Talk: Digital Folklore

Friday, October 16th, 2015, at 6:00 p.m.
Hartware MedienKunstVerein (HMKV) at the Dortmunder U, Leonie-Reygers-Terrasse, 44137 Dortmund
Organizer: Office medienwerk.nrw, Hartware MedienKunstverein

The discussion-event on October 16th was organized by medienwerk.nrw and took place in the context of the exhibition of the Hartware MedienKunstVerein (HMKV): Digital Folklore. The designer Manuel Bürger (Berlin) was invited as a discussion-guest.

In his creative work Bürger deals with participatory design-practices on the net. For example, he designed the publication Digital Folklore, on which the exhibition is based, and was also working on design for the media art festival transmediale (Berlin). The short presentation and discussion focused on the current interests in the field of digital culture and on the amateur cultures of the early 1990s internet: What has changed since then, what has been lost? Apparently, the web-services and -tools of the time offered more scope for individual design and thus enabled a wider range of aesthetics as well as a lively user-culture, which has disappeared in recent years in favor of uniform templates as the web has become increasingly commercialized. The discussion with Dr. Inke Arns (HMKV) and Fabian Saavedra-Lara (Büro medienwerk.nrw) deals with the old ideals of DIY-culture on the Net; and furthermore: what could we as today’s users learn from it in retrospect, and how the Net-aesthetics of that time, which from today’s perspective seem “retro”, influenced today’s design-practices as well as artistic practices (“post-internet”).

With: Manuel Bürger (Berlin), Moderation: Dr. Inke Arns (HMKV), Fabian Saavedra-Lara (Office medienwerk.nrw)

Manuel Bürger (Berlin) or “The Laboratory of Manuel Bürger” (Worldwide) deals with amateurish and virtuoso design forces, works between nonsense and cultural theory and looks after clients from various areas of the communication-landscape, such as the transmediale festival in Berlin. Bürger is part of several collectives like Mimetic Club, Bench Boys, Figure 8, teaches at the Merz Akademie in Stuttgart and successfully runs the Naives & Visionaries publishing house. He is also in charge of the regularly published research magazine CVSN of the Critical Vision course at the University of Cincinnatti, USA, and the annual research publication of Aarhus University, Denmark. Recent publications and essays deal with the mimetic potential of design and house music: “Slippery Design – forever beta” and “Duck House Theory – Robert Venturi’s Darkroom Fantasies” respectively.

The office medienwerk.nrw was funded by the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sports of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Office hosted by: Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund.