2014/01 Trip to Transmediale 2014 by Media Lab Helsinki

My report on the Media Lab Helsinki trip to Transmediale 2014, which I coordinated:

Media Lab Helsinki organised a trip to attend Transmediale festival in Berlin, between 29th January and 2nd February 2014 (http://www.transmediale.de/). A group of 50 participated in this trip: 47 students and 3 staff members (Rasmus Vuori, Nuno Correia and Ilpo Kari). 3 of the students were already in Berlin, the remaining participants flew from Helsinki. All current Media Lab Helsinki students were invited to attend. The trip was subsidised by Media Lab Helsinki.

(photos by Nuno Correia)

(photos by Ilpo Kari)

The day of the arrival was dedicated to settling in, and attending the festival opening event. On the 2nd day, 30th January, the festival organised a guided tour for our group of the two main exhibitions: Art Hack Day and Critical Infrastructure. The tour started with an introduction to Transmediale by the festival manager, Markus Huber. The guide for the Art Hack Day was John McKiernan from Lab for Electronic Arts and Performance (LEAP), one of the main organisers of the exhibition. Finally, artist-researchers Jamie Allen (who had visited Aalto Media Factory just 2 months earlier) and David Gauthier gave us insights on their exhibition Critical Infrastructure.

On the 31st January, we visited Universität der Kunst (UdK), specifically its Medienhaus building focusing on media art studies. Our hosts were Till Boverman (former post-doctoral researcher at Media Lab Helsinki) and Alberto de Campo. All our students were invited to present their works, resulting in a joint presentation of 14 projects. The presentation (coordinated by student Nelly Sääksjärvi) started with a short introduction of Aalto University and Media Lab Helsinki (by Rasmus Vuori), followed by short, 1-minute presentations (mostly videos) of each of the 14 projects. Till Boverman, Alberto de Campo and UdK students/researchers also presented their work. In the end, we had a fruitful exchange with UdK staff and students. Our presentation home page, linking to the different project pages, can be found here: http://mlab.taik.fi/berlin2014/

On the 1st February, we repeated the same presentation at the CTM festival, the “sister” event of Transmediale, mostly focused on sound and audiovisual art. The CTM event was entitled Education Networking Day (http://www.ctm-festival.de/festival-2014/transfer/education-networking-day/) and counted as presenters and audience different educators, students and artists. The event took place all day, divided into 3 “blocks”. During our block, Michael Bierylo from Berklee College of Music and Derek Holzer, Berlin-based artist and educator (frequently teaching at Media Lab Helsinki) also presented.

In between the above key points of our trip, the participants attended numerous events at the Transmediale and CTM festivals. Some current and former students were also involved in other Transmediale/CTM events as artists (such as Forrest Oliphant, Susanne Miessner, Jari Suominen and Sebastien Piquemal). Upon our return on the 2nd February, most participants were happy about the event and many commented that it had been a very positive learning experience, leading to a fruitful exchange of ideas. As one of the participants stated, “students were genuinely inspired by this trip”.