theme transmediale.09: DEEP NORTH
28 January – 1 February 2009
House of World Cultures, Berlin
Looking beyond the evolving alarmist scenarios of environmental catastrophe prevalent in the global warming debate, transmediale.09 shifts the focus of this challenge to the broader cultural, societal and philosophical consequences that the collapse of the northern ice barrier reveals. Are we about to reach another historically succinct moment of unavoidable and revolutionary change, a point of no return leading to an unforeseeable global transformation akin to the fall of the Berlin Wall 20 years ago? Will it be a time in which we realise that everything will be different, without knowing how everything will be different?
In the search for DEEP NORTH, transmediale.09 seeks the paradoxical and global consequences, the re-orientation, shifting of perspectives and means to interact with the issues of cultural and technological development, innovation and creative sustainability lurking below the surface of climate change. DEEP NORTH becomes not a fixed location, but a paradigm transforming loss into a complex state of being and cultural development - an indicator of location becoming fused with global introspection.
In the real and metaphorical breaking open of the both the North and South polar zone's locked and inaccessible mysteries we discover both new dangers and opportunities. Reinforcing the sense that the Earth acts a truly global system of interrelated events where a shift in the perception and attitudes towards cultural interdependencies become critical, DEEP NORTH is a call to artists, media activists and cultural practitioners to explore the roles that art and digital culture play in defining new media strategies beyond the rhetoric of climate change.
DEEP NORTH focuses on the remote, silent ... indeed, deep zones of artistic and cultural sensibilities and processes of transformation from the arctic to the desert, from the depths of network practice to the remote constructs of scientific and technological systems. As our sense of the natural environment vanishes to be replaced by models, projections and technological mimicry, the need to fundamentally transform cultural thinking by applying, adapting and exploring the creative use of technology increases, thus critically affecting the means of communication, interaction and perception... in the DEEP NORTH of our global cultural awareness.