Revisiting the Innovative resource Project

Reflections on the development of a year-round festival program by Tatiana Bazzichelli

Workshop: 36 15 Circuit Bending [Minitel Hacking], Photo: Maria Silvano, www.mariasilvano.com
Workshop: 36 15 Circuit Bending [Minitel Hacking], Photo: Maria Silvano, www.mariasilvano.com

From 2011 to 2014, Tatiana Bazzichelli and a team of others designed a sprawling event program called “reSource transmedial culture Berlin,” which picked up on transmediale-related projects and flung them far further. As Bazzichelli writes in this careful excavation and examination of the project (originally published in the across & beyond book in 2016) the whole thing was an experiment in the way institutions and cultural networks can interact, expand, and support each other in ongoing programming beyond singular events like festivals. Because Bazzichelli was also a curator at transmediale for the same years, she writes from a “situated perspective” while offering a unique “meta-reflection” on the exciting, if sometimes messy, interchanges that took place.

Within the framework of curatorial and networking practices beyond the realm of the digital, this essay aims to reflect upon the experience of “reSource transmedial culture Berlin,” the series of transmediale-related projects and network activities that extended the festival program throughout the year, in the time frame of 2011 to 2014. The development of a year-round festival program was based on the idea of creating a shared knowledge laboratory within transmediale, as well as a project for local and trans-local distributed networks active in Berlin and elsewhere. Reflecting on the changes introduced by the digital paradigm into everyday life, and therefore applying a post-digital perspective able to open analysis to broader social, economic, political, and artistic landscapes, the objective was to involve communities that not only engaged directly with network technologies, but that were also critically working on decentralized and distributed strategies of participation and collaboration. These ranged from artists, hackers, activists, and independent cultural producers, to feminist, queer, and porn communities.

Since I was also part of the transmediale team as program curator between 2011 and 2014, my analysis contains both a situated perspective and a meta-reflection on the subject of community building in relation to festival program development. Motivated by the necessity of describing a networked curatorial path by positioning myself within the matter under scrutiny, I defined my practice-based approach as an “ethnography of networks”—a methodology that I have tested in the past when writing about Italian and international hacker and activist communities since the late 1990s1. Applying a methodology in which the theoretical imaginary is closely linked with the act of experiencing the research subject itself, I involve myself directly in the development of the analysis and its concrete challenges. Therefore, my perspective aims to bypass the theoretical mediation of the traditional curator given the fact that I was individually situated within the transmediale team as program developer as well as within the reSource community as a networker.

Launch of the reSource for transmedial culture, Photo: Genz Lindner / transmediale

This contribution is an initial attempt to investigate and to reflect upon the idea of introducing a changing element into the consolidated structure of an art festival with around thirty years of history. The development of the network program had evident consequences on the festival team’s structure, the program planning, and the perception of the festival’s activity in the local and trans-local context of Berlin. This analysis is especially directed to those who would like to imagine new modalities of expanding a festival program into a yearly activity, by directly addressing local communities of artists, activists, and cultural producers working across art and digital culture. Furthermore, I would like this analysis to serve as an invitation for those who have been part of the reSource experience to reflect on a wider scale upon the process of applying a networking methodology to a consolidated festival structure, opening up a collective discussion about what could be repeated and what instead should be avoided in the future of this and similar projects.

Imagining a “trans-medial” reSource

The development of reSource transmedial culture berlin followed a curatorial vision of crossing artistic practices and languages with a critical reflection on media culture, connecting the reSource program planning with the general curatorial development of the transmediale festival. The activities of the reSource program developed through organization of events involving artists, hackers, activists, researchers, and cultural producers active in Berlin and elsewhere throughout the year, with touchdowns at each festival 2. Alongside this, the reSource initiative was imagined as a distributed networking platform as well as a theoretical investigation into the meaning and the practices of networked art, hacking, and collaborative art production in the context of an international art festival. Within the process of community building, we wanted to experiment with an ongoing curatorial methodology related to festival program development, as well as to imagine a festival as a sharing resource for a broader community in Berlin and beyond.

