DAY 1     March 20

 Hotel Bardo &

Early Transition as LARPing

Omsk Social Club, McKenzie Wark



Hotel Bardo

Time: 4pm — 6pm CET
Please be aware this workshop will require you to be able to connect to the internet whilst outside and have a smartphone that can hold the randonauting app.

“Hotel Bardo” as a workshop explores the idea of staying under the influence of Bardo as one shared experience under spiritual and perennial philosophy of digital life. “Hotel Bardo” aims to unpack the thinking by traversing backwards into the analogue technology of narrative and myth-making in order to uproot new and alternative modes of thinking about the socialization of technology and narrative making today. This will undoubtedly bring up ideas of why technology went from a tool of Maya-extension to that of a system of control and endless cell-like panopticons of the user visiting other dimensions. It is also likely to bring up questions of reality-making systems and what we can do to control our own narratives.

The workshop “Hotel Bardo” is inspired by ideas of collective external support consciousness expansion. It is pitted in the realm of thinking, observing and researching through both a technological and social lens. At times it will be also delicate and nonverbal, somatic and telepathic, it will also utilise the Fatum Bot as a guide of outdoor exploration. 

Talk & Conversation

Early Transition as LARPing

Time: 6pm CET — open end
on zoom

I don't think about it anymore. I just go about my everyday life as a trans woman who doesn't pass and leave the worrying to the people around me. Most of the time. There's situations where I'm aware that I am trying to persuade someone of the fiction that I am a woman and that they should play their role in our interaction as if I was. And yet, to me, I am a woman. I just know that to them I'm not and might never be, so I have to get them to suspend disbelief and go with their own fiction. It's a bit uncanny. It feels like live action role play, only i'm not playing a role to myself, only to the other person, although that makes it feel like a role to me, when otherwise it's not. Of course, early in transition I didn't have this confidence in myself and indifference to the gender hang-ups of others. It all felt like role play. And in a way the seemingly natural performances I do now are a product of learning to play myself as a role. So in the metaphorical sense there's bleed. Only sometimes the role playing is to avoid literal bleeding. My world is safer than that of most trans women. Most people don't give a shit about older women. You become invisible. And being white and middle class protects me whether i like that or not. But there's still moments of danger, and not just from men. And if there's real danger, its no longer a game.
The talk is followed by a dialog with McKenzie Wark and Omsk Social Club open to the public.

McKenzie Wark

McKenzie Wark (she/her) is a writer and scholar based in New York and born 1961 in Newcastle, Australia. Wark is known for her writings on media theory, critical theory, new media, media art, and the Situationist International. She is the author of Gamer Theory (Harvard 2007), A Hacker Manifesto (Harvard 2004) and The Spectacle of Disintegration (Verso 2013) among others.
Her latest writing includes Capital Is Dead: Is This Something Worse? (Verso, 2019) describing a new ruling class that gains its power through the ownership and control of information; Reverse Cowgirl (2020) a new genre for another gender and an auto-ethnography of the opacity of the self and Sensoria (Verso, 2020) a transdisciplinary survey of the key thinkers and ideas that are rebuilding the world in the shadow of the anthropocene. In 2019 she was awarded the Thoma Prize for writing in digital art. She teaches at the New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College in New York City.

“The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.”

Omsk Social Club

Omsk Social Club is a “futuristically political”, [i.e. unrealistic] immersive action group. Omsk proposes contents and makings as a form of post-political entertainment in an attempt to shadow-play politics until the game ruptures the surface we now know as Life. In the field, this is called “Bleed”.

Omsk Social Club forks traditional methods of Live Action Role Play (Larp) through immersive installations and into Real Game Play (RGP) to induce states that could potentially be a fiction or a yet, unlived reality. Omsk works closely with networks of viewers, everything is unique and unrehearsed. The living installations they create examine virtual egos, popular experiences and political phenomena. Allowing the works to become a dematerialized hybrid of modern-day culture alongside the participant's unique personal experiences. In the past Omsk Social Club’s Real Game Play immersive environments have introduced landscapes and topics such as otherkin, rave culture, survivalism, catfishing, desire&sacrifice, positive trolling, algorithmic strategies and decentralized cryptocurrency.

They have exhibited across Europe in various institutions, galleries, theatres and off-sites such as Martin Gropius Bau,  House of Electronic Kunst Basel, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich, HKW, Berlin, Volksbühne, Berlin and Stems Gallery, Brussels. They have been included in CTM Festival (2021) 6th Athens Biennale (2018), Transmediale Festival (2019), The Influencers (2018) and Impakt Festival (2018). In 2021 they will co-curate the 7th Athens Biennale with Larry Ossei-Mensah.