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BERLIN’S FESTIVAL TRANSMEDIALE

“FUTURITY NOW” is this year’s slogan of the Festival and H.G.Wells the best comment on:  “….with a sort of madness growing upon me, i flung myself into futurity…”

The Future/Present where ( by now ) we live, leads us to deal with the expressive forms that incited ( and excited ) the concept of future in art and culture.

Did we run too fast?

Did we not run enough?

But maybe the problem of Media Art remains open even changing from Future to Now.

The Festival starts with a concert, “Tintinnabulum” by Charlemagne Palestine, connecting minimalist practices of the Sixties  to the “structural minimalism” of the new digital sinthesis.

Employing the Belltower close to the haus Der Kulturen der Welt as musical instrument, and in “Spectral Continuum” the ancient organ of a baroque church, Palestine interweaves sounds as a spiral shaped ascending, like a sort of sonorous DNA.

The work of Ikeda, by now “Cult author” in the field of Live

Media, is based on the survey of data from several online sources, then re-edited as interdependent sounds and images.

Reread, rewrited and reformed in modes both very new and classic, carefully organized so to underline a particular richness of exchange between the different softwares.

While his installation “Data.Tron” spreads on a wide wall pages processed from the web with a strong visual and sound impact, in the live media concert  “Pattern Recognition” Ikeda refines the strategy of sound and image arrangements  bringing them back ( or rather forward! ) towards the experiments with sound and laser lights of Xenakis and the classic area, 50’s,60’s, of electronic music and light.

Definitely, Ikeda’s work makes most of digital music/Video  look and sound old.

While Ars Electronica has banned ( incomprehensibly ) the video languages, the Transmediale presents instead an interesting videoprogram, ranging from videoart to document and overlapping on the short film.

Several good works, like Adam Leech’s “Speech Bubble”, brilliant image of the “comunication’s bubbles” that media make everyday‘s wisdom ( especially in TV) where the relationships between show/talkman & audience becomes as “nonsense” as in the word-works of Jenny Holzer.

Power of image and comunication in the little & very good compilation “ Arab Shorts”, narrating in micro-videos the many problems of arab’s world in the perspective of the Israel-Palestine problem and more, touching social, cultural  and psycological issues, sometimes with original and attractive humor, sometimes with chilling exposure of the endless drama.

While strikes as memorable a beautiful interview with an ancient man survived to a bombing.

The man has language problems and he narrates with gestures, in a sort of extreme pantomime, the drama happened.

A narrative memorable for dramatic strength, immediate truth and straightforward poetry.

Focus of New Medias are always the interactive installations where are related so many hypothesis of development and fruition of the digital languages.

Ken Rinaldo presents the amusing “Paparazzi Bots”, unlikely robo-fotographers ( remembering the microbots in action in Afghanistan ), always activated to pursuit the crowd with flash and pityless photos.

Ironic work, “witty”, it takes a heavier sound framed in actuality of registering of all photographic reality transferred on YouTube, Facebook etc…

A strong work based on structural elemento is  “White Noise” by Zilvinas Kempinas, a digital hybrid composed of tapes from old videotapes, composed to look like a digital image, therefore underlining the continuum inside different media developments.

Looking like a 50’s UFO “Optofonica” is a study on immersive sound environment, a digital “juke box” where is possibile to play good  digital sound/imag, italian group Otolab between others.

Sinister like a vision from a ghost movie, “The invisibile stain” by Alice Miceli shows a “non photographic image”, produced registering the radiations that the famous atomic disaster is still emitting.

The radiations sign a landscape of undistinguished transformations ( yet very impressive ) where the photographic reality is replaced by the actual matter of its own transformations.

“The Advertiser” by Julian Olivier, Clara Boi and Diego Diaz, points at possibilities on urban space, actually invaded

by advertising, mixing in augmented reality real spaces and collages of virtual Public Art collocated in big spaces in Berlin, Madrid and New York.

It’s a game, but an interesting and compensative game, given the extreme marginality of art in urban public space, but the idea works, while we think about the experiments of Antoni Muntadas  and the other media artists of the New york scene at the end of the 70’s, renting advertisng spaces for exposing art.

While numerous panels try to define the concept of Future after Future, the password would seem to be a famous  ( and here quoted ) J.G. Ballard’s phrase: “I think the future is been annexed to present”

True.

But how far true?

The concept/idea of Future-Future it’s always a “motor” of our cultural action.

Denied because obsolete, or anyway too absolute, the Future gets back relentlessly in our cultural points of view.

As Slavoj Zizek says, Utopias are very good to structure thought and a good stimulation to project.

Lorenzo Taiuti