The conference and exhibition “Migrating Reality” is organised by >top – Verein zur Förderung kultureller Praxis e.V. in Berlin and KHM – Kunsthochschule für Medien in Cologne. It is also generously supported by the Embassy of Lithuania in Germany within the framework of the German-Baltic Year of Culture 2008.
The event focuses on the Baltic nation of Lithuania. In the last fifteen years, more than ten percent of Lithuania’s population has emigrated, among them numerous individuals engaged in the cultural sector. Others, while still living in Lithuania, are deeply engaged with the subject of migration. Selected individuals from both these groups will present their work at the conference and exhibition.
Migrating Reality deals specifically with the realities of migration and migrating realities that are independent of global structural changes and economic or cultural processes and are opening unique opportunities for creative exchange.
Electronic and digital cultures generate completely new forms of migration. In the creative arts, new phenomena related to migration and the synergies of disparate systems are emerging. Artistic products evolve from traditional forms to hybrid digital forms. Analogue products are being digitized; data spaces are trans-located from one data storage system to another; existing sounds, images, and texts are re-mixed and fused into new datasets.
The emergent processes of migration generate temporary autonomous zones where socio-political actions occur without the interference of formal control mechanisms. These zones and enclaves appear in physical space as well as in virtual space. By integrating these into available structures and temporarily interconnecting them, new trajectories and ideas are created.
Migration is reality and reality is migrating. This dialectic, appearing as a banal topic in everyday politico-economic debate, includes unarticulated issues which, by their fragmented nature have to be dealt with through creative multidisciplinary means. Only occasionally do components of the migrating global situation surface in the mass media, within individual mediums of expression, or in exhibitions as documentation and artwork. This is likely because dealing with the realities of migration in an explicitly European context means accepting the potential for conflict.
This trans-cultural German-Lithuanian event will take on the risk in highlighting certain fragments of the discourse. Participants will be invited to piece together aspects of this inexorable global mobility on the one hand and of retrograde power relations on the other.