The theoretical aim was to go beyond the hype of the technological or the digital paradigm, to focus instead on the hybrid interconnections between art and culture in everyday life, blending together various media and disciplines—following a path initiated decades ago by the Fluxus movement and earlier avant-gardes, and analyzed by a wide range of thinkers. 3 But while many Fluxus artists aimed to bring everyday life into the art field, many countercultural artistic projects in the late 1970s and 1980s aimed to transfer artistic practices into everyday life, as well as to question what the notion of “everyday life” is. In the development of the reSource project, one of the initial conceptual challenges was how to bring a festival perspective into the “everyday life” of the independent art and post-digital culture scene of Berlin, a scene that is very fragmented and often critical towards the dynamics of “big events.”

This generated not only a structural problem, as until that time the festival had been conceived primarily as a once-a-year event, but also a political problem, concerning the risk of imposing a top-down structure onto a wider independent community. A conceptual interrogative that I posed for curatorial debate within the transmediale team was why a festival like transmediale evolved in the city of Berlin specifically, and what this might mean for its collective representation. 4

In the past I have described the city of Berlin as a kind of modern Eutropia, referring to the 1972 book Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino: “Berlin/Eutropia is the city that changes constantly, and constantly remains the same. For many, it is the city of fluxes, of the precariousness and the temporary. But it is also the city where the precariousness and the temporary are the normativity, they repeat themselves over and over, taking different forms in the illusion of progressive movement, from decade to decade.” 5 Within a festival that goes “across and beyond” by connecting various media and culture—a trans-medial festival—the challenge became how to reach and address the mobile and dynamic facets of the city in which the festival operates. Given that Berlin is a city of interconnections, where artistic, medial, political, and economic flows intertwine, the main questions became how to bring the local dimension of the city into the festival and expand it internationally, as well as how to bring the international dimension of the festival into the local city context.

reSource 006: Overflow, Psychogeographic walk by John Wild: Network Noise Drift, Photo: Maria Silvano www.mariasilvano.com

The curatorial aim behind the conceptualization of reSource transmedial culture berlin was to merge interdisciplinary trajectories, opening up the program to artistic, political, economic, and bodily practices. Applying a post-digital perspective to the creation of a networking path, the actual “resource” that the festival wanted to offer was the creation of contexts for sharing, exchange, and discussion involving hackers, activists, artists, cultural producers, academics, and researchers, as well as project spaces—the complex diversity of the free and independent Berlin scene. The main challenge became not only structural but also political: reSource aimed to create a change within the festival’s production, also according to the traditional vision of a festival program, generating a distributed and year-round project, able to innovate when it came to the format of the festival as well as the perception of what a festival needs to produce and create in the city landscape, a problematic that I will analyze more deeply at the end of this essay.

The Networking-Research-Curating Approach

reSource transmedial culture berlin started as an initiative able to extend into ongoing activities with decisive touchdowns at each festival. The general direction was to organize events, talks, workshops, performances, and constellations of activities, intercrossing the program of the festival. The reSource program started in September 2011, with the aim of questioning and transferring into practice the concept of “Networking-Research-Curating.” This methodology expanded the festival production, interconnecting different fields of theory and practice: reflection on experimental modalities of networking and community building, research on disruptive artistic and activist practices within the post-digital framework, and a distributed curatorial approach based on the creation of a process rather than only the production and presentations of selected artworks.

The first public introduction of the reSource project was the formulation of a statement of interest in October 2011, while planning the series of talks at transmediale 2012.6">http://www.aprja.net. The statement introduced the reSource activity to the general public, and posed some specific objectives, according to the theoretical perspective of shifting from the digital paradigm, to post-digital practices related to the broader landscape of society, culture, politics, and everyday life. 7 Starting from the assumption that the increasing commercialization of sharing and network practices has transformed the meaning of art and participation, the main questions in the statement were directed to artists, activists, hackers, and cultural producers working with the idea of networking through a critical lens.

Pointing out that hacker and artist practices have developed in response to deep transformations in their participation contexts, often reflecting cultural and economic precarity, the statement asked about the responsibility and the role of cultural institutions engaging with art and digital technologies. Assuming that in past decades in Berlin, hacker, activist, and artist practices have mostly been realized outside the realm of artistic institutions, the statement highlighted the fact that those practices have contributed to transforming the city’s economy and cultural assets, and have also become easy targets for market exploitation. In a context in which financial markets deeply influence the development of cultural production and, more generally, of daily life, the question became how to encourage direct participation and common engagement without replicating pervasive business logics and hierarchical forms of control.

