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bastardCROWD [mobile] Talks and Performances

Performative installation by choreographer and performer Daniel Aschwanden and media artist Conny Zenk from 2015

Aschwanden and Zenk make us aware of the ways in which new interface cultures replace traditional communication

The performative installation bastardCROWD[mobile] by choreographer and performer Daniel Aschwanden and media artist Conny Zenk takes media scholar Mirko Tobias Schäfer's text Bastard Culture! as the starting point for their artistic research into the daily use of smartphones.

The selfie culture is only part of the larger cultural phenomenon of viral and digital communication devices. Aschwanden and Zenk, who staged artistic interventions in Beijing, Accra, Addis Abbeba and Vienna, make us aware of the ways in which new interface cultures replace traditional communication forms on a global scale. The symposium Datafication of the Public Sphere analyzes the implications of the comprehensive digitalization of society and the scope of public participation. It will also address the potential of technologies not implicated in the mechanisms of control and exploitation.

Choreographer and performer Daniel Aschwanden and media artist Conny Zenk, whose first transdisciplinary collaboration was a 2010 performance involving an inflatable temporary architectural structure called urban Seed, have worked intensively on their sequences for Bastardcrowding since 2014. Inspired by Bastard Culture, a text by media and cultural scholar Mirko Tobias Schäfer that focuses on implicit and explicit user participation in contemporary media and hardware culture, Aschwanden and Zenk’s artistic research looks into the daily use of smartphones in cities like Beijing, Accra, Addis Abeba and Vienna. Passive users or spectators have become active users who participate in the cultural production process, Mirko T. Schäfer argues in his book Bastard Culture. ''Participation' has become a key concept in understanding the constant expansion of media practices.' He states that the consequences are merely the extension of cultural industries, which effect both the diverse set of users and practices.