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Survival and Utopia

House of World Cultures, Berlin

Transmediale.09's exhibition presents a spectrum of artistic positions, inquiries and responses to the multi-facetted, and often contradictory scenarios of climate change. Out of the exhibition's 26 works five are nominated for the transmediale Award 2009. The show explores visions and critique to aim at a new cultural rethink with a series of interdisciplinary art works that reflect on our digital culture and technological condition.

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transmediale.09's exhibition presents a spectrum of artistic positions, inquiries and responses to the multi-facetted, and often contradictory scenarios of climate change. Out of the exhibition's 26 works five are nominated for the transmediale Award 2009. The prize winners will be announced at the ceremony on 31.01.2009.

Alluding to the interconnectedness and global reach of actions triggered at the polar ice cap the exhibition seeks to uncover strategies that counter our mundane sense of powerlessness in the face of overwhelming change. 'Survival and Utopia: Visions of Balance in Transformation' explores visions and critique to aim at a new cultural rethink with a series of interdisciplinary art works that reflect on our digital culture and technological condition. Within the specially-commissioned festival architecture by Berlin based art and architecture collective raumtaktik, the exhibition becomes part of DEEP NORTH's scenario of fleeting temporality, urgency and strategic sustainability.

Encompassing the House of World Cultures (HKW) as its base, the exhibition extends to a major site specific generative installation at the Collegium Hungaricum Berlin (CHB) and an installation of serial software art at [DAM]Berlin. The exhibition at the HKW is on show during the festival transmediale.09 only (28.01. - 01.02.2009, daily 10.00 -22.00 hrs), admission is 5 reduced 3 euros.

2. Artists and works of the exhibition

Perry Bard, Man With A Movie Camera: The Global Remake, us 2007 ongoing
Nominated for the transmediale Award 2009
In this global participatory work, people are invited to interpret the original script of Vertov's masterpiece, creating a worldwide montage, in Vertov's terms 'decoding of life as it is'. Participants from all over the world can upload footage on the website next to the corresponding scenes from the original film. The lengths and images of submitted videos are synchronised with the original scenes through software, which then rotates the added material every day, ensuring the film may never be the same twice.

Federico Bonelli, ICE, nl/no 2008
The installation ICE is based on a technology developed by SUb multimedia lab, an Amsterdam based media arts collective. It transforms images according to a special generated algorithm. In several monitors the viewer can follow the transformation of photos taken in the North of Norway, that especially reflect the characteristics of ice and water.

Petko Dourmana, Post Global Warming Survival Kit, bg 2008
Nominated for the transmediale Award 2009
This interactive multimedia installation consists of a two-channel projection and shows infrared images of the North Sea as a post-apocalyptic landscape that the observer can only see by using a night-vision device. The installation aims to be a believable, technological fiction of a future in which human sensory experience has adapted. The installation is based on the assumption that in the nuclear winter scenario, seeing in infrared becomes more useful than seeing in the visible part of the spectrum.

Urs Dubacher, specialita di silicio, ch 2008
The performative installation deals primarily with a mobile kitchen, similar to a takeaway vendor's, where Urs Dubacher melts broken parts of computer hardware and converts them into realistic-looking culinary meals. His work reflects on our so-called 'throwaway society', commenting on recycling, the exploitation of electronic products, and technology's implicitly absurd and rapid development.

Marco Evaristti, Trilogy, 2004-2007
The 'Trilogy' comprises three projects that deal mainly with the themes of territories and states. In 2004 Evaristti realised the 'Ice Cube Project' - in a performative action he coloured an ice cube at the coast of Greenland and declared it his own state. He accomplished a similar action in 2007, where he covered parts of the top of the Mont Blanc under a red fabric. He completed the trilogy with a project in the Sahara.

Christian Guetzer, Grow - Fruits of Kronos, at 2007
The installation reflects on the connection and relationship between machine and nature. Ccontrolled by a certain algorithm the machine changes the position of a plant in relation to a static light source. Under normal conditions, the plant would grow in the direction of the light and against gravity. In Guetzer's installation these two variables are placed into a constant flux visualised in the physical form of the plant's growth.

Graham Harwood, Richard Wright, Matsuko Yokokoji, Tantalum Memorial, uk 2008
Nominated for the transmediale Award 2009
This telephone 'exchange' installation is a memorial to the people who have died in the wars in Congo over the metal tantalum, which is used in cell phone components and has become more valuable than gold. The work also references a 'social telephony' network used by the Congelese diaspora to remain anonymous and avoid state censorship., Nuage Vert, fr 2008
A light installation onto the ultimate icon of industrial pollution - the cloud generated by a coal burning power plant - alerts the public and can persuade people to change patterns of consumption. In February 2008 the vapour emissions from a coal burning power plant in Helsinki were illuminated with a high power green laser animation. It turned into a city scale neon sign, which grew bigger as local residents took control and consumed less electricity.

Nan Hoover, Doors, de 1981
The video installation was the result of Nan Hoover's 1980 stipend from DAAD. Working primarily with light, time and movement, she said that her images 'reflect quietness, using slow movement to catch the gradual changes in light, colour, and form. I attempt to transport one into an area within ourselves where we can dream and explore our personal worlds.' Nan Hoover studied painting at the Corcoran Gallery Art School in Washington D.C. before she started in 1975 to concentrate on video, performance art and photography. In addition to her artistic work she held professorships at the Kunstakademie Duesseldorf and at the Rietveld Akademie in Amsterdam. She died in June 2008 in Berlin.