From the outset, the questions posed by reSource transmedial culture berlin reflected the need to analyze the topology and the effects of artistic and hacktivist practices in decentralized social networks, while remaining conscious that a distributed networking phenomenon might bring along contradictions and ambiguities. This implied a reflection on power structures and business methodologies as well as on the relationship between art and network economies. The research that formed the basis of the reSource project generated an analysis of disruptive hacker and artistic practices in the field of network culture, but also a deeper investigation into networking as a research method. Following my path of research on these topics, I pointed out that it was necessary to rethink concepts such as innovation and disruption, co-optation, and opposition as mutual feedback loops where various subjects involved in the process reciprocally influence each other. 8

Within the framework of this research, an important aspect was to encourage mutual exchange of methodologies and knowledge, as well as project space experiences, investigating new ways of forming a cultural public and reflecting on the curatorial activity of the transmediale festival. This scope informed the first plenary meeting, with curators and cultural producers at Berlin’s General Public project space during the event reSource 001: Trial Crack in May 2012. After this event, according to a proposal by Panke e.V. and Art Laboratory Berlin, this transdisciplinary approach was further developed in monthly reSource network meetings, hosted by various project spaces and curators in Berlin—which have been taking place regularly ever since. In August 2012, the outcome of the reSource activities was the creation of a network platform (the reSource-net mailing list) with the goal of encouraging the sharing and development of experiences, questions, and issues of artistic and other communities within (and beyond) digital cultural production.9

One of the results of the exchange with project spaces and local cultural producers was the publication in September 2013 of the reSource Chats, a series of interviews within the initiative “Networking Berlin’s transmedial culture.” 10 The reSource Chats project was a creative montage of interviews with various culture producers and managers of local spaces in Berlin. After the transmediale 2012 festival, I had started investigating the perception of the newborn reSource project, and the transmediale festival in general, among various cultural producers, artists, and curators based in Berlin. The aim of the interview project that grew out of this investigation was to document the considerations and thoughts of people active within the scene of cultural production in the city, and the implications of their activity in the framework of cultural politics and networking models. The project highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of the condition of being trans-genre in the cultural landscape of Berlin, focusing on the hybrid character of activities that mix media, practices, and languages, which often lack political and cultural recognition as well as sustainable funds. 11

The curatorial choice to develop the reSource as a networking process was also the reason behind connecting the reSource project with the Vorspiel production, the partner program of transmediale and CTM festivals. The scope was to generate an open platform for interconnection among local spaces, encouraging resource sharing and mutual visibility. Vorspiel promoted digital and post-digital culture among independent organizations, project spaces, galleries, and other venues across Berlin, strengthening the network among such actors. The strategy was, therefore, to produce the Vorspiel as the result of a process of networking, by creating a context of sharing and synergy among the reSource network, or close to it—as opposed to merely a consequence of a selection of projects and artworks operated within the festivals. This process resulted in the event reSource 003: P2P Vorspiel in February 2013, and was further developed in the following Vorspiel events—a series of distributed activities throughout the city prior to and during the transmediale and CTM festivals. 

SPACE US THE PLACE Performance, Liebig12 at reSource 003: P2P Vorspiel, Photo: Veronica Santos Ruiz / transmediale

reSource as Ongoing Artistic Production

During the development of reSource transmedial culture between 2011 and 2014, one of the challenges was to configure the project as a laboratory for artistic production, not only working on the creation of specific artworks to be presented at the festival, but especially on the process of networking and distributed interventions based on long-term relationships between the festival and the community of art and (post-)digital culture. During the summer of 2012, I worked on the organization of the practice-based conference and event reSource 002: Out of Place, Out of Time. The event took place from August 22–24, 2012, at Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, and presented open discussions, panels, workshops, and performances, shedding light on the practices of artists, activists, and hackers rethinking critical interventions in the field of art and technology. The organization of this event was preceded by in-depth research on networking practices, giving attention to analog processes of networking (networks out of time) and the idea of shifting cultural paradigms via network technologies (networks out of place). The three-day event reflected on modalities of artistic production in the framework of digital culture and network economies, while generating a collective insight into the themes of the upcoming transmediale and CTM festivals. 12

