Unboxing e-Realities

Unboxing e-Realities  

Fr, 27.09.2019 –
Sa, 28.09.2019

Vaba Lava

Agency, Citizenship, Responsibility in the Digital Age

Two days of performance / art / theory / film / workshop / discussions

curated by Christiane Kühl

Digitalisation has changed every single domain of our lives. Still, when we think of the digital world, we tend to think of smartphones, MacBooks, and slick apps. So shiny! Or Google, Amazon, Facebook, Skype: so convenient! interconnected! in real time! Digitalisation has helped us defy the boundaries of space, time and self. Very cool indeed.

But behind every shiny interface there's the backend. Algorithms you do not see. A set of rules that defines a whole architecture of power, which often and for many reasons is deliberately kept obscure. And on top of that, there is a "global backend" that we chose to ignore: digital waste dumps in Africa, and devastating working conditions for people assembling our devices in Asia, or lately Latin America, among others.
Digital technologies solve problems, they create problems, and we use them to address the situations they created. No matter whether you focus on utopian or dystopian scenarios: that everything is linked to data-driven technologies today – work, politics, the economy, the environment, social relations – is nothing short of a paradigm shift. This does not mean that we don't have a say in it.
Estonia is a frontrunner in this digital world, especially in the political sphere. E-governance, e-residency and the whole idea of the e-state is sold as a model for all states fit for the future – well aware of the fact that at this point in history, this is an e-journey into the unknown. How will it change our understanding of democracy, if countries are run like start-ups, states understood as services, citizens addressed as users? Who writes the terms and conditions? What architectures of power are being built? Who has agency, who profits, who cares?
The artists and thinkers of this interdisciplinary symposium will address these questions and more: exploring the local and global histories of the state we're in, applying their creative imagination to visualize where the journey might take us. "Us" being the key word here  – because after a decade of selfies, it is time to focus on our relationship to others, including nature and machines. Here are two days to rethink and envision models of community, agency and care in the digital sphere.

Friday, 27 september 2019


Workshop On Data Security

This workshop is held in German and addresses students (secondary level, invitation only). The seminar is led by Lea Pfau (Open Knowledge Foundation Germany).



Guest Performance YOU ARE OUT THERE by doublelucky productions & Idella Craddock.

Our personal websites, Facebook pages, Twitter handles introduce us to the world – our doubles on the internet are alive. YOU ARE OUT THERE tells a classical doppelgänger story as multimedia data theatre. With experimental IT technology and the help of a sleazy magician, it explores the scope of identity manipulation, turning the audience into accomplices in the process.

, 5.50/10.50 €

Saturday, 28 September 2019


Public Conference

Symposium On The Future Of The Digital Society

The symposium Unboxing e-Realities will examine what’s behind the shiny surface of the digital world: the structures and rules that make it work and at the same time define how we relate to the digital. The artists and thinkers explore the relationship between the (e-)state, the private sector, and the citizen/user/individual; and between individuals and their social and natural environment – online and offline.

Christoph Engemann: Who owns identity?
Katrin Tiidenberg: Stuck in the Attention Machine
Damiano Cerrone: Digital Autarky
Varvara & Mar: Colonization with LOVE
Maren Mayer-Schwieger: E-sthetics of Nature
Hans Block & Moritz Riesewieck: Countless Shades of Grey in the Twilight Zone

Keynote by Evgeny Morozov: Digital Power and its Discontents

Moderator: Geraldine de Bastion

Open to everyone, free admission. Please register here.



Screening: The Cleaners
A documentary film by Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck

Every day, millions and millions of images are posted on the web. Not all of them stay there. Who controls what we are seeing – and what is removed? "The Cleaners" enters hidden shadow industry of digital cleaning, where the Internet rids itself of what it doesn‘t like.


Three Installations will be presented throughout the event in Vaba Lava.

The Rhythm of Heart by Varvara & Mar
The Glass Room by Tactical Tech
Kitty AI. Artificial Intelligence for Governance by Pinar Yoldas

In three installations, artist reflect on the relationships between humans and digital technology, including big data and artificial intelligence.