Video Programme - Satellite Stories


Video Programme - Satellite Stories

The video programme Satellite Stories, curated by Marcel Schwierin, questions the compatibility between human beings and the products they create. In various fields like politics, economics and media, we create an environment that is intended to satisfy our needs, but one that also consistently makes demands upon us that we cannot achieve. In honour of our 25th anniversary of transmediale, each of the eight video programmes will begin with a historical work from the early years of the festival. Maha Maamoun and Sarah Rifky from Cairo are invited as guest curators for the Arab Shorts programme.

VideoFilmFest '88 <-> transmediale 2012


Founded 25 years ago as VideoFilmFest, transmediale naturally casts its glance backwards in its video programme. But the very premise of the festival – devoted as it was to the influence of technological change on culture and society – renders it incompatible with its own retrospective. transmediale itself has changed too much in the past few years to be able to be circumscribed by any given identity. The historical part of the video programme therefore concentrates on the first decade of the festival, and pursues several strategies: all the thematic video programmes open with a work from the history of transmediale, drawing out continuities and ruptures in video art over the past decades. In doing so, and in contrast to high definition digital video, the material beauty of aged, analogue video material will be made visible. Since the creative meaning of a festival does not only stem from individual works, but rather from their programming, for the opening of transmediale 2012 we will be staging once more the first programme from 1988 as a curatorial re-enactment. The political dimension of video art as a counter-culture to mass media will be dealt with in the panel discussion Videomakers Unite!; while in transmediale Unarchived the festival-opening revisitation of our archive will be discussed. Finally, we will also present a selection of seminal historical works online on our website – bringing together the past of video art with its broadcast medium of the future: the internet.


Satellite Stories around the in/compatible


Human beings have created for themselves a highly complex and technically dominated environment. Whether in architecture, economics, communication, or even fashion – the question arises of whether humans are still capable of designing things that are compatible with themselves, or whether they are more and more being forced to adapt to their own products. Each one of the transmediale video programmes revolves around such in/compatibility. A dominant theme in video art since the late 1980s has been the debate around the extent to which visual media influences us; the focus having shifted only from the all-powerful medium of the past – television – to the all-powerful medium of the future – the internet. The programme's title, Satellite Stories, points to the question of who actually orbits around whom: is it technology around humans, or humans around technology?


The video programme is curated by Marcel Schwierin


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