OutResourcing is a collaboration project in 2011-2013 of transmediale, festival for art and digital culture, Berlin in cooperation with CEMA, Center for Experimental Media Arts at Sristhi School of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore. It is supported by Goethe Institute and the framework of Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities.
OutResourcing explores the pervasive phenomenon of outsourcing from a critical constructive point of view. Outsourcing is often either simply embraced as an economical necessity of labor costs in a global economy or criticised as such on the basis of the uneven distribution of wealth, power and/or labor that it entails. This project takes the phenomenon of outsourcing and approaches it as a site for the production of new hybrid subjectivities and economies. The aim is to carry out artistic research on the topic of outsourcing, in order to outResource, by approaching outsourcing as a kind of cultural production which can lead to two-way exchanges across different cultural and economical situations.
The participants of the project are artists and researchers located in Berlin and Bangalore. They each engage in projects that involve methodologies of production borrowed from outsourcing, which they in turn outResource. The results will be artistic research, toolkits, seminars and exhibitions that create new unexpected networks of cultural production. Through these activities outsourcing is explored in a wider sense, as a phenomena that is not any longer restricted to business relations, but as an increasingly central feature of networked cultural production. In the era of crowdsourcing, where networked collaboration and participation have become almost compulsory – how can we develop tools and forms of critical analysis to reflect meaningfully on our new outsourced life-situations?
OutResourcing is planned as a continuous two years exchange between participants from Germany and India. The first phase of the project took place in Berlin, Vienna and Bangalore during 2011, with two artistic research projects developed in Germany and India, presented at the 2012 transmediale festival in/compatible. In the second phase of the project, a new selection of participants will develop their projects through a residency in Bangalore in October 2012, resulting in a seminar at the beginning of November and in a common presentation at transmediale in February 2013.
outResourcing Phase 1
From March to September 2011 the phase started with a research and development phase, identifying possible participants. Indian artist Prayas Abhinav visits Berlin twice in September and October while conducting a residency at Coded Cultures, Vienna. He gave the first public presentation of the projects un-Masking and Shadow Notation Language. In November, Manual, a three week residency and workshop by Berlin based artist Linda Hilfling takes place at Sristhi, Bangalore. The phase continues through the work, research and development of individual projects, and culminates in a public presentation by Kristoffer Gansing, Prayas Abhinav and Linda Hilfling at transmediale in Berlin in February 2012.
outResourcing Phase 2
The research and development phase of the project's second part takes place from March to September 2012, where new possible participants were contacted. Afterwards, Copieren & Verfälschen (Alexander Mayer, Jo Zahn und Jörn Zehe) will participate at a residency in Bangalore in October. In November, artists, members of transmediale, Coded Cultures and Srishti will take part in a
public seminar on the project's theme. Finally, there will be a concluding presentation (in the form of a mobile seminar around Berlin) at transmediale 2013 in January/February 2013.
Participants and Projects
Prayas Abhinav (in), Project: mas*ing: Insulation
Insulation, a set of objects, which can be used for privileging and layering the access which others have to our lives online. These objects are meant to be gifted to people we want to create a priviliged access to an online resource for. It can facilitate limited-visibility interactions of peer-learning, community organizing and activism. Insulation becomes a way for chasing noise in the autobiographical, allowing personal narratives online to become layered and aquire more depth. The project will outResource the growing legibility with concerns about privacy, security and sociality in standardised online social networks. With a view to fragment, individuate and break the hierarchies between server and client that are inherent in security structures, the project can become a interesting talking point for thinking about the nature of conversations and self-representation online.
Linda Hilfling (de/dk), Project: Manual
Through a series of design interventions documented as a set of subjectively narrated instructions, the project Manual explores how local spatialities in the West are materially dependent on a complex mixture of 'undead' machines and software, maintained in so-called developing countries. In her project, Linda has been doing on-site research together with students in Bangalore on how India‘s great boom of outsourced business was spurred by the infamous Y2K, millennium bug. This lead to a massive employment of Indian programmers to maintain and update obsolete software through programming languages and operating systems that no-one in the so called developed countries wanted to learn any longer. The project will be presented in the form of a Manual to these systems, using the instructional form of the operating manual as both a documentation and a documentary. The first phase included a number of mock-instructional films created by students at the Srishti school. The second phase involves the publication of the Manual itself, which includes both a research narrative and codes written in the obsolete language COBOL that, in the spirit of the Y2K bug, aim at “re:bugging” our computing everyday.
Galerie C&V (Alexander Mayer, Jo Zahn and Jörn Zehe), Project: in development
Galerie C&V is a group of artists who came together through their common organisation of the “Copieren und Verfälschen” (Copying and Forgery) series of exhibitions and activities at Künstlerhaus Frise, Hamburg between 2007 and 2009. This series of exhibitions, lectures, film screenings, concerts and performances interrogated the appropriation of existing cultural artefacts in contemporary art practices, looking at the transformation of authorship, originality and intellectual property. Their latest project Another Decade of California Color: Charles Arnold & The Missing i (2010-2012) continued this interest in the border-zones of fact and factuality as well as the conditions of art production under different socio-economic frameworks.
For outResourcing they will be developing a project that continue these thematics in relation to the paradoxes of outsourced labor in the contemporary art scene of Bangalore.
Public Presentations & Documentation
Coded Cultures, 23.09 2011
transmediale was invited to curate a residency in the context of the theme "City as Interface" as part of the Coded Cultures festival in September 2011 in Vienna. For this we choose to engage the outResourcing project through inviting Prayas Abhinav to develop his project in the framework of this residency. The project was presented in the Vienna MuseumsQuartier as a talk between Prayas and transmediale artistic director Kristoffer Gansing on the 23rd of October.
transmediale 2012 in/compatible, 05.02.2012
The outResourcing projects of Linda Hilfling and Prayas Abhniav were presented as a panel in the event "reSource Launch - Zombie Play in the Ludic Salon: reSourcing an Exquisite Media Corpse", Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin. Furthermore, Prayas Abhinav’s design objects from the Insulation project were on display throughout the festival. Audio documentation from the event is made available at the end of this page.
Bangalore, Nov 2012
Upcoming event, venue to be announced.
transmediale 2013, Jan 29 - Feb 03. Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin.
A web-site will be developed during 2012 to include documentation of all the outResourcing projects and event documentation.
Listen to the presentation of OutResourcing at the transmediale 2012.