Transmediale 2012: in/compatibility as method for new technology and arts
The productive chance of the fragmentary and the use of friction
- Series: transmediale
Isn’t incompatibility the natural state of things and the source of creativity after all? Philosophical, practical, and playful approaches to the theorem “compatible/incompatible“ were offered during the Transmediale 2012, with artists and philosophers relying on surprising strategies.
According to the artistic director of the Transmediale, Kristoffer Gansing, we live in a cultural dilemma. On the outside, our digital reality seems to shine beautifully, it is user-friendly and individually optimised. But actually, everybody knows that behind the front wall, things don’t work that well and don’t look that great either. Behind the tidy, functional facade, there are complex, intricate levels and structures which almost suggest a chaotic picture when we take a quick glimpse at them.
Today, only artists, hackers, IT specialists and philosophers dare to take a look beyond the surface. For existential philosopher Graham Harman, the dictum that everything is connected, is not maintainable these days. He would like to see a return to the natural incompatibility of things which “forces us permanently to look for surprises in things“. This philosophical definition of human curiosity is complemented by the artist Roee Rosen who thinks that “having a body already means to be incompatible”. Hacker and Glitch Art artist Jon Satrom considers poking around in the messy mush under the shiny surface being worthwile: in this mass, there is friction, a collision of ideas representing life – they can be transformed into art.
Text: Boris Alexander Knop