The annual festival brings together international artists, researchers, activists, and thinkers with the goal of developing new outlooks on our technological era through the entanglement of different genres and curatorial approaches. In the course of its history, transmediale has grown from its beginnings as VideoFilmFest to one of the most important events for art and digital culture worldwide.
Beyond the yearly event, transmediale is a transversal, dynamic platform with a vibrant community and a strong network that facilitates regular publications and year-round activities including commissions and a residency programme with different partner institutions. Since 2021 and for the first time in the festival’s history, transmediale runs its studio space at silent green Kulturquartier hosting different event formats and activities throughout the year. One of transmediale’s closest cooperation partners is CTM Festival .
At the heart of transmediale’s activities is the annual festival. Each festival edition focuses on a specific theme in the spectrum of art and digital culture that is reflected through a great variety of programmes like exhibitions, discourse formats, performances, screenings, and workshops. transmediale has discussed the role of emotions and cultural emergence in digital culture, the political, economic, and cultural divides of our time, and the elusiveness of perpetually transitioning media cultures at the festival.
Since 2020, transmediale operates under the artistic direction of Nóra Ó Murchú , at the side of long-time staff member Filippo Gianetta, who takes on the role of managing director. In response to the unprecedented effect on arts and society due to the global pandemic, exacerbating inequalities, and highlighting the need for a more sustainable approach to cultural work, transmediale redesigned the 2021–22 for refusal festival edition to a year-long programme taking place online and in-person throughout Berlin. In 2023, transmediale returned to its festival mode on-site and with audience.
transmediale is part of a broad network of partners, supporters, and initiatives, ranging from local to international, and includes independent and institutional actors such as cultural organisations, renowned universities, and like-minded festivals. CTM Festival is transmediale’s main partner; other regular collaborators include Aarhus University, Berlin resource Network, Embassy of Canada in Berlin, or the Vilém Flusser Archive at the University of the Arts Berlin (UdK). transmediale is part of the three-year international cooperation project of Artsformation which is supported by the European Union. In addition, there are temporary partnerships with other cultural organisations within the framework of national and international funding and residency programmes.
Initially founded as VideoFilmFest in the context of Berlinale’s International Forum of New Cinema in 1988, the festival shifted its focus from video culture to a critical and artistic dialog with television and multimedia over time. In the course of its more than 30-year history, it developed with media history and eventually evolved into one of the leading platforms for art and digital culture as transmediale.