Transmediale was great!

A panel, a workshop, a project presentation, and more… They sure kept us busy at the Transmediale in Berlin.

Wed, Feb 2nd – Lost In Open?

We’ve learned a lot and got really warm feedback from the participants in all of the events. We were especially happy how fruitful was Wikipedia Illustrated in… ahm… illustrating the boundaries of free culture and what still needs to be worked on.

That was also the focus of the “Lost in Open?” panel that Mushon moderated and Galia participated in together with Henrik Moltke (Mozilla Drumbeat), Simona Levy (La-Ex) & Andrea Gotzke (Newthinking Communications). We were very happy with the panel and it seems like the audience also responded well to the proposition that after being entrenched for a decade in battles over free vs. non-free culture it might be time to ask what is the Free Culture movement actually proposing? And are we ready for the day after the revolution?

Right after the panel we were approached by Zachary McCune who interviewed us for “A New Day’s Work”:

Inspired by the panel Zachary also proposed an interesting reading of the project name arguing it does not only stand for “contributing illustrations to Wikipedia” but also “illustrating Wikipedia’s inner-working by challenging them through visual contribution”.

Thu, Feb 3rd – Liveness

Unrelated to Wikipedia Illustrated Mushon also participated in the keynote panel on Liveness and gave his Getting Intimate with Invisible Audiences talk where he discusses intimacy in public space through two key examples—Chat Roulette and the Bible (!). Check the video here:

Sat, Feb 5th – Workshop + Talk

Saturday was the main deal. We had to rush out early from the morning panel The Right to Exit which featured some of our friends and a fascinating discussion. At 1pm we started the workshop.

Nadia presenting her concept for the "Citizen" article

8 participants joined us for the 6 hour workshop and posted their drafts on the blog: Nadia, John, Esra, Carey, Martina, Anne-Christin, Alma & Nicole. We started the workshop with a short (10mins) presentation of the project and our own backgrounds and then continued the introduction around the table. The participants were eager to discuss the theme of the project but we made sure that first we work, then we talk (this was the first lesson we learned from the workshop we held in Tel Aviv in January).

Wikipedia Illustrated Post Its / CC-BY-SA by tracy the astonishing

Each participant wrote a few keywords of themes they were interested in exploring visually and then found Wikipedia articles that corresponded with these themes. We discussed each keyword and the articles that corresponded and then went right to work.

At the end of the workshop we had 7 drafts posted to the site:

Nadia's draft for "Citizen"

Johns visual concepts for Crush

Esra's Francis Bacons

Carey's "Public Art"

Martina took on "Relations"

Ann illustrated "Participation"

Alma envisioned writing lines as "School Punishment"

We even had one complete work which we uploaded to Wikipedia, Nicole’s