7 FEBRUARY 2006

The 19th Transmediale 06 festival again explores how art and society are changing under the influence of media and technologies which become more and more dominant in our everyday lives. In contemporary art, digital media like video and electronic networks are now so wide-spread that a strict definition of what constitutes ‘media art’ seems no longer possible. We have therefore decided to alter the subtitle of the festival: transmediale is no longer called ‘international media art festival’, but ‘festival for art and digital culture’. This name is supposed to demonstrate the step away from the niche of ‘media art’, yet still points to the field of tension between culture and digital technologies, which continues to form the main driving force of the festival.

Transmediale.06 is devoted to the Reality Addicts and their artistic strategies, with which they subvert the technological paradigm of reality. Reality addicts demand more than the smooth surfaces of a medialised world, more than the total CCTV illusion of security, the closed spaces of computer games, or the immersive soundscapes of MP3 players. They enjoy the paradoxes, celebrate technical defects, and play with the almost possible. Reality addictsdon’t attempt to understand or evaluate the world. They install little traps, commit themselves to nonsense, and seek to multiply reality by means of exaggeration, rupture, distance, and ever new diversions. Reality addicts need a sense of humour. Humour helps them to pinpoint contradictions, to connect the incompatible, and to challenge alternative realities. Humour is communication, it breaks through the isolation and opens up to the Other. Humour is their favourite method of social engagement and critique.

Alongside the main festival, as the last years, CTM/Club Transmediale realizes a several day festival held simultaneously with the transmediale festival. Its aim is to present the most outstanding international productions in electronic music and audiovisual performance, as well as to reflect recent artistic and technical developments in panels, screenings and artist presentations and presents the idea of the “club” as a physical space whose uniqueness lies in its relative non-definition, giving a wide scope for the interplay of divergent media, formats and artistic approaches.

CTM provides a platform for the experimental development of the potentials of electronic music and its interaction with visual art. In addition, it aims to make the results of this process accessible to a wider audience. As a forum of communication between artists, visitors and producers, it brings the social dimensions of media technology to center stage.

Finally, this year the exhibition looks at Smile machines from the last four decades and includes robots that seek to communicate with the visitors and fail to live up to the promises of an idealised, functionalist technology. It shows installation and performance pieces which break into the routines of cultural and political life and thus question the surfaces of our mass-mediated reality. The international selectionl features around 25 pieces and includes installations, robots, video and internet artworks. The exhibition will be hosted by Akademie der Kuenste for 6 weeks.

To see the complete program and the list of award nominees, please visit the official website or download the PDF here