I just arrived this week back home from my last visit to Berlin, attending to this year’s editions of re:publica and the Global Innovation Gathering (GIG) Network annual meeting. This is my second year in both events and again it was a reinvigorating experience. Here some comments about it.

re:publica had its usual packed program with talks, workshops, meeting and actions. If you go to the events related with your themes of interest, you’ll find that the activities and discourses resonate with stuff that you already know, with some distilled new insights from devoted practitioners. For example, I was surprised by how gendered technology takes dangerous, invisible, but common forms, like all popular limitedly “smart” but submissive assistants (Siri, Alexa, Cortana), only having female voices. Also finding clever critical readings about “cancelling the apocalypse” and co-designing the future, as reported by Lisa. But the important opportunity that re:publica offers is the one of face to face connection and serendipity.

re:publica is becoming an important platform for South+North cross-pollination and for me GIG is the highlight and more visible evidence of such potential regarding serendipity and connection. Meeting again with such inspiring, committed, beautiful and clever people from different corners of the world, gives me an overdose of energy. The GIG network is becoming a place to showcase global expertise in a wide spectrum of different themes in re:publica: commons, biomaterials, data activism, visualization and storytelling, critical digital literacy and media, entrepreneurship, video games, art, electronics, wearables, among others.

In such wide spectrum of GIG members offerings we can find different aesthetics and callings: some of them take the form of pretty crowded and visible talks and workshops, kind of a performance working on the present, others are small, building also on small actions that document and open the future, others take the form of an installation and become kind of personal. All of them are trying to start and/or spread a conversation and some leave long lasting artefacts.


Read the full article with images on Offray’s website at http://mutabit.com/offray/blog/es/entry/gig-2018


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