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Transmediale is an annual festival for art and digital culture, held in Berlin.

Originating as a video and film festival for contemporary art that started in 1988, transmediale has since 2001 been directed by Andreas Broeckmann who introduced an interest in software art and re-established the festival as an important contributor to the European art scene. From 2005-2009, transmediale is receiving a major grant from the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

The festival incorporates an award competition for art and media. The three categories: software, image and interaction were used in the years 2001-2004, in 2005-2011 the competition has been run without such categories, until it was cancelled in 2012.

club transmediale, an evening program which explores outstanding international electronic and adventurous music, visual art and audiovisual performance is held parallel to the transmediale festival.


Transmediale began as VideoFilmFest in 1988. The first programme booklet opens with the remark: “On the afternoon of 16 December 1987, we took the decision to found the Video-FilmFest ‘88.” Only 54 days later, the first festival opened which was initially dedicated to 'video culture’ (mainly understood in opposition to film) and soon entered into a critical dialogue with televison, before dealing with ‘multimedia’ and ‘media art’ in the 1990s and developing into the current ‘festival for art and digital culture’ that has been running under the name transmediale since 1998.

The festival was first a project by the independent MedienOperative (later renamed Mediopolis), which closely cooperated with the international forum of the Berlinale Film Festival in presenting its programmes of experimental and documentary videos. Until 1992, these events took place in the spaces of MedienOperative and at the Akademie der Künste in East Berlin, then moving to Podewil from 1993 to 2001, which has also housed the office of transmediale since 1997, the year when the organisation of the festival was taken over by Berliner Kulturveranstaltungs-GmbH (renamed Kulturprojekte Berlin GmbH in 2006). From 2002 to 2005 transmediale took place at the House of World Cultures, and since 2006 it has been held at Akademie der Künste on Hanseatenweg. In the first years, the festival was rather erratically supported by the Berlin regional government, which began to secure its existence only from the mid-90s onwards through the Culture Administration, the Lottery Fund, and the Capital City Culture Fund.

The festival was founded by Hartmut Horst and the video artist and activist Micky Kwella. Between 2001 and 2007 transmediale was directed by the art scientist and curator Andreas Broeckmann. He was superseded by the Canadian Stephen Kovats, who led the festival until 2011. Since April 2011 the Swedish cultural producer and media theorist Kristoffer Gansing has been appointed as the new artistic director of the festival.


Date Location Theme Theme
29 Jan - 3 Feb 2013 House of World Cultures BWPWAP – Back When Pluto Was a Planet
31 Jan - 5 Feb 2012 House of World Cultures in/compatible [1]
2011 House of World Cultures Response:Ability
2 - 7 Feb 2010 House of World Cultures Futurity Now!
28 Jan - 1 Feb 2009 House of World Cultures Deep North focus on the global artistic, cultural, societal and philosophical consequences that the presumed imminent collapse of the polar ice barrier may trigger
29 Jan - 3 Feb 2008 House of World Cultures Conspire... challenged the common notions of conspiracy as an artistic and cultural strategy: intensifying and informing our own understandings of digital communities, collaborative, subversive and network practice CONSPIRE ... questioned the mechanisms of control and information "creep" that technological society is confronted with on a daily basis.
31 Jan - 4 Feb 2007 Akademie der Künste Unfinish! questioned finality and claimed that any given situation is full of potential. unfinish! investigated artistic processes that are open to change and reversal of decisions.
3-7 Feb 2006 Akademie der Künste Reality Addicts devoted to the Reality Addicts and their artistic strategies, with which they subvert the technological paradigm of reality.
4-8 Feb 2005 House of World Cultures Basics explored the BASICS of artistic practice with digital technologies. The festival investigates the aesthetical and ethical foundations of a frantic and hyper-potential culture.
30 Jan - 4 Feb 2004 House of World Cultures Fly Utopia! explored the utopian potential of contemporary art practice in the field of digital culture. the festival focuses on art made by means of digital technologies, and on art that reflects on the social, cultural and aesthetic dimensions of new technologies.
1-5 Feb 2003 House of World Cultures Play Global! dealt with the artistic and cultural responses to globalisation under the motto: "play global!"
5-10 2002 House of World Cultures Go Public! devoted to changes in the public sphere. Go public! is an exhortation to create publicity and to develop new ideas for the design and the use of public space in the digital era.
4-11 2001 Podewil Do it yourself! concentrated on artistic projects which are concerned with the DIY development and construction of creative tools and which are designed to foster creative media competence.
11-20 Feb 2000 Podewil internationales medienkunstfestival berlin
11-22 Feb 1999 Podewil international media art festival
12-22 Feb 1998 Podewil 11. VideoFest
23 May - 1 Jun 1997 Podewil 10.Videofest
1996 Podewil 9.Videofest
1995 Podewil 8.Videofest
1994 Podewil 7.Videofest
1993 Podewil 6.Videofest
1992 MedienOperative and Akademie der Künste 5.Videofest
1991 MedienOperative and Akademie der Künste 4.Videofest
1990 MedienOperative and Akademie der Künste 3.Videofest
1989 MedienOperative and Akademie der Künste 2.Videofest
1988 MedienOperative and Akademie der Künste 1.Videofest