|With the transmediale.02 (February 2002) the organisers took a decisive step forwards: on the one hand, the transmediale developed its image by concentrating on the cultural effects of the new technologies and by presenting relevant international media artistic productions. On the other hand, the fact that this was the first time a media art exhibition had been realised in this dimension strengthened the position of the transmediale as one of the most important European events of its kind. The transmediale has been successful at establishing itself as an important festival of international radiance. International reviews of the festival and the exhibition were positive, and the event set a new record with a total of 20,000 visitors. The strong public response to the exhibition of 2002 - which attracted around 10,000 visitors over the three weeks it was running - shows that there is considerable interest in contemporary media art.
[ play global ! ]
Each year the transmediale has a different slogan that lends a certain structure to the festivals diverse programme and serves as a thematic setting for the artists.
With its slogan Play Global!, the transmediale.03 will present artistic drafts and critical questions on global culture. What does it mean to present culturally specific issues in the geographically and culturally unspecific space of the Internet? Is there a new artistic language of globalness? What symbolic relation is there between locally defined individuals and their less and less locally defined social environment which today may quite naturally comprise employees, partners and friends at the other end of the world? Mobile communication, telematic aids, world-wide working groups and global political alliances, such as the critics of globalisation, create new cultural structures we all need to find our way around in first.
Of course, there is also a pinch of irony in the request to Play Global!. On the one hand, the slogan alludes to the Global Players, i.e. business enterprises and groups of affiliated companies that are able to disregard national borders due to their powerful networks and vast amount of capital, and regard the entire world as their playing field. The festival will present some critical and also some very self-confident artistic responses to this. But at the same time, the transmediale.03 and Play Global! also wants to point to the necessity of extending culturally shaped activism beyond local issues, and to search for action strategies for a globalised reality. This understanding is gaining acceptance with many sociocritical and cultural activist groups, but it is also being considered by small and medium-sized businesses, for instance, since today digital service providers can act across borders in the same way that European manufacturers are competing with American and Asian companies.
After all, the word play quite intentionally adds a certain lightness and the notion of pretending to the topic, which despite its occasional dramatic aspects should also reflect a little self-mockery and wittiness.
House of World Cultures
In February 2002 the transmediale took place at the House of World Cultures for the first time. The festival occupied the entire House for five days, implemented its own festival design and made use of the different rooms for its various types of events. The exhibition hall with nearly 900 m2 housed the transmediale.02_exhibition current positions of media art for two and a half weeks. A specially devised interior design had been set up in the multifunctional exhibition room to form a complex interior tailored to the various architectural requirements of the installations. The House of World Cultures has proved to be a perfect venue for this years transmediale.
The successful cooperation between Berliner Kulturveranstaltungs GmbH / transmediale and the House of World Cultures will be continued in the coming year at the wish of both cooperation partners.