The event was also the occasion to launch three major installation projects, which were developed in the following months and presented at transmediale 2013. The first was OCTO P7C-1 (with the related mail art project PNEUMAtic circus), which resulted from a collaboration between reSource, transmediale, the Berlin-based art collective Telekommunisten, the Berlin-based architecture group raumlabor, and a network of more than a hundred international mail artists, both as a living metaphor of a social network and as a tribute to the local Berlin Rohrpost (a public service of pneumatic-tube transport created in 1865). The second was ReFunct Media 5, a circuit-bending installation made of obsolete technologies, exhibited in the Haus der Kulturen der Welt during transmediale 2013, an ongoing collective project that began in August 2012, generated from a Minitel hacking workshop directed by Benjamin Gaulon and Karl Klomp; Composting the City / Composting the Net, an art installation project by Shu Lea Cheang, processing discarded food scraps and the immaterial junk of net data, involving a local network of people that—after maintaining a collective composter for six months—came together for a live performance at transmediale 2013.” 13

Proposing an input and practice-based “testing” of the upcoming festival topics, the event created a distributed trans-genre program involving various artists, hackers, and performers from local and international networks.14">http://www.transmediale.de/content/resource-002-out-place-out-time. This interdisciplinary, trans-local approach was at the core of the subsequent reSource events during 2013, in which we aimed to connect local debate with the emerging international issues around whistleblowing. 15 The events had a curatorial follow-up at transmediale 2014 in the conference thread “Hashes to Ashes,” an opportunity to reflect on patterns of intimidation to threaten and silence whistleblowers, cyber-activists, and journalists by discussing the future of political agency, free speech, and freedom of information.16 This critical reflection on post-digital society was further developed in the last event of the reSource 00+ series, which took place again at Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien with the title reSource 006: Overflow from September 12–14, 2013. The event highlighted various strategies for rethinking digital and physical spaces, analyzing issues related to data overflow, such as ownership and privacy, and the way complex data is distributed and shared—topics that informed the debate around transmediale 2014. The condition of “overflow” also shed light on the growing desire to be part of an extended, connected collective, imagining conscious strategies of networking, communication, and grassroots participation.17">https://transmediale.de/content/mapping-the-resource-network.

resource 006: Overflow, LEAKAGE CURRENT Workshop by Jamie Allen and David Gauthier

The methodology of the reSource 00+ series was to encourage an interconnection between grassroots initiatives of the art and digital culture scene of Berlin and transmediale festival, by producing some of them within the festival itself. The idea was to develop a laboratory of experimentation able to influence some curatorial paths of the festival, by creating a confluence between reSource and the transmediale festival in general. This generated great results through the above-described projects at trasmediale 2013 and 2014, but also some political and structural challenges related to the networking process both inside and outside the festival. 

 

Trials and Errors in Berlin’s Landscape of Culture Production

 

One of the main objectives of the reSource program was to act as a link between the cultural production of art festivals and collaborative networks in the fields of art and technology, hacktivism and politics—with the aegis of facilitating collaboration and sharing resources and knowledge between the transmediale festival and the local and trans-local scene engaged with art and digital culture in Berlin. The reSource project worked on many layers of conceptualization and curatorial development and involved widely diverse actors: the transmediale festival team members who work during the whole year, the additional festival team members that are temporarily employed when the festival approaches, the institutional cooperation partners of the reSource project, and the community of art and digital culture in Berlin, which is involved in the monthly network meetings and takes part in Vorspiel partner events. reSource worked towards the formulation of a distributed and networked curatorial festival strategy, as well as the creation of tangible and concrete activities across the city, able to expand the festival throughout the year. Thus, operating within a high degree of experimentation, the trial-and-error methodology embedded in the curatorial development of reSource has been evident ever since its name was chosen. As I wrote in the initial statement of interest in October 2011:

If a source is the beginning, or origin of something, reSource is used in this context as a starting point from which a distributed sharing process, and a common executable (artistic) program, is produced. The aim of the reSource for transmedial culture is to be distributed in a form that extends into an ongoing, year-round activity with touchdowns at each festival. This form includes both its executable files, and its source code. Source codes are useful to modify a program or understand how it works. Taking this notion more broadly, in the framework of the reSource for transmedial culture, the objective becomes to develop a networking distributed platform and an (executable) meta reflection on the meaning and the practices of networked art, hacking and collaborative art production within the context of an international art festival. 18">http://www.transmediale.de/content/resource-statement-interest.

