in/compatible systems | publics | aesthetics

Photo: John Fass / transmediale
Photo: John Fass / transmediale

transmediale 2012 Symposium


The spread of networks over the past few years has been almost epidemic. Political, economic, civil and military authorities are all now bound up with each other. The notion of regulation and control of such expansive systems through routine procedures of convergence, standardisation and compatibility is proving to be increasingly problematic.


In contrast to this, the in/compatible is a moment that cannot be accommodated within given structures, hierarchies and relationships, because it is by its nature ambiguous. How can this oscillation between functionality and disruption be used as a productive strategy? How can alternative forms of knowledge-production relying on malfunction be envisaged? And how can hacking and non-authorised interventions help to enhance systems whose distinguishing features are produced as a result of binding and standardised models of world, subject and thing?


in/compatible systems


This section will deal with the zones in which so-called “divergent culture” is materialised, where unresolved tensions and conflicting policies come to light. What happens if systems become too large to break down? And what kinds of strange and ambiguous forms of reality arise if systems are too compatible?

in/compatible publics


This part of the symposium will discuss forms of activism, social resistance and other multi-layered and ambiguous social activities emerging from a context of in/compatible systems. Public and non-public players in this regard use diverse strategies such as anonymity, deception, spamming, disruption, leakage and occupation.


in/compatible aesthetics


What constitutes an in/compatible aesthetic? The third strand of the symposium examines how artists – like users and consumers – exploit forgotten channels, fissures and functions in excess of networked communication.


The symposium is supported through the Federal Agency for Civic Education (BpB).


The keynotes and panel discussions of the symposium will be simultaneously translated

into English and German.


(Image: John Fass / transmediale)