Agent Scott at Transmediale

Dear all y’all,

Jesse Scott here. As some of you know, I’ve recently relocated to Berlin, and I’m fortunate enough to have two pieces in Transmediale this year, so it was with pleasure when Ryan asked if I can give some news and reviews from the front lines (*ahem*) of the genre formerly known as New Media…

So i’ll be dropping something most every night/morning for the next week. Apologies for no pictures or hyperlinks on this post… promise I’ll be more organized for tomorrow!

Day 0

So I’m sitting here at the HKW, just having gotten an earful from the German bureaucrats… (more on that later). The space, with rather odd – not-quite-open architecture, is starting to take shape. Lots of screens. Fair bit of sound bleed (though that may just be final level setting, and hustle…) The last few days haven’t been so stressful, but it’s a little hard to keep track of the general feel of the coming festival… seems like i’m just reliving the hours i spent pouring over the website in my head…

Trending and Lending

Due to the theme, I’m not quite surprised to see so many social projects, particularly ones that seem to question the roles and use of technology itself, but it does seem odd, in a way that I cant quite put my finger on, to see so many lo-tech and offline projects at Transmediale. But this year seems like corporeal bodies, net-(not-quite)-activism, and anything to do with money/exchange/economies is fair game. We’ve already accepted a commission laser stencil for fake artist money, traded documentation, and participated in a diy kitchen/beer collective, and we haven’t even opened the doors. I was talking to one participating artist who commented that Transmediale has always had a sense of evolution to it, while, for example, Ars Electronica seems to be stuck on showcasing robotics year after year…

No Laser, No Cry

One of the projects I am involved in this year is SVG2BVG, by Graffiti Research Lab Germany. This consists of a drawing surface for graffiti tags, a Processing-based capture application, and export to GCode, so that the tag can be laser-cut as a stencil, which happen to be perfectly sized for the advertising screens in the Berlin U-bahn…

The complication that we ran into today is the certification of the laser (it is a 1-watt blue led, taken from a DLP projector) is invalid in the eyes of German bureaucrats because it has been repurposed from it’s original situation and housing. So, at the moment at least, until we work with the festival to figure something else out, we have what seems to be one of the most popular, interactive projects put high and dry…

But we’ve managed to quickly source a button machine from our friends at Open Design City, and have printed dozens of pro-and-anti laser icons, so we seem to have started a groundswell of 1-inch protest…

Transit Strike

Our friend Alexandre Castonguay is currently suffering massive transit problems with his installation at Open Signs (which i’ll say more about tomorrow), so we hope that he’ll be able to get something working for that. Apparently there was miscommunication between the shipper and the embassy.. but I don’t’ know details, besides that the box had ended up in Weisbaden this morning. He says next time he’s exhibiting from a USB key.

Home Base

Alexandre was also telling me about the Dorkbot Berlin event at cBase last night, where there was a pre-show-and-tell of a lot of the more geeky projects last night, which I was invited to speak at but had to decline… but we started talking about the recently-announced Pure Data Convention in Weimar/Berlin, which I am also helping to organize. I also coined the hashtage for that – #PDC11. Original, I know. Just thought I’d mention that quick, as you only have 4 weeks to get project funding from Canada Council! (maybe the entire PdMtl/2008 team – including Artengine – should apply for a larger delegation-based fund…. ???)

Ok, the doors are opening… bis morgen.

~ J

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2 Responses to “Agent Scott at Transmediale”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Art Engine, artenginemodlab. artenginemodlab said: Our man Agent Scott across the pond at Transmediale. More to come from the fest over the coming days : […]

  2. AO says:

    Sounds good, Jesse — congrats on your move to Berlin. Looking forward to hearing more.

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