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The next edition of transmediale follows the format of a “Conversation Piece” which unfolds through a series of dialogues and participatory formats that articulate the most burning topics of post-digital culture today and that reflect the main ongoing themes of transmediale.
Conversation starters are everywhere as constant communication has become a mundane feature of post-digital culture. But to define common starting grounds for conversation in today’s agonistic and rapidly changing cultural landscape is a daunting if not impossible task. Against the backdrop of different processes of social transformation, 17th and 18th century European painters perfected the group portrait painting known as the “Conversation Piece” in which the everyday life of the aristocracy was depicted in ideal scenes of common activity. The Conversation Piece that is transmediale 2016 references and problematises the ideal of finding common ground through four interconnected thematic streams: Anxious to Act, Anxious to Make, Anxious to Share and Anxious to Secure.
Through these streams we take a critical look at what we could today think about as the fragmented and contradictory “ideal scenes” of cultural production and life under digital capitalism. Can the anxiousness to take part or not to take part in these idealised activities be used in a way that does not only lead to reactionary positions based on fear and exclusion?
What are the possible new values and methodologies of cultural co-production that allows itself not only to be “open” and “free” but that also in radical ways engage questions of security, sharing, collective ways of acting and new ways of making in the post-digital culture?