Vorspiel 2024

A citywide program by spaces and initiatives around transmediale and CTM festivals































The Vorspiel Collection brings together artworks, films, photo-essays, texts, graphs, images, podcasts, sound experiments, and more.

Image Gallery

Find some impressions of the 2022 opening here.


Our famous interview Staffette has returned! Watch this year's edition featuring a few of the participating spaces of Vorspiel / transmediale & CTM. The 2022 edition marks the 11th anniversary of our initiative and aim to showcase the richness and diversity of Berlin's independent project spaces and artist initiatives.


A look behind the Shared Frame streamed event for Vorspiel 2021 (pandemic edition).


How we got there and how important it was for Panke.

Essay Artwork

Postcards from the Metaverse speculates on the value of the popular 20th century medium – the postcard – in providing accessible and underrepresented perspectives on a newly- hyped infrastructure


Former transmediale artistic director Kristoffer Gansing applies a bit of home-grown numerology to reminisce about the secrets of Vorspiel!


The reSource network has been an extremely valuable resource in the process of establishing and running SPEKTRUM Berlin. It allowed us to connect with like-minded people in the city, to start up new collaborations, and to learn from those facing similar issues in running project spaces.


The essay summarizes the Czech-Brazilian cultural theorist and media philosopher Vilém Flusser’s ideas on the apparatus, codes, and programmed and manipulated society. He ends his texts by highlighting the importance of artists who might be able to play with and against the apparatus and challenge mass media and their preprogrammed functions.


From 2011 to 2014, Tatiana Bazzichelli and a team of others designed a sprawling event program called “reSource transmedial culture Berlin,” which picked up on transmediale-related projects and flung them far further.


Since 2013 designtransfer – the gallery and communicates interface of the Faculty of Design, Berlin University of the Arts (UdK Berlin) and the public – participates yearly at Vorspiel to present various projects as exhibitions, installations, and talks related to their New Media & Design courses.


Watch a digital interview Staffette with some of the participating spaces of Vorspiel / transmediale & CTM. The 2021 edition marks the 10th anniversary of our initiative and aim to showcase the richness and diversity of Berlin's independent project spaces and artist initiatives in collaboration with transmediale.



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Essay Artwork

Postcards from the Metaverse

Theresa Reimann-Dubbers, Solaris

Technologies mediate views of the world, each according to their built-in sensibilities. I want to tell you a bit about the sensibilities of the postcard – a technology that disrupted the late 19th and early 20th century Western world yet rarely features in new media discourse. Looking back to the rapid rise of the postcard at the turn of the 20th century, Monica Cure writes that “postcards elicited expectations and anxieties that seem extraordinary now. While the object may be hardly recognizable, the discourse is all too familiar. The postcard was the new media of its day.”[1] After the concept was first proposed in Germany in 1865, early opponents complained that the postcard would render the letter and its formalities obsolete; some argued it was improper to send messages on open cards for all to see, and others doubted the postal infrastructure’s ability to handle such a format on a national scale [2]. That “familiar” discourse – the expectations, doubts, and anxieties – plays out whenever a new technology threatens to take root in daily life [3].

Physically, postcards seem simple: small rectangular pieces of thick paper with a printed image on one side and, when used, a hand-written note, postal address, and stamp on the other. In contrast to letters, the writing space on postcards is limited and always exposed. Responding to these new limitations at the end of the 19th century, people were quick to develop complex codes of communication: before being banished to the top right hand corner, the stamp – specifically its exact placement on a card – was widely used by senders to relay secret messages to their recipients. This is just one example of the many behaviours and codes that developed in the postcard age and I hope it’s clear that for the purpose of this text I am all but lightly brushing the surface of a medium with many layers [4].

For now, I’ll direct your attention to the following aspects of the postcard medium: the postcard is a (semi) private document of a person’s subjective experience at a specific time and place [5], usually addressed and sent to a friend, family member, or acquaintance who is elsewhere. Communication by postcard is direct, cheap and, although not instant, relatively quick. Content and writing style are familiar, often to the point of appearing banal. Postcards mediate impressions of places and things, which at the turn of the 20th century would have been considered much more vivid and unique than how we might perceive them today. Central to those impressions are the images on the front of the card. Looking at postcard images throughout the years, one trend has dominated; be it royal babies, new skyscrapers or the latest Tupperware range – the calibre of the themes appears irrelevant – if it’s new, it matters. The postcard has been collecting cultural moments and reflecting societal sentiments all through the last century. Once a disruptive new medium, to the 20th century citizen it was the popular, accessible, and relevant medium concerned with showcasing and celebrating the new [6].

The concept of the metaverse isn’t new, just newly mainstream. It was coined and first described in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 novel Snow Crash [7]. Since October 2021, with Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement of Meta [8], we’ve seen the mainstream media abuzz with that all too familiar “anti new technology” discourse, as it hones in on this disruptive infrastructure set to enter our lives [9]. The volume of speculations, hesitations, and hopes is well-founded, especially given the disproportionate role in all things metaverse that former-Facebook-now-Meta is determined to claim for itself. However, there too is value in a different sort of enquiry of this hour’s emergent technology – an enquiry concerned with the more mundane. It might ask what the weather is like, what people are wearing, what they’re chatting about, and what the bars are like in this new place. These small questions have small answers which, when pieced together, start to form a picture of a day-to-day in a metaverse. I recorded simple impressions like these in a series of postcards, suspecting they might be legible and tangible in a way that the metaverse concept, at this stage and to most people, is not.

[1] Monica Cure, Picturing the Postcard: A New Media Crisis at the Turn of the Century (Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 2018), Location 56, Kindle. [2] Cure, Picturing the Postcard: A New Media Crisis at the Turn of the Century, Location 82 - 108, Kindle. [3] Cure, Picturing the Postcard: A New Media Crisis at the Turn of the Century, Location 56, Kindle. [4] I recommend Monica Cure’s book Picturing the Postcard: A New Media Crisis at the Turn of the Century and Naomi Schor’s essay Collecting Paris for in depth analyses of the postcard medium and the nuanced culture that surrounds it – both informed my research for this text. [5] Postcards are not entirely private because of course the writing on postcards is exposed, meaning the message can – and often is – read by people other than the intended recipient. [6] Tom Phillips, The Postcard Century: 2000 Cards and Their Messages 1900-2000 (London: Hansjorg Mayer, 2000). [7] Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash (New York: Bantam Books, 1992). [8] Mark Zuckerberg, “Facebook Connect 2021”, Facebook, accessed January 3, 2022, www.facebook.com/Meta/videos/57765843017935 [9] Cure, Picturing the Postcard: A New Media Crisis at the Turn of the Century, Location 56, Kindle.