Track steps. Track sleep. Track habits. Get fit. Get better. Update status. Count Heartbeats. Like Friends. Reach your goals. Share. Be influential. Be original. Find backers and back others. Work more. Work less. Be mindful. Send rewards. Predict actions. Challenge yourself. Become a Low-Carb Data Hero. Play the game. Track life.
transmediale 2015 will take place from January 28 to February 1 at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin. The programme will feature a diversity of different types of work in a thematic exhibition as well as film and video screenings, workshops, performances, and a conference programme. transmediale is always interested in works exploring our complex relation to technology, be it through new or old media.
In a society ruled by algorithms, data is always at play. The drive towards the quantification of everything means that we are all contributing to a state of permanent capture of life into data. As citizens, workers and players of the networks we (often involuntarily) double as sensors for bodies of global data collection, working for the potential extraction of value everywhere and increasing the productivity of everyday life. If work and leisure became mathematically manageable data units for the assembly line production model of industrial capitalism, today’s workers even offer their free time to the extent that it serves a form of unaware labour facilitated by playful technologies and game-like mechanics. Are there still modes of being that resist the imperative of digital capitalism to CAPTURE ALL or is there no option but to play along? If so, are there artistic strategies and speculative approaches that do not play this game of quantification by the numbers? What are the blind spots and gaps of relentless quantification and gamification that can be exploited in order to carve out new ways of living?
Flash crashes caused by out of control algorithms, imprecise “precision strikes”, the unintended consequences of a badly interpreted meta-data, the biometrics of a dog applied to a human being, the mismatch of work and life: not only the productivity but also such evident dysfunctions of the CAPTURE ALL society originate in the constant algorithmic operation on data, in instant data-play and the illusion of boundless control. Playful and participatory structures are purposefully used to render personal information traceable, social relationships exploitable and behavioral patterns recognizable. The events of the most recent past instantly feed the datafied present and are used to predict a probable future in an endless interpretation loop which is the founding principle of a society of control hopelessly out of control.
transmediale 2015 sets out to push against the limits of digital culture’s pervasive logic of CAPTURE ALL and its quantification of life, work and play. We are looking for artistic works, critical media projects and speculative research that delimit modes of existence by operating in and exploiting the blind spots of a datafied society. There is always something in excess that bypasses normalization, even in the most integrated processes of capture. Following this idea, transmediale calls for artistic descriptions and actions that form pro-active responses to phenomena like gamification, quantification and algorithmic control and their ways of making the spheres of everyday life, work and play increasingly indistinguishable. We welcome proposals for action and (-de)constructive counter-action including miscalculation and disproportioning, overidentification and obfuscation, metamodeling and re-purposing, acceleration and exaggeration, de-gamification and counter-gamification. We are seeking responses that outsmart and outplay the logic of CAPTURE ALL and that organise more intimate modes of post-digital life, work and play.