Afro-Tech Fest – exhibition, talks, performances, workshops, films and music

Ausstellungsansicht „Afro-Tech
DREXCIYA – Detroit Techno, Aquanauten und die Politik des Dancefloors
Ausstellungsansicht „Afro-Tech
DREXCIYA – Detroit Techno, Aquanauten und die Politik des Dancefloors
Panel Afro Fest
Workshop „Afro-Tech

Afro-Tech Fest – exhibition, talks, performances, workshops, films and music

Fr, 20.10. – Sa, 28.10.2017

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The Afro-Tech Fest was organized by HMKV (Hartware MedienKunstVerein) & Büro in cooperation with Interkultur Ruhr – a project of the Regionalverband Ruhr (RVR) and Africa Positive e.V.

The AFRO-TECH FEST presented a festival week from 20 – 28 October 2017 with talks, lectures, film screenings, performances, DJ sets, concerts and workshops at various locations in Dortmund. The programme started at the same time as the exhibition Afro-Tech and the Future of Re-Invention of the HMKV (Hartware MedienKunstVerein) at the Dortmunder U – Zentrum für Kunst und Kreativität and created very different occasions to discuss and deepen the themes and motifs of the exhibition together and to experience them directly in many events. During the Afro-Tech Festival, works from media art, visual art, film and photography as well as contributions from pop culture and applications from digital culture were shown and discussed.

In an international group exhibition and festival week, AFRO-TECH deals with speculative visions of the future and current developments in the field of digital technologies by artists and inventors from various African countries, the African diaspora and many other voices in the USA and Europe. The focus is on science fiction narratives and ideas of technology that function according to their own rules and do not follow the dominant narratives of the West. An essential inspiration for the artistic works is Afrofuturism, which emerged in the middle of the 20th century against the background of the historical experience of racism and discrimination of the Afro-American community in the USA and tells of a future that opens a space for one’s own history, for emancipation, self-empowerment and individual freedom. The concepts, ideas and aesthetics of Afrofuturism are not limited to the USA, but circulate around the world, influencing numerous other artists and encountering their own experiences – also in German-speaking countries.

The project is based on a special cooperation of different partners from the artistic, cultural and socio-cultural field on a local, regional and international level. Artistic positions and projects from the field of digital culture that have never before been shown in NRW will be presented. At the same time, the Afro-Tech Fest networks with Dortmund’s diverse city society via numerous event formats and creates spaces to get into conversation, think, experience art and dance. The common goal of the participating partners is to present Africa as a continent of technological innovation and to take a differentiated look at current developments in media art in Africa and the diaspora. Afro-Tech would like to be an occasion to ask: What other strategies, practices, aesthetics, narrative traditions and technological ideas, apart from the hegemonic Western perspective, are there to think about the future – and what do these futures look like? What do they also tell us about the different experiences of the present and history?

All of the Afro-Tech Fest talks are available on Vimeo. The opening lecture was given by Ingrid LaFleuer from Detroit:

Host Office HMKV (Hartware MedienKunstVerein)
Interculture Ruhr: Regionalverband Ruhr (RVR) / Sponsor of the Interculture Ruhr
The exhibition was supported by: the TURN Fund of the Federal Cultural Foundation and the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia.
The festival week was supported: by the Federal Agency for Civic Education, the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia, the NRW KULTURsekretariat International and the Kulturbüro Stadt Dortmund.
Main funder HMKV: Dortmunder U – Centre for Art and Creativity
Partners: Goethe-Institut, Afrikamera – Current Cinema from Africa (Berlin), NRW KULTURsekretariat, Kino im U e.V. (Dortmund)

Festival: Blue Skies – Bodies in Trouble

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Festival: Blue Skies – Bodies in Trouble

WED, 10.07.2019 – SUN, 14.07.2019

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With the growing impact of technology on life, our bodies, our communities and our environment are changing – what to do? How can we understand and shape this change together?

The unstoppable pace of technological change and the revolutionary developments in biochemical research are increasingly intervening in life itself: hybrids of machine and organism are emerging, technical interventions and substances are becoming one with the body. The latest developments in genetic engineering, however, promise to make humans modifiable even before birth. The foundations of our existence and of our social and public interaction are changing profoundly. In the promises of technological corporations, the power over completely modyfying our bodies, social dynamics and our environment sounds like a universal solution. Others fear a hopeless social scenario in which the individual’s power to act falls victim to extensive technological reductions, mathematical operations and filtered knowledge. But what might the critical overtones of these polarizing positions sound like?

The festival is the fifth conference of the office and at the same time the start of a new series of events by PACT Zollverein. In the coming years it will be dedicated to active and interdisciplinary work on urgent current issues in the field of tension between technology and society, new narratives, speculative visions of the future and alternative, empowering practices.