Sebastjan Leban, Stas Kleindienst, Barons, si 2008
The installation deals with the access to drinking water, which is often hindered especially for people in underdeveloped countries. 'Barons' is the name of a fictitious brand of drinking water, presented in a realistic way, so that the viewer's attention is drawn to the connection between the economic market for drinking water and the problem of getting access to it in many parts of the world.

Jana Linke, Click & Glue, de 2007
Four metal walls hanging from the ceiling and defining a space in which a balloon filled with helium moves and floats through the air. As the balloon continually moves, it touches the surrounding walls and leaves a small deposit of glue that functions as an anchor before the balloon continues its movement through the space. Thread by thread, the installation generates a web that eventually prevents the balloon from moving.

Alice Miceli, inverse square, by/de 2008
The video installation is part of Miceli's ongoing 'Chernobyl Project'. While the transmediale.08 exhibition presented 'The Invisible Stain', her new work is a conceptual view on the exploded reactor number four and the exponential dynamics created by radioactive contamination in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

Christian Niccoli, planschen, de 2008
The video metaphorically embodies the 'lost in space' condition experienced by young foreigners aged between 25 and 38 living in Berlin. It is characterised by a lack of stable bindings, like job and family, and is represented through a mass of people swimming around in the middle of the ocean, each one supported by their own tyre-tube.

Charly Nijensohn, Beyond the End - The Polar Project, gl 2006/2007
The Project comprises a series of videos and photographs based on material taken in Greenland. It shows members of the Inuit community, who are standing alone on ice platforms and drifting away into the open and remote wildness of the Arctic. The piece reflects on the everyday challenges and efforts of these individuals, but also on the basic qualities of human beings living in that region.

Michiko Nitta, Extreme Green Guerillas, uk 2007
Nominated for the transmediale Award 2009
Nitta's project takes current green trends to the extreme. The 'Extreme Green Guerillas' are a network of amateur self-sustaining people who have shortened their lifespan through the ultimate green lifestyle. The purpose of these provocative gestures is to question the role of consumerism within green activities and to provoke questions regarding green lifestyles.

Fernando Jose Pereira, remoteness, pt 2008
The video installation is based on images taken by a webcam, installed in a remote village of in the extreme north of Iceland near the Arctic Polar Circle. With composing and manipulating those images, Pereira created a piece that reveals questions concerning the necessity of communication, monitoring and the existence under extreme conditions.

Esther Polak, NomadicMilk, nl/ng 2008
The project compares the distribution and sales strategies of two very different milkproduct-merchands in Nigeria. With the help of GPS systems, the driveways of the as nomads living Fulani are reconstructed and compared to those of an active enterpreneurial milk producer, called 'PEAK milk'. By using a specially designed robot, the collected data is converted into fine sand lines, appearing as some kind of drawn 'sand map' on the ground.

Andrea Polli, Sonic Antarctica, us 2008
The live performance and sound/visual installation 'Sonic Antarctica' is based on material that Polli recorded during a research residency in Antarctica. It features natural and industrial field recordings, geosonifications and audifications, interviews with weather and climate scientists and soundscape compositions. The footage was taken south of New Zealand and at the geographic South Pole.

Axel Roch, Ambigious Signalscapes, de/uk 2006
In the work 'Ambiguous Signalscapes', through the act of looking, viewers create and then directly interact with a stream of data. The installation tracks the observer's eye movements and, in real-time, the participant is able to turn fragmented signals of non-photorealistic renderings into landscapes, discovering along the way that shadows really do exist inside clouds.

Reynold Reynolds, Six Apartments, de 2007
Nominated for the transmediale Award 2009
The video installation documents the life of six people in their apartments. The inhabitants live isolated, unaware of each other, without drama - they eat, sleep, watch television. Even though their lives are overshadowed by mass media generated problems of the larger world and the upcoming ecological crisis, they do not change their behaviour and awareness.

Jan-Peter Sonntag, AMUNDSEN / I-landscape de/no 2003-2008
The interactive video and sound installation is part of Sonntag’s series 'almost cinema works'. The footage was taken in Norway close to the former house of polar scientist Amundsen. While watching the screen, the visitor is confronted with a psychoacoustic paradox, caused by sounds that can be experienced through headphones as well as a pedestal that generates deep sounds, which are absorbed by the viewer’s bodies.

Antoine Schmitt, Time Slip, fr 2008
'Time Slip' is based on computer software developed by Schmitt that transforms the news broadcasted by official news agencies. The transformation does not concern the content, but changes the grammatical tense of the verbs, rewriting every sentence in the future tense. 'Time Slip' is a visual artwork referring to philosophical questionings on destiny, its potential pre-written nature or its causal determinism. It is also a work on the motive energy of unpredictability and risk, more and more central in the contemporary world.

Emma Wieslander, Glacier 60000, uk 2007
The project deals with landscapes and their perception and description. Wieslander is interested in pictorial traditions concerning the transformation from three dimensional into picture plane and vice versa. In this context she deals with visibility and change of landscapes especially mediated by culture and technology. Her work is an experimental approach on pictorial depictions using modern technology.

Marina Zurkow, The Poster Children, us 2007
'The Poster Children' is a suite of animated, multi-monitor pieces. In this panoramic animation, two representative groups at the top of the food chain - humans and polar bears - share a dystopian landscape comprised of slow-moving icebergs and piles of e-waste. They both exist next to each other as a symbol of distinct social issues, and both are natural enemies at the same time.

The House of World Cultures
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10 10557 Berlin
Open: Mon - Sun 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
admission is 5 reduced 3 euros.

Survival and Utopia
dal 26/1/2009 al 31/1/2009

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