Dear organisers of Art Hack Day and Transmediale Afterglow,
First of all I would like to thank you again for your kind invitation to participate in the festival, and the event.
Second of all I would like to emphasise that I thoroughly appreciate a critical response to technical innovations in these exiting times, and the attention you are creating for these so called 'hacking' activities, establishing an environment in which the discussion about the impact that technology has on our lives can take place.
You have collected a wonderful group of people, with many talented minds, and people I consider to be good friends.
When you have the time to read this message, I would like to explain my reasoning behind not participating in the ArtHackDay exhibition.
These last few days I have unsuccessfully tried to find a way accept my insistent scruple with the event.
This scruple is based on my impression of the ArtHackDay (with a consecutive exhibition) to be an outcome of a neoliberal approach to technology in our society, presented within a niche driven context. A fast, cost effective, even competitive, corporate way in which a large quantity of approaches can be included, competing with each other, stimulating ridiculous work hours, without any fee or compensation. Stimulating easy and quick solutions to personalise mass produced technology with an artistic flair. After which the work is presented without any chance of contemplation, or for that matter curatorial intervention. Of course I also believe in stimulating a radical creative environment, and working hard to make art with friends, not sleeping, and making great last minute work. And if you can make money with it, that's good for you.
By making this a curatorial format to create an exhibition though, the contemplation which is so desperately needed to deal with the current cultural implications of technology, is removed from the exhibition, and a celebration of technical improvisation skills and niche references remains. Wonderful during a Google job interview, or Facebook Hackathon perhaps, but I could not get it to rhyme with my belief in art, artists and hackers having a responsibility to give people the tools to deal with the rapidly changing world around them. By taking some more time then the fucked up commercially driven culturally imperialist communication infrastructure interventions that are messing up our privacy, social lives, and information access as we speak. This does not mean I do not support quick and dirty technical interventions, on the contrary if you know my work, a quick wit and great do it yourself skills can create wonderful impromptu gestures that will spark pleasure and a sense of belonging to a technical elite with many visitors. Still I can not help but believe we desperately need art that deals with contemporary cultural issues relating to technology and media that has had a chance to ripen outside of this techie neoliberal pressure cooker format.
Therefor my misspelled name in the catalogue will function as an "afterglow" of my potential participation, and I trust you will find a way to remove my name from any current online, and any further future communications. Hopefully this message explained my lack of participation for you and others. I wish you and the participants the best of luck with the rest of the preparations, and I am looking forward to further discussion where possible, and the rest of Transmediale.