Preview: CTM & Transmediale

Rejoice, freaks & geeks! It's time to look forward to two of the major, avantgarde-flavored festivals in Berlin: the 31-year-old Transmediale and its younger counterpart CTM. Marrying the best of digital art, music, technology & culture, the two aim to deliver a wide array of exciting events in ten days under complementing festival themes.


– CTM 2018: Turmoil –

Dengue Dengue Dengue (photo by Hendrik Kussin)

From January 26 to February 4, CTM festival returns to its constellation of exciting nightlife and cultural venues in Berlin, including HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Berghain, Club OST, YAAM, Kraftwerk Berlin, MONOM & Festsaal Kreuzberg. Labeled as experimental, adventurous or curageous, this year it fully owns its reputation by declaring that „uneasy times demand uneasy music“, and using the topic of "Turmoil“ to navigate through the increasingly estranged world and formulate new futures.

CTM 2018 Exhibition at Kunstraum Bethanien titled Uncanny Valleys of a Possible Future explores dualities – such as tension / explosion, apathy / engagement, regression / progress, peril / hope – through the works of artists Frédérick A. Belzile, Guy Ben-Ary, Jessica Ekomane, Peter Flemming, Lawrence Lek, Teun Vonk, Anne de Vries, ZULI, Zorka Wollny & Andrzej Wasilewski.

"Artificial Intelligence in Music" is the focus program of this year's CTM. Two essential contributors are the American experimental music innovators George Lewis & Roscoe Mitchell, who will perform on February 2 at HAU1 on Lewis's interactive computer system, Voyager, which was one of the earliest strides in the development of a real-time relationship between a music-making machine intelligence and human musicians.
Further noteworthy exploration of AI takes place on February 3 at Festsaal Kreuzberg with Holly Herndon & Mat Dryhurst in a special performance together with a vocal ensemble of Berlin-based musicians – The Holly Herndon Ensemble.

Perhaps the most exciting highlight of the festival is "Transcend the Turmoil" – a program of intensely visceral experiences in 4DSOUND at MONOM. The program includes German premiere of the overnight audiovisual performance "NOQTURNL“ by John Connell & Florence To, "Imagining the Hyperspace“ by IOANN, and world-premiere performances by GAIKA (January 30 & 31), Pan Daijing (February 1 & 2), FIS and TCF.

SKALAR, the large scale art installation & live performance by Christopher Bauder & Kangding Ray, closes the festival on February 4 at Kraftwerk Berlin, offering a glimpse of hope for the future among iridescent formations of spatial light and sound.

CTM 2018: Turmoil
January 26 – February 4, 2018
Various locations
More info


– Transmediale 2018: Face Value –

© Zach Blas

Transmediale – Berlin's main crossroad between art, culture & technology – sees its 31st edition this year at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. Within five days, the festival presents an extensive range of conferences, exhibitions, screenings, performances & workshops led by the highly political topic of  "Face Value“. As populism gains traction and reactionary voices grow louder, the festival aims to find out how artists, cultural workers & speculative theorists respond to the processes of value creation that have contributed to extreme political, economic & cultural divides.

The opening takes place on January 31 with a line-up of rallying speeches & presentations of new works by Stefan Panhans, Andrea Winkler,  PWR and Jasmijn Visser.

At the foreground of the conference program comprised of 25 engaging panels, discussions & speeches are black radical thought, critical race & feminist theory, decolonial methodologies & anti-capitalist strategies, pointing towards new politics beyond artificial constraints & borders.

Fusing installation, artistic research & live project, the exhibition titled "Territories of Complicity“ questions today’s dominant neoliberal narratives. "A Becoming Resemblance“, the guest exhibition by Heather Dewey-Hagborg & Chelsea Manning, investigates emerging technologies of genomic identity construction & their role in today's society.

While the film & video program covers an international selection of experimental, essayistic & documentary short films, the performances focus on forms of expression that combine art installation, sound, performance & video live on stage. One of the main highlights of the festival is the science fiction opera James Ferraro presents: Plague, which runs on February 2 & 3.

Lastly, the festival's workshop program, ranging from meme wars to incorporating ghosts into artworks, offers its participants the opportunity to explore different concepts in both practical & discussion-based ways.

Transmediale 2018: Face Value
January 31 – February 5, 2018 / Opening: January 31, 19 – 23h
HKW – Haus der Kulturen der Welt , John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10, 10557 Berlin
More info

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