Hacking The Market

  • Transmediale.11 is on! If you are in Berlin this week there is no excuse but to visit the Haus der Kulturen der Welt! Remember to bring your party mood as the place becomes Club Transmediale (CTM) at night.

    For those unfamiliar with Transmediale, it is “a festival aiming to define the contours of contemporary digital culture… As such, Transmediale understands media technologies as cultural and aesthetic techniques that need to be embraced in order to comprehend, critique, and shape global societies”. Check the program for the week and you won’t get bored. Themed RESPONSE:ABILTY, this year’s Transmediale explores the juxtaposition and alternative definition of ‘software’ in the sense of BODY:RESPONSE (“(post-)human conditions of aggregation in the relation between body and technology”), and the HackWayZone dedicated to hacking — not only software but also people and space.

    Among the interesting contributions is Open Design City’s installation ‘Make Your Own Market’, and as the name suggests it is not exactly an installation, but more a participation event with Open Design City providing some basic tools. Jay Cousins of ODC describes it as a “festival of participation, moving consumers of art into creators of art”. ODC’s contribution to the Transmediale is a market for everyone to share own skills and products, participate in workshops, and exchange with others. The markets explores principles of Open Design and seeks for new methods of monetization and reward.

    “They provide a space for interaction between the monetary system and Free Culture by giving festival visitors the chance to learn skills, and a platform to make and sell or exchange their own products and services. Visitors are encouraged to share their own skills with others and to take part in open workshops ranging from screen printing to plastic making and 3D printing to sewing and upcycling. Specialised equipment such as a CNC cutter and 3D printer are free for all visitors to use. Materials will be provided but visitors are encouraged to bring items to upcycle, customise and exchange.”

    It is, however, not only Transmediale that is hacking Berlin’s energetic public space. If it wouldn’t be too cold to go out, then there are plenty of hacks to explore on the streets of Berlin. For those preferring to keep warm or unfortunate not to be in Berlin, Miodrag Kuc of ParaArtFormations is keeping an updated documentation of the city’s cracks through his Cracking the City project.

    Nevertheless, if you happen to be in Seoul, Platoon is organizing a monthly night flea market that alters the market genre and its exchange of commerce. The flea market is a hybrid of live acts, techno junk, music and trendy design.