transmediale 2k+12, in/compatible
Festival identity, Artdirection and Design. With: Timm Häneke, Till Wiedeck. Special Tag Parallel World
"[...]The simultaneous monumental failure and global ubiquity of technology seems to move us beyond the polarity of utopia and dystopia. Instead we are entering the blurred environments of the unadapted, monstrous and “uncorporated”. These increasingly unclear tension-states between open and closed, military and civilian, idealistic and commercial are giving rise to a new kind of "techno-cultural uneasy" [...]." Framework of transmediale 2k+12.
After reading the first conceptual ideas for transmediale's theme and the inquiry of new artistic director Kristoffer Gansing to design the whole festival identity there was a big excitment about the demand for serious visual enlargement - the chance to transport the spirit of The Laboratory into one of the world's most wellknown art & digital culture festivals. Teaming up with Timm Häneke and Till Wiedeck we were realizing our design conecept "Promised Land" - and blasted the production budget... :-)
Working with the "Promised Land" idea (see on the rigthen column), the significant reference pictures the sky, the heaven, the admirable thing beyond us. Translating this connotation into a unique material, we were using metal-coated paper (from the eastern side of the globe) that shines not only golden, it also reflects rainbow colors, so to say: attracts attention on a very high level. The design of a centered black tunnel with its rounded (!) worth pursuing rectangle at the horizon, shows the gesture of our compulsion and drive for contemporary technology. It questions the relationship of the striving human rather user as in/compatible part in our glowing digital culture. Shineyness vs. black vacuum of shallow promises generate the "techno-cultural-uneasy" effect, that connects directly to transmediale's exhibition "Dark Drives".
"As an in/compatible being, transmediale 2012 highlights projects and cultural phenomena that savor this stop in the incessant flow of things and posits it as a moment of tension that allows for a redefinition of our initial terms of engagement. The in/compatible being is one that moves with the particular rhythms of this tension, but not necessarily forward. Contrary to the fear of the incompatible, so prevalent in the age of cloud-computing, the festival raises the question of what happens when incompatibility is brought to the fore rather than hidden away in the dark underbelly of digital culture." Curatorial statement transmediale festival programme
The fancyness and attraction of the material let people deconstruct advertising columns: Gold Rush in Berlin! 3 of 5 columns got ripped, many big 18/1 posters at Schönleinstrasse metro station were also "attacked": People went over the tracks for the sake of gold. A quite metaphorical reponse to the design.
Speaking about the design:
The FESTIVAL CATALOGUE with its shiny appearance contains 1.Programm Reader, 2. Day Planner, 3. Schedule & Location Map, 4. "Dark Drives" Exhibition Catalogue, 5. In/compatible notepad, 6. reSource research newspaper. The transparent pvc folder features different pockets on the inside, to organize all printed matter. A compatible system for in/compatible products...
Programm Reader: Showing the conceptual basis of the festival, its programme highlights and participants, the 32 pages black and white brochure looks like a symbiosis of early dtp design approaches with latest forms of digital life stlye. This clash leaves the reader in an blurry environment that is to be explored attentively. "The too old and the too new are two sides of the same coin: nothing ever works perfectly." Excerpt of the curatorial statement, p.3
Day Planner: Taking its inspiration from advertising leaflets and the infotainment design of "General Knowledge" (India) all festival events fight for their attention in order to be visit. "In the spirit of the festival theme, in/compatible, the following days will take you on a journey through phenomena that do not work togehter, therby forcing us to seek out alternative trajectories. Good Luck exploring." Excerpt of the intro, p.1
"Dark Drives" Exhibition Catalogue: With its gloomy look and white type on dark background, the "Dark Drives" catalogue translates the concept of the exibition on paper. The minimal design comes with a smart idea to emphasize the tension fields/ uneasy energies in a subtle way and influences our reading softly. Every line/row of the catalogue is set rotational in the typefaces: Times New Roman, Georgia, Utopia, Times New Roman,...
Schedule & Map: Fetishising the technology look over and over - this leaflet is an in/compatible experience. It features various timetables and maps and defines shineyness on a new level.
World of The News: A new pathway for transmediale is its research programm "reSource", that publishes results regulary in different media. For this years festival, reSource and Aarhaus university's digital aesthetics research appartment realized together this 32 pages newspaper, which we designed in the look of the last issue of the "News of The World". The design questions the problematic of research in capitalistic/commercial times, where even (artistic) analysis are observed and regulated by industrie's money flow mechanism. For closer information follow this link.
Offical Festival Trailer: The posing gestures of young rioters fitted to the gesture of our "black tunnel - golden technology" design. It became to the shortes festival trailer (counting only 15 seconds + credits), but also to the toughest one!
Send from my iphone:
Homepage for TM2k+12: The controversial discussed homepage of transmediale festival shines bright and links to the design of the schedule/ daily planner. An advertising character: golden elements, repeating of images and the use of various typefaces generates a coincidence of in/compatible perception, the uneasyness of consumption.
Interactive design: tm2k+12 flyer microwaved by Mario de Vega: This is the outcome of "Termal", a performance by Mario de Vega, an on-going research about vulnerability, molecular irritation, high frequency reception, and electromagnetic activity amplification.
The invitation for transmediale festival: Last but last the invitation cards for 2012's in/compatible festival. The card shows the opposite perspective of the regular artwork and comes with fancy rounded corners.
"PROMISED LAND" - the design approach:
Hope and Promises on Digital Culture:
The high exspectation on digital technology and its everyhour usage illustrate not only an irreplacable need, it rather points out a promise for infinite compatibility that determines our fortune. Cloud computing is only the beginning, High Definition is not the end. Technology heads towards utopia, or at least what people think it would be, an avantgardistic idea of technology & life. In/compatibility is a feature to generate money not the starting point for an artistic practice as transmediale is manifesting it for this year's festival.
(Self) Reflection in the Age of In/Compatibility:
Our latest acquaintance with technology implicit full (self)reflection in our representation through social networks = on the internet. The cloud urges us spreading its idea, participating everywhere and for everything, becoming the role model of a digital naitive. Narcissm amd emancipation, so to say our performance builds up on fast chanels and its shineyness makes it attractive and adorable - ready for attention from all over. The design approach mirrors the self awarness in times of sacrification of technology and reveals its single-minded blindness.
Contemporary Aestehtics of Compatibility:
Welcome to the world of slick softness, smooth shadows & fantastic fadings. If you want to join the sophisticated, proper digital life, you have to deal with an inevitable tactile-design style. Introduced by Apple there are no sharp rectangles anymore (beside this website...) Your Home icon is not anymore a triangle shaped roof, it’s a rounded rectangle. For an overwhelming impression fly here.
Our design references of the information society:
Enlightment and spiritual grammar:
Sacrifying technology goes from subtle gestures (handy bumper) to almost religious forms (Spirit Surfers). For all reasons at the end stands information rather enlightment. Pro Surfer Kevin Bewersdorf sees a BOON “at the eureka moment of a surf when the surfer becomes enlightened by the INFOspirit.“ Another spirtual form of sacrifiny technology is just the self representation of Richard Matthew Stallman, an American software freedom activist and computer programmer, which sees himself as missionary of the CPU world.