Dark Drives. Uneasy Energies in Technological Times

transmediale 2012 Exhibition

The focus on “uneasy energies in technological times” in the transmediale  2012 exhibition responds directly to the overall “in/compatible” theme of the festival. On the one hand, uneasy energies can be said to produce  the in/compatible, while on the other hand the in/compatible can be  said to produce uneasy energies. The two form a circuit of mutual exchange. The question of which one of the two comes first and  determines the other is beside the point. The point is rather to engage with the multiple instances where uneasy energies and the in/compatible  connect and generate processes that challenge consensual and standardised perceptions of technology. As such the exhibition is  inscribed within the context of the festival theme at the same time as it is intended to expand the vocabulary of the in/compatible through the art works and cultural objects displayed.

But what exactly are “uneasy energies in technological times”? Rather than attempting a definition by references to philosophy or art history, the exhibition through an extensive and diverse group of examples claims that distortions, ambiguities, irritations, ironies, and unrest  constitute as a significant trajectory in our relations with modern technology and have done so since the use value of electricity was discovered. It is a trajectory that resists conventional formalisation and the exhibition challenges visitors to develop a sensibility and intelligence towards the trajectory as a way to engage with the critical and inventive potentials that it contains.

However, just like the uneasy energies in themselves do not add up to a clear point, the exhibition does not aim at resolution. It offers no promise of overcoming the uneasy energies. On the contrary, it claims that uneasy energies are insuperable, an integral and constitutive part of  technological times, and invites visitors to explore the trajectories and horizons of the dark drives that they present.

The exhibition is curated by Jacob Lillemose.

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