From its beginning, the project proposed a “guess and check” curatorial approach. As a conceptual experiment, a “trial crack” was proposed. This is where the first collective event in May 2012 got its name. The first day of reSource 001: Trial Crack proposed a collective discussion on networking methodologies of curating and distributed logic of artistic production with cultural producers based in Berlin. We discussed the responsibility and the role of cultural institutions engaging with art and digital technologies, towards a critical articulation of cultural production. Together with other active groups in Berlin’s independent cultural context, we discussed ideas about how to build a stronger connection between local—and trans-local—agents in the fields of critical media, art, and hacktivism in the city. The same networking approach informed the following reSource network meetings, which, as previously mentioned, have been regularly and spontaneously arranged by the members of Berlin project spaces ever since.

Many of these network events worked well as platforms for sharing and reflection on the problematic matter of getting connected in a city with many concurrent events. Through those encounters, long-lasting relationships among some project spaces flourished and are still producing positive results. It was possible to get more closely in contact with the diverse and fragmented scene of project spaces in the city and to generate occasions of exchange among cultural producers, artists, and curators. Alongside this, the establishment of the Vorspiel program helped give more visibility to project spaces both new and recognized in the city—even if in general the plan of concentrating distributed events within a small time frame created problems of clashing programs and difficulties with simultaneous participation in both activity streams.

The reSource program had positive outcomes in connecting people and offering an ongoing festival presence outside the event itself, in dialogue with the city context. However, the process of establishing a year-round program operating both locally and internationally, respectively as a network of local agents as well as a curatorial series of events taking place prior to and during the festival, opened up various questions related to grassroots engagement, hierarchy, and sustainability. What is the role of festivals in the ecology of art production? How can festivals open new creative avenues? What is their role with regards to the communities they engage? How do we measure their community impact? Is it sustainable for a festival to work simultaneously on a local program as well as on an international event? What is the benefit to independent project spaces of cooperating with a festival beyond the obvious plus of acquiring more visibility?

Answering these questions is complex. Writing from my own situated perspective between 2011 and 2014, as a networker and facilitator of the reSource network, as well as a curator of the transmediale festival, I often experienced the problem of being between and across two different contexts with their own priorities: a large festival and a heterogeneous community. The process of building a community is very slow, and most of the time results are not immediate. In the context of the reSource “experiment,” community building was mainly a matter of acquiring the trust of individuals, groups, and institutions. Within a festival-driven initiative, the risk was that the organizers would be perceived as “top-down” coordinators of collective events—since the festival has a consolidated reputation and more funds than the local project spaces. The potential risk of replicating a hierarchical structure and encouraging exploitation was very high—a festival can offer some degrees of “visibility,” but no possibility of economic reward for a large scene of actors and partners.

Being perceived as a big festival while facilitating a network community based on grassroots relations might generate expectations of distributing resources and funds. On the other hand, a festival that is relatively “experimental,” non-commercial, and that has fewer people on the team throughout the year than during festival season—and is therefore much smaller than it appears—is often running after its own deadlines and funding challenges to guarantee the survival of the festival itself. The consequence of this was also evident in the production of reSource. The program deserved a constant, in-depth, internal analysis on the process of community building, but since the people working on reSource development were the same ones working on the festival program, we often experienced the problem of not being able to dedicate enough time and resources to the networking and political activities and related discussions.

One of the more vivid debates within the reSource team was the contradiction between the fact that the reSource idea came from a curatorial vision within the festival, but was also open to a wider community that did not necessarily identify itself with the festival. Even if, of course, the presence of a festival in a community-building process became a good occasion for better visibility, many community members perceived reSource as providing the possibility to create their own grassroots networks, autonomously developed without external “power” interferences—a debate which resulted in the creation of the independent project space platform TBA (Technology Based Art) Berlin, which was developed alongside reSource by a sub-group of the reSource network. 19

resource 006: Overflow, LEAKAGE CURRENT Workshop by Jamie Allen and David Gauthier,  Photo: Maria Silvano www.mariasilvano.com

Simultaneously, in the transmediale team, a major difficulty was in maintaining the sustainability of the reSource program itself, considering that the creation of a year-round activity with touchdowns at each festival was influencing the festival programming and the general production capability of the team. During my time as reSource program curator, the festival was struggling to provide enough time and resources to invest in this new network structure and the distributed program of events. In reality, this activity would have required a team of people and a budget especially dedicated to the reSource project, while, because of general funding strategy, it was necessary to maintain enough resources for the realization and dissemination of the regular transmediale festival events.

