Berlin transmediale & CTM festivals: art, adventurous music, culture & technology

"Disobedient Children" by Dorine van Meel

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From yesterday January 27th until February 5th 2017, Berlin hosts the international festivals transmediale and CTM, both considered among the world’s best in music experimentation and cutting-edge digital culture. 

In this convulsive time we are living in, both transmediale & CTM 2017 edition celebrate diversity focusing attention in decentralized non-western electronic music scene as CTM present a collaboration with Iranian SET festival for experimental art in Tehran and the central exhibition is dedicated this edition Mexican sound art and electronic music scene. For its side, transmediale brings us closer to alien matter in all its aspects. “When the mode of the music changes, the walls of the city shake” quote by Plato used in CTM presentacion.

Firstly, on Friday the 27th, the eighteenth edition of CTM under the title FEAR ANGER LOVE opens its doors to ten days of art and contemporary adventurous music held in different venues around the city —new are RadialsystemV, Schwuz, Festsaal Kruezberg and veteran hosting sites are Berghain, HAU1-2 and Kunstquartier Bethanien, headquarters of day activities and exhibition.

As usual, the CTM Festival will take place in parallel with transmediale – festival for art and digital culture. Named this edition ever elusive, it celebrates its 30-year anniversary with an entire month of activities, from February 2nd until March 5th, at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) and other venues around the city of Berlin.

The commemorating show ever elusive – 30 years of transmediale aims to use the critical and artistic knowledge gained over three decades to reframe questions about the role of media today. The festival takes place from February 3rd to 5th and it is hosted by HKW offering around 50 events in a program curated by artistic director Kristoffer Gansing, Daphne Dragona (conference) and Florian Wüst (film and video program) completed by workshops and performances.

The transmediale special exhibition alien matter, also at HKW, quicks off the 2nd of February and runs for a month. It focuses on neo-cybernetic couplings between human & nonhuman forces, creatures & technologies, analysing possibilities and limitations of artistic expression through media. Curated by Inke Arns, the show counts with circa twenty artists whose works spin around becoming “alien matter” by using artificial intelligence and synthetic materials. Evan Roth, Aliens in Green, S. Treister, J. van Loon, Novitskova, Raether with his fictional hysteric-subversive drag character WorldWideWitch Protektoramae, Wagenknecht, YoHa and Pinar Yoldas, among others will be addressing four aspects in the show: artificial intelligence (AI), plastics, infrastructure and the Internet of Things.

Going back to CTM Festival and according to the organization, since it inception, the aim has been to make space for radical forms of musical expression and dissonant emotions. Ten days ahead of nocturnal club events and diurnal discussions and debates to examine artistic, socio-political and technical developments in music culture through panels, screenings and presentations.

CTM-FEAR ANGER LOVE will focus explicitly on emotions through music: bodies, affect and politics. Music, as an art placed to express and engender emotions. The debate about the manipulative, seductive, or emancipatory potential of resonant emotion is as old as music itself. For that reason, this edition line up seeks to present musicians and artists that are working with emotion in various ways to respond to urgent societal issues and conflicts driven by emotions. To mention a few: Actress, Monolake, Gazelle Twin, special showcase from the NON collective with Ligia Lewis, Jenny Hval & Skrap, new Raime project Yally, SØS Gunver Ryberg, Lorenzo Senni, Pan Daijing, N.M.O., Elysia Crampton, Mike Q, Tommy Genesis or Ziur.

This year’s CTM exhibition, Critical Constellations of the Audio-Machine in Mexico, as said above, takes focus in the history and current state of electronic music and sound art in Mexico, guiding visitors through the different musical styles and sound experiments that have emerged since the beginning of the 20th century. Curated by sound researcher Carlos Acevedo, the exhibition features works by Mexican sound art community: Ariel Guzik, Angélica Castelló, Guillermo Galindo, Roberto Morales, Verónica Gerber, Mario de Vega and Carlos Sandoval.

Other CTM 2017 highlights are: the collaboration with Tehran-based SET Festival for experimental art to present works at the forefront of the Iranian capital’s electronic music scene. Transgressive counter-cultural icon Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, celebrating her rich history as a radical in both music and identity/gender politics, appears for the screening of film Bight of the Twin by Hazel Hill McCarthy III followed by a concert pairing with noise artist Aaron Dilloway.

Installations SOL by Kurt Hentschlaeger and What do Machines Sing Of? by Martin Backes close this tour for the two festivals extensive offer. All in all, we will have in front days of interesting, critical, dissident emotions.

CTM. Opening: Friday January 27th .Festival till 5th of March
transmediale. Opening: Thursday February 2nd. Festival till 5th of March.
For the transmediale One month program click here
Cover Photograph: “Disobedient Children” by Dorine van Meel

Text: María Muñoz. Photographs: courtesy of transmediale and CTM

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