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Opening Night at Transmediale | © Transmediale / WikiCommons
Opening Night at Transmediale | © Transmediale / WikiCommons

What to Know About Transmediale: Berlin's Hottest Digital Art and Media Festival

Picture of Alice Dundon
Updated: 1 February 2018

Transmediale is Berlin’s annual festival for art and digital culture. Held over five days in early February, the festival combines a packed program of exhibitions, conferences, workshops, performances, film and video. Aside from its five-day festival, Transmediale is also involved in a number of long and short-term collaborations and projects in Berlin. The multidisciplinary platform continually explores and discusses evolving the digital, political and artistic culture in Berlin and often looks at how these all intersect.

Where it all began

Transmedial was founded by Hartmut Horst and Micky Kwella in 1988 under the name VideoFilmFest within the framework of Berlin’s annual International Film festival, Berlinale. Its founders were video artists and activists who sought to create a platform for electronic media productions, which couldn’t find a home in the classic Berlinale film festival. Over 30 years later it has slowly grown into its own independent festival, forming a unique identity as a platform to cultivate a media-driven artistic dialogue. Now, it has emerged as a leading international space for media art and socio-political dialogue. In 1997, its name was changed to Transmedia and finally to Transmediale the following year.

Transmediale and Haus der Kulturen der Welt meet

In 2001, the festival evolved to new heights and underwent some structural changes, as the program added more events and the festival moved to a new venue, Haus der Kulturen der Welt. The move led to a continuous increase in attendance, as the marriage of Transmediale and the Tiergarten space proved to be a prosperous one and the festival is still held here today. In 2006 it underwent further changes and the festival’s tagline changed from ‘international media art festival’ to ‘festival for art and digital culture.’ The decision reflected the shift towards a more multifaceted platform that would include art, technology, and everyday life in an increasingly digitized world.  


It’s now a year-long platform  

In 2011, Transmedial/resource was established as a way to keep it a year-round platform. This new subset of Transmedial aims to provide a structure for feedback, research, and reflection beyond the short time frame of the five-day festival. As a result, the resource centre has grown to encompass an artist residency, an online journal and various collaborations with organizations, galleries, independent spaces and venues all over Berlin.