Festival Opening:
6.30 p.m.
Welcome, introduction & opening of the exhibition
9 p.m.
Munich Kammerspiele, Rimini Protokoll (Stefan Kaegi) and Thomas Melle: “Uncanny Valley

With contributions from:

Exhibition, Performances & Workshops
acting in concert, The Agency, Aliens in Green, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, FAM_, knowbotiq, labsa, Xavier Le Roy, Mary Maggic, Špela Petrič, Paula Pin, Johannes Paul Raether, Rimini Protokoll (Stefan Kaegi) & Thomas Melle, Silke Schönfeld, Nguyễn + Transitory and others

Marie-Luise Angerer, Madeleine Böckers, Astrid Deuber-Mankowsky, Gabriele Gramelsberger, Jens Hauser, Oliver Kuchenbuch, Justus Pötzsch, Luiza Prado de O. Martins, Kaushik Sunder Rajan, Tabita Rezaire, Emilia Sanabria, Paula-Irene Villa and others

Asita Shirali, COOL FOR YOU, Odete, tryniti, N!zza

You can find the complete programme on the PACT Zollverein website:

Admission to the talks, lectures and workshops only with registration. Free admission to the concerts, the exhibition and the party.

Tickets in advance for the performances “Medusa Bionic Rise” by The Agency and “Uncanny Valley” by Rimini Protokoll (Stefan Kaegi) can be ordered on the PACT Zollverein website.

Conference programme in english language.

Concept: Stefan Hilterhaus, Fabian Saavedra-Lara, Team Office Kirsten Möller, Nada Schroer, Mary Shnayien, Klaas Werner, Sonja Wunderlich 
In cooperation with: PACT Customs Union

Funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media as part of the alliance of international production houses.

The office of and the festival ‘Bodies in Trouble – Körper in Aufruhr’ were supported by the Ministry for Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (Office hosted by: Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund). Supported by the “International Visitors Program” of the NRW KULTURsekretariat.

Every Step You Take – Art and Society in the Data Age

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Every Step You Take – Art and Society in the Data Age

FR, 12.11.- SA, 15.11.2015

Office medienwerk.nrwFestival

A project of, organized by: Office, Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Schauspiel Dortmund, Dortmunder U – Zentrum für Kunst und Kreativität, Kino im U e.V., Heimatdesign, Fraunhofer UMSICHT

The second international conference of, titled “Every Step You Take – Art and Society in the Data Age”, dealt with the utopias and dystopias associated with new technologies of automated collection, storage and analysis of data. Numerous feuilletonist, scientific and artistic positions are currently articulating an uneasiness about latest developments in our digital and networked media reality. The public debates on “Big Data”, surveillance, transparency and data protection, but also individual user behaviour on social networks, are characterised by a profound ambivalence: the promises and temptations of technological progress – security, predictability, optimisation, comfort – are accompanied by social as well as private consequences, which often remain unmanageable and abstract in their complexity.

The conference Every Step You Take presented positions from media art, media theory and digital culture, which reacted to these technological and social developments. Following question was of particular interest: in which way are contemporary artistic strategies able to make invisible (immaterial) and highly complex processes visible, describe current technological change and make its consequences comprehensible? A second focus was on the social, economic and political ideas, which have inscribed themselves into the modes of operation of the new media: How do these ideas and logics reproduce themselves in everyday use? And what scope remains for critical debate and emancipation in the digital space?

Besides lectures, panels and artist talks, the program included a concert with the artists Holly Herndon (music) and Mat Dryhurst (visuals), a film programme curated by Florian Wüst, a screening of the live movie Minority Report (R: Klaus Gehre), a reading with the writer Leif Randt (novel Planet Magnon) and workshops in cooperation with Fraunhofer UMSICHT and the Dortmunder U. HMKV showed the group exhibition (Artificial Intelligence) Digital Dementia at Dortmunder U, curated by Thibaut de Ruyter.

With contributions from: Inke Arns, Kim Asendorf, Dirk Baecker, Alain Bieber, Mercedes Bunz, Niels van Doorn, Cécile B. Evans, Paul Feigelfeld, Matthew Fuller, Gemma Galdon Clavell, Louis Henderson, Holly Herndon, Felix Hüttemann, Alexander Kerlin, Ignas Krunglevičius, Constanze Kurz, Brigitta Kuster, Koen Leurs, Boaz Levin, Joanne McNeil, Jennifer Lyn Morone, Luciana Parisi, Peng! Collective, Maral Pourkazemi, Leif Randt, Hans Ulrich Reck, Manfred Schneider, Nishant Shah, Christian Sievers, Christoph Wachter & Mathias Jud, Jennifer Whitson, Pinar Yoldas and others

Film-programme with contributions from: Nadav Assor, Jürgen Brügger & Jörg Haaßengier, Bureau of Inverse Technology, Emma Charles, Hellmuth Costard & Jürgen Ebert, Norman Cowie, Stéphane Degoutin & Gwenola Wagon, Omer Fast, Harun Farocki, Walter Koch, Steffen Köhn, Jen Liu, Christian Niccoli, Ridley Scott

Film programme was curated by Florian Wüst

Concept & Programme Management: Fabian Saavedra-Lara
Concept & Program: Judith Funke
Projectmanagement: Annette Bohn

Sponsored by:
Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
Federal Agency for Civic Education
Cultural Office City of Dortmund