Shift

Just before his death in 2010, historian Tony Judt said words to the effect that the duty of a public intellectual had once been to imagine a better society, while now his or her duty was to try to prevent a worse one.

Ian Jack, in last weekends Guardian

In 2012, the theme of the Berlin-based technology festival Transmediale was, at least ostensibly, less optimistic than in previous years; encompassing art, politics and our uniquely modern socio-economic behaviours, its umbrella title (‘In/Compatible’, punctuated with a slash for greater ambiguity) seemed an admission that things in our brave new mechanised world - a supposed technological Eden - were often less than paradisiacal. 2001’s first themed Transmediale ran with the mantra of ‘Do It Yourself!’, instilled with the buoyant spirit of the noughties; in 2003 came ‘Play Global!’ and in 2004 ‘Fly Uptopia!’. All three expos, one might imagine, painted the onset of the digital age with broad, utopian brushstrokes; where Transmediale once shouted from Berlin’s rooftops, now it spoke in a quieter tone, offering a slash - an and/or proposition

Philippa Snow, in Modern Matter