The need to build and communicate the festival program often took priority; reSource was faced with the challenge of both sustaining internal structural innovation and the difficulty of influencing the political view of the festival itself, having a different curatorial direction and methodology. The clash between a slow community-building process, the planning of events throughout the year, and the whole festival production, was often difficult to integrate, communicate, and coordinate. The need for a sustainable work environment and for acquiring enough funds for both the year-long activities and the festival program made the development of the year-long event program a challenge, especially within the general festival production. If a festival is also struggling to acquire enough funds and resources to keep an intense work schedule running, how can it take the lead to develop a wider network activity? What structures are necessary to make an ongoing project like reSource sustainable and to maintain a team of community facilitators on a long-term basis? How can the objectives of a festival be developed alongside those of a heterogeneous community of independent cultural producers and project spaces?

These questions point to a general political problem embedded in the way cultural production is conceived, with the consequence being a general lack of resources to be distributed to a wider community, as well as a challenge of systematizing sustainability measures to guarantee fair working conditions within and outside a festival structure.20 A city like Berlin needs not only great public events but also a lively community of project spaces generating a network of macro- and micro-activities: do these two logics necessarily contradict each other?

The experience of reSource transmedial culture berlin embodied these apparently clashing perspectives. It generated many artistic experiments, ideas, connections, and activities during the year and the festival, following the idea of bringing the festival closer to the people in the city environment, and it engaged in sharing the process behind the festival. However, these contradictions remain open. The resource project was not able to change the festival production mode or its structural hierarchies to a larger extent. The partners of reSource shared the responsibility of some events, providing intellectual engagement and in some cases location facilities, but the production of the events was still under the realm of the transmediale festival team. The program development of reSource was influenced by many factors: the perspective of the community, the curatorial concept behind it, the management of the festival, and the funding limitations.

The question of how to sustainably fund and direct a festival that is not only oriented by the logic of producing “big events” is still open. Further exploration is needed into the possibilities of funding and encouraging long-term distributed network activities that do not bring immediate results. How can we encourage cultural production based on the creation of networks, enabling the local and the international perspective? How can we analyze these questions in the bigger picture, not only relating to the lack of funds? How is it possible to act collectively with other networks of producers and institutions toward the creation of a distributed and shared program of events?

The challenge, as was stated at the very start, is to keep working on creating opportunities for cultural production based on networked activities that are not easily monetized, as well as to strive for better structural conditions and fairly distributed cultural investments, beyond underpaid jobs or the politics of internships and gentrification. reSource transmedial culture berlin started its activity by specifically highlighting these issues in the open statement of interest directed to the broad Berlin and international community, and it experimented with similar sustainable and relational challenges related to the development of hybrid cultural projects and communities. In a sense, it became a mirror of such issues, and an important experiment where contradictions embedded in the development of networking structures and processes could be tested.

After the spring of 2014, I decided to develop a new curatorial project: the Disruption Network Lab, which has been taking place since 2015 as a series of conference events at Kunstquartier Bethanien’s Studio 1 (in cooperation with Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien). Going beyond digital culture per se, the Disruption Network Lab consolidates my previously applied curatorial methodology of merging with other practices, such as hacking, activism, politics, sexuality, and whistleblowing, generating discussion contexts where local and international experts meet and collaboratively unfold the matters. Here, a “montage methodology” is taking form, by combining various experts from different communities and fields who rarely enter into dialogue, in a networking configuration of talks focusing on specific topics.21

The choice of developing this program through various events over a time frame of several months, proposing the format of a “laboratory,” aims to further expand a distributed curatorial perspective that extends into ongoing activities in the city of Berlin. This curatorial approach also has a political purpose in that it aims to generate a sustainable program that is spread throughout the year, instead of concentrating resources into a few days of annual public activity. This encourages a slower and more in-depth process, where local and international networks in the fields of art, technology, hacktivism, and politics create exchanges and dialogues and improve mutual awareness. As the philosopher, art critic, and feminist Carla Lonzi suggested, in order to create an artwork, there is always a body of relationships necessary to make it.22 It is from relationships, and the dialogues about them, that we need to start encouraging new forms of imagination and eventually new forms of practice.

