transmediale 2013 – BWPWAP

CTM's Sister Festival

For its 26th edition, CTM's sister festival transmediale – festival for art and digital culture, that takes place in parallel at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, boldly goes BWPWAP – Back When Pluto Was a Planet.

The acronym BWPWAP is used in Internet jargon to talk about things and events in the past or that possess an anachronistic character. In the context of the transmediale festival, it does not necessarily mean entertaining nostalgia for the past. On the contrary, Pluto and its reclassification is taken as a metaphor for how quickly cultural imaginaries can change and be contested in a world underwritten by parallel developments. Adopting the BWPWAP expression for a program that travels in time and space, transmediale 2013 reanimates cultural and technological perspectives that puts existing knowledge paradigms in crisis.

It is not so long ago when Pluto was still officially counted as a planet: 2006 to be precise. Yet, in terms of media hype and social, economic and political development, the days of Pluto already seem part of a bygone era. Think about financial bubbles, social networking services, political leaders and a life before smartphones (or before e-mail). transmediale 2013 retrieves perspectives that today may seem out of place within consensual views of technology and society, but which up until fairly recently, did not seem so improbable. BWPWAP suggests a methodology of looking backwards in order to cast a critical eye on the present, reformulating cultural practices for a less prescribed and more explorative sense of the possible. In one of the most ambitious editions of the festival yet, transmediale invites you to three exhibitions and a five-day conference, workshop, screening and performance program. Re-enacting not-so-distant pasts and half-forgotten places, transmediale will explore unrealistic and poetic modes of cultural critique – as if BWPWAP.

transmediale and CTM take place in parallel and in close collaboration since 1999. Festival visitors can buy Kombi Passes, that give access to most events of both festivals, or apply for joint professional or press accreditations. Go to our Ticket and Accreditation section for details.

For the full programme of transmediale, the theme and all else, please head over to

Also this year, the transmediale and CTM Festivals have once again co-curated a collaborative programme of audiovisual and audio performances at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt featuring world premieres and performances by Demdike Stare, Gatekeeper, People Like Us, Vanessa Ramos-Velasquez featuring A Guy Called Gerald, as well as Boris Hegenbart with Felix Kubin

Instrumentarium II

HKW, Wed 30.01.2013, 21:00

Boris Hegenbart & Felix Kubin

Consequences (One Thing Leads To Another)

HKW, Thu 31.01.2013, 21:00

People Like Us 

Coded Narratives

HKW, Fri 01.02.2013, 21:30

Vanessa Ramos-Velasquez feat. A Guy Called Gerald

Darkness Bright

HKW, Sat 02.02.2013, 22:30

Demdike Stare, Gatekeeper