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Ableton at Club Transmediale 04

January 30 — February 07, 2004
Maria am Ostbahnhof, Berlin

In 2004 club transmediale — for the fifth time — presents outstanding projects in electronic music and media arts related to sound- and club-culture. With its nine day programme at Maria am Ostbahnhof the club transmediale festival will again prove to be Berlin's most exciting event of the year.

[Music and beyond]

The laptop hype is over. Laptop performers, who give the impression of a withdrawn scientist publishing the results of his secret laboratory research, are now just one role-model amongst many. Electronic music is taking a turn towards more performativity, towards ironic playfulness with signifiers and identity, and to a more direct communication between the public and the artists. Familiar rock and pop forms are reactivated by means of digital art practices, as exemplified by the "post-laptop performer" Donnasummer. It's time to reconsider the narratives, which inform the presentations - narratives which even in the most abstract forms of electronic music were never completely absent. The festival theme Fly Utopia! focuses on directly communicated content as well as on the more subtle levels of meaning which characterize constructs of identity, materiality of sound and politically constituted structures of techno-economies.

Various programme points disclose utopian content and investigate its potential for agency and the creation of self-determined communities. The human body is the most contested utopian locus, through and with which visions of another, better or worse world are explored. Attempts to confront this challenge can be found in the radical questioning of notions of identity in the performances of Chicks on Speed, Terre Thaemlitz or Kevin Blechdom. In cooperation with the HTMlles Festival from Montreal, which explores the situation of female musicians and producers in electronic music, this same topic is taken up. The free exchange of information, possibilities of autonomous distribution of art work and the potential of collective projects which are tackled in concrete, practical ways with this year's cooperations - for example with the Berlin radio project and with the New York Share project. Last but not least, the continued focus on Eastern European electronic music and its potential to promote understanding beyond cultural borders will bring us closer to a utopia hopefully no longer too distant, namely: European unification and the dismantling of deeply rooted distorted clichées, which are still all too evident in the exchanges between East and West.

For more information and programm, please go to: