ever elusive

Under the title ever elusive transmediale celebrates its 30 year anniversary with an entire month of activities from 2 February to 5 March 2017. In the context of an always changing media culture, the anniversary looks at ongoing shifts in dialogue with the past: it uses the critical knowledge gained over past festival editions to discuss the elusive role of media in fostering or obscuring new forms of agency. Who or what is acting in a culture of constant mediation?

The title ever elusive refers to the elusiveness of perpetually transitioning media cultures, and to the transmediale itself as an elusive and dynamic project, constantly shifting ground. The representation and mediation of geopolitics are in a state of crisis. Bearing these turbulent times in mind, the festival invites participants to consider the value of rejecting stable identities and explore speculative positions beyond current dichotomies: human/nonhuman and nature/technology.


Program overview


ever elusive

On 2 February 2017 the three-day festival program opens at Haus der Kulturen der Welt within the scope of ever elusive. Encompassing around 50 events, including a conference and screening program, workshops and performances, transmediale 2017 explores how information systems and hybrid techno-ecologies have worked to destabilize the centrality of the “human.” The program presents new notions of subjectivity as well as of accounting for the increasing role of the “nonhuman.”

Conference program

The conference of ever elusive – thirty years of transmediale explores what the challenge of “decentering the human” might mean, taking into consideration optimistic scenarios as well as critical engagements and possible alternatives that might embrace new ways of perceiving the nonhuman.

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Film & video program

The film & video program reflects on the history of the festival through the re-release of video works from transmediale’s archive and highlights central aspects of ever elusive: the material and animist conditions of reality as well as the increasing role of generative computer processes and machine autonomy.

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Explore the festival program


The ever elusive program is curated by artistic director Kristoffer Gansing, Daphne Dragona (conference), and Florian Wüst (film and video).


Find an overview of the participants here.


alien matter

The special exhibition “alien matter” curated by Inke Arns opens alongside the festival on 2 February 2017 at Haus der Kulturen der Welt. “Alien matter” refers to man-made, and at the same time, radically different, potentially intelligent matter.

It is the outcome of a naturalization of technological artifacts. Environments shaped by technology result in new relationships between man and machine. Technical objects, previously defined merely as objects of utility, have become autonomous agents. Their capacity to learn and network throws into question the previously clear and dominant division between active subject and passive object.


Artwork list


Exhibiting artists: Aliens in Green, Morehshin Allahyari & Daniel Rourke (with Ami Drach & Dov Ganchrow, Joey Holder, Kuang-Yi Ku), Nicolas Maigret & Maria Roszkowska (with Jonathan Beilin & Magnus Pind Bjerre), Constant Dullaart, Ignas Krunglevičius, Mark Leckey, Joep van Liefland, Jeroen van Loon, Katja Novitskova, Sascha Pohflepp, Johannes Paul Raether, Evan Roth, Suzanne Treister, Addie Wagenknecht, YoHa, Pinar Yoldas

08. / 18. / 24.02.2017


The ever elusive program continues in the form of three thematic excursions at different locations in Berlin which are conceptually linked to topics explored that day. The excursions, entitled Imaginaries, Interventions, and Ecologies, are an extension of the festival throughout the month of February. These concentrated events target specific aspects of the ever elusive theme while also being representative of topics that have been important in the history of the festival.


8 February 2017 | Langenbeck-Virchow-Haus


The Imaginaries excursion challenges standardized histories and future trajectories of media practice and thinking. It features performances and discussions of speculative design projects, science fiction, imaginary media, and archaeological investigations that intercut past, present, and future. The excursion takes us to a historical building which has been the site of shifting political imaginaries and which served as a venue for transmediale in the early 1990s when it was still called VideoFest.
With Black Quantum Futurism and others.



18 February 2017 | ver.di


The Interventions excursion focuses on new approaches to collective organization, automation, and playful subversion in relation to the crisis of datafied politics, labor, and cultural production in the debt economy. Through workshops and panels, the participants will elaborate on alternative ways to understand creativity and critique outside of the persistent current reference to creative industries and innovation.
With Telekommunisten and others.



24 February 2017 | silent green Kulturquartier


The Ecologies excursion features new artistic research into the messy, disperse ecologies that now characterize life on the planet as it is re-constructed in flows of data, capital, and natural resources. One part will focus on the resource heavy reality of technology and its impact on the earth and another on the earth's own media including the launch of a speculative mushroom network.
With Shift Register/The Earth Lab, The Mycelium Society, and others.

closing weekend

Closing weekend

The closing weekend on 4 and 5 March 2017 ties together the various parts of ever elusive: The special exhibition, panel presentations, live performances, screenings, and excursions will be linked together in a conclusion, reflecting upon past and future media language.


With, among others, Laurie Anderson, Emilien Awada, Constanze Ruhm, Caspar Stracke, Joep van Liefland

partner festival

CTM Festival

The 18th edition of our partner festival CTM – Festival for Adventurous Music and Art will take place from 27 January to 5 February 2017. Under the title Fear Anger Love the program traces the complex (musical) relations between bodies, affect and politics, making space for radical and extreme forms of musical expression and dissonant emotions.

pre-festival program


For the upcoming edition of Vorspiel, transmediale and CTM Festival will again cooperate with the Berlin network of project spaces, galleries, cultural institutions, and individual cultural actors. From 20 January to 5 March 2017, a variety of partner venues will present several events at the intersection of art, technology, and digital culture as well as in the field of experimental sound and music.