 

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  • 1. Tatiana Bazzichelli, Networked Disruption, Rethinking Oppositions in Art, Hacktivism and the Business of Social Networking (Aarhus: Digital Aesthetics Research Center, Aarhus University, 2013), 36–50.
  • 2. I was working at transmediale festival in the role of reSource program developer and festival program curator from September 2011 to end of March 2014, in dialogue with the artistic director, Kristoffer Gansing. This activity was developed with Daniela Silvestrin, who was reSource program assistant between September 2011 and February 2012, and was conference project manager between September 2013 and February 2015. From March 2012 to February 2013 Georgia Nicolau worked with me as reSource project manager. In developing the reSource 003 P2P Vorspiel program in February 2013, Heiko Stubenrauch worked as project assistant and, with Georgia Nicolau, did transcription of the reSource Chats as well, which were edited by Lina Zuppke and me and published in the first issue of the transmediale magazine, Uncertain Space: Media Art All Over? (Berlin, 2013). Finally, I would like to thank Kim Voss, who worked on the 2015 Vorspiel program production, and Georgia Nicolau, for the input and sharing ideas about this text.
  • 3. See the The Everyday Life Reader, ed. Ben Highmore (London: Routledge, 2002).
  • 4. I presented these reflections during an internal structure workshop at the transmediale office in the Podewil building in Berlin on April 29, 2013. The workshop allowed the transmediale team to share our “festival visions” with each other.
  • 5. Bazzichelli, “Networking Berlin’s transmedial culture” in Uncertain Space: Media Art All Over? no. 1, 2013, 14.
  • 6. The first event organized within the framework of the reSource project before the festival was a research PhD conference in/compatible Research at the Berlin Universität der Künste in November 2011. This series of conferences resulted from a cooperation partnership between Aarhus University and the reSource project, with the idea of bringing a research agenda into the transmediale festival—co-organizing research workshops with the scope of producing a peer-reviewed journal launched during the festivals. The path of this on-going activity is visible on the website “APRJA: A Peer-Reviewed Journal About,” 7. See Bazzichelli, “reSource for transmedial culture: Statement of interest & call for collaborations,” October 2011, http://www.transmediale.de/content/resource-statement-interest (all links accessed September 28, 2016).  
  • 8. In April 2012 reSource transmedial culture berlin became part of an institutional cooperation between transmediale festival and the Centre for Digital Cultures at Leuphana University of Lüneburg. During my postdoc at the Centre for Digital Cultures, I formulated the project Transmedial Culture: A Practice-Based Research Project of Networking Art and Culture. This joint research project associated the Centre for Digital Cultures with transmediale between July 2012 and March 2014. The objective of this research presented reSource transmedial culture Berlin as a project working towards the creation of a shared knowledge laboratory for local and trans-local distributed networks, facilitating exchange between academic and non-academic spheres of knowledge production. The aim was to form practice-oriented contexts of reflection and give feedback to both theory and practice through an interdisciplinary, distributed curatorial approach by organizing events, workshops, and talks on a local, regional, and international basis.
  • 9. See Bazzichelli, „reSource-net: the mailing list of the ‚reSource transmedial culture berlin‘“, August 2012
  • 10. The initiative started in spring 2012 as part of my postdoc research project on networking communities at the Centre for Digital Culture at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg, in cooperation with transmediale festival.
  • 11. The interviews started in May 2012 and involved: Christian de Lutz / Art Laboratory Berlin; Georg Hotz / ausland; Dr. Podinski / Citizen Kino; Francesco Macarone Palmieri aka Warbear / Gegen; Daniel Franke, Kai Kreuzmüller, and John McKiernan / LEAP; Allegra Solitude / Liebig12; Erika Siekstelyte and Justas Rudziaskas / Panke e.V.; Pit Schultz and Diana McCarty / reboot.fm; Ela Kagel / Supermarkt; Florian Wüst / Haben und Brauchen. They are published online on http://www.transmediale.de/resource/chats. An excerpt was published as a creative montage in the section “snapchat:#bln” (“reSource Chats 1-2-3”) in Uncertain Space: Media Art All Over? transmediale magazine, issue 1, 2013, 4–13. During the launch of the reSource Chats at the event reSource 003: Overflow scheduled on September 12-14, 2013, at Kunstraum Kreuzberg /Bethanien, Berlin, conversations with independent cultural producers and curators took place, involving Christian de Lutz, Dr. Podinski, Ela Kagel, John McKiernan, Kai Kreuzmüller and Daniel Franke, Francesco Warbear Macarone Palmieri, Erika Siekstelyte and Allega Solitude (see: https://transmediale.de/de/content/resource-006-overflow).
  • 12. Some activities were created in collaboration with researchers of the Center for Digital Cultures, i.e. members of the Post-Media Lab and the Hybrid Publishing consortium. In particular, Clemens Apprich and Oliver Lerone Schultz (Post-Media Lab) co-curated the round-table Networks Out of Hands, involving local and trans-local activists, while Simon Worthington of Hybrid Publishing was on the Imaginary Network panel. This further developed the objective of creating interdisciplinary relationships and collaborations between transmediale festival and Leuphana University of Lüneburg through the practice-based activity developed within the framework of the “Networking-Research-Curating” approach. This cooperation activity was a positive result of the previous months of collaboration (the Post-Media Lab had been a partner of reSource since April 2012).
  • 13. For a more detailed description of the artistic works produced by the reSource, see: Bazzichelli, “reSource: Three Ongoing Network Projects,” in transmediale 2013 festival catalog.
  • 14. The complete program is at: 15. An example of this was the reSource 005 event in support of Chelsea Manning on May 5, 2013, at Urban Spree: The Medium of Treason—The Bradley Manning Case. The talk involved Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Andy Müller Maguhn, and John Goetz, as well as the Free Chelsea Manning Initiative Berlin (at the time named “Free Bradley Manning Initiative Berlin”) and was co-curated with Diani Barreto (https://transmediale.de/resource-005/the-medium-of-treason).
  • 16. In particular, in the context of the transmediale festival (January 29–February 2, 2014), I co-curated the festival conference with Kristoffer Gansing. The conference was structured into three thematic threads: “Hashes to Ashes” (which I curated and chaired), “Will You Be My Trashure?” (co-chaired by Francesco Macarone Palmieri and Katrien Jacobs), and “An Afterglow of the Mediatic” (co-chaired by Jussi Parikka and Ryan Bishop). I was responsible of the moderation of the auditorium panel Art as Evidence, with Jacob Appelbaum, Trevor Paglen, and Laura Poitras, which took place on January 30, 2014, and the conceptualization of the other panels in the stream. In particular, the stream “Hashes to Ashes” aimed to connect whistleblowers, hackers, artists, and activists to reflect on the art of disclosure as a strategy of awareness and a modality to expose hidden bugs in socio-political systems. The “Will You Be My Trashure?” stream connected maps and territories of sexual control, social media management, new media performances, body politics, and queer activism, while “An Afterglow of the Mediatic” focused on how the geological and the geophysical are embedded in our contemporary in art, politics, and society.
  • 17. In the light of imagining the reSource as a platform of on-going artistic production, John Wild presented his project Mapping the reSource Network during reSource 006. From May to September 2013 Wild worked in collaboration with reSource to map the reSource network of independent technology-based art and hacker spaces in the city. This presentation offered an overview of the project’s outcomes: a functional mobile Android application with the aim of increasing the visibility of the independent art/hack spaces in Berlin, and sonic abstractions of the network. For more information, see: 18. See Bazzichelli, “reSource for transmedial culture: Statement of interest & call for collaborations,” October 2011, 19. TBA (Technology Based Art) Berlin is an independent network for artists, curators, researchers, and everyone else connected to the field of technology-based art in Berlin. See the Facebook community (maintained by Helena Lingor, who also created the TBA community’s website): http://www.tbaberlin.de/, www.facebook.com/TBAberlin.
  • 20. I introduced some of these issues at the event What Drives Us? A Forum on Festival Sustainability, a conference and roundtable discussion at The HTMlles 11 “Zero Future” Feminist Festival of Media Arts and Digital Culture, Montreal, Canada, November 7–15, 2014.
  • 21. For more information, see: www.disruptionlab.org.
  • 22. See: Carla Lonzi, Autoritratto (Milan: et al./Editions, [1969] 2010).

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