in/compatible.research – Call for Participation

International PhD workshop and conference, organised by Digital Aesthetics Research Centre/Centre for Digital Urban Living, Aarhus University, in partnership with the transmediale festival for art and digital culture, and Universität der Künste, Berlin.

November 16-18, 2011
Vilém Flusser Archive, Universität der Künste, Berlin.

“transmediale 2012 postulates that incompatible beings drive the logic of contemporary cultural production. in/compatible beings are understood as aesthetic things and processes that do not necessarily connect on the  terms we are used to. The festival wants to raise the question of what happens when such incompatible beings are brought to the fore rather than hidden away in the dark underbelly of digital culture?”

In the context of developing a platform for knowledge exchange, and research across the arts and sciences, transmediale and Aarhus University have established a partnership to foster new forms of collaborative peer-review and knowledge dissemination. The first project will be a PhD workshop and conference departing from the theme of the 25th transmediale festival upcoming in early 2012: in/compatible. This theme addresses unresolved tensions in-between different technologies, their cultures of production and use, as well as the tensions between different approaches to contemporary media culture.

The simultaneous monumental failure and global ubiquity of technology seems to move us beyond the polarity of utopia and dystopia. Instead we are entering the blurred environments of the unadapted, monstrous and ‘uncorporated’. These increasingly unclear tension-states between open and closed, military and civilian, idealistic and commercial, are giving rise to a new kind of ‘techno-cultural uneasy’. The in/compatible in this context is a singular moment where it becomes evident that certain technologies or models of thought are not possible to use in combination. Artists, practitioners and thinkers engage this imperfect nature of technology. They give it a cultural shape, developing a critical reflexivity that responds to the ever-changing social and economical terrains of the networked world.

(From Open Call for Works, transmediale 2012: in/compatible. Read the full thematic call…)

The aim of the in/compatible.research PhD workshop and conference is to explore the compatibility and incompatibility of various objects, processes and systems. For DARC, the workshop is a continuation of research in interface criticism and the role of artistic practices and aesthetic theory within interface culture. One of the assumptions is that critical insights and new possibilities derive from the various incompatibilities of interfaces (including those between humans and machines, as well as within humans and machines). For transmediale, the workshop represents a beta project of its new “resource for transmedial culture,” which is a framework for transmediale related events happening before and after the festival. The resource is a new distributed working methodology of the festival based on continuous knowledge development and community involvement throughout the year; thus the workshop is both an independent event and a research-based exploration of the forthcoming theme of transmediale.

We are looking for proposals from PhD researchers to take part in this international workshop and conference to explore the forthcoming theme of transmediale: in/compatible.

A total of 15 PhD international researchers will be selected and asked to participate: firstly initiating a discussion process in a blog, and then in the PhD workshop held at the Universität der Künste, Vilém Flusser Archive in Berlin, Nov. 16-18. The outcome of the process will be published in a transmediale thematic publication and presented as part of the programme of the festival in 2012. In the selection of participants, we are looking to address the theme of in/compatibility in terms of the diversity of research traditions and disciplines represented, including practice-based research. Across the same days as the PhD workshops, an international research conference will be held to create a platform of exchange between scholars, researchers and artists exploring the in/compatible topic.

We are looking for contributions that broadly align to the following headings:


Various socio-technical systems communicate with each other in networks, but how do they distribute sense perception and relations of power and control, and not least what are the aesthetic and critical responses to these distributions (such as glitch, sousveillance or FLOSS)?


There are ever more competing ways of understanding and addressing knowledge production, so what is the role of emergent practice, artistic research methods and more traditional research methods across the arts and sciences (such as media archaeology, speculative realism and aesthetic theories)?


In the collapsing distinctions of production and consumption, and with new models of socialisation and exchange, what are the alternative economies and business models that emerge (in the context of the marketisation of research, creativity and sociality)?

Applications will be reviewed by a panel comprised of representatives from Aarhus University and transmediale. The workshop is free, but participants will need to cover their own travel and accommodation expenses. For fundraising purposes, letters of support can be issued upon request. 5 ECTS credits are offered for full participation. Some places will be reserved for students coming from the organizing institutions.

We are seeking proposals consisting of a biography (500 characters), a statement on current research/description of PhD project (1000 characters), and an abstract for a paper presentation (1500 characters).

> Upload proposals via the ONLINE FORM

Deadline: Aug. 15

Acceptance: Sept. 15

Organised by:

Digital Aesthetics Research Centre, Aarhus University, DK (
Centre for Digital Urban Living, Aarhus University, DK (
transmediale festival for art and digital culture, Berlin, DE (

Promoted by:

transmediale resource and Vilém Flusser Archive, Berlin.

Hosted by:

Universität der Künste, Berlin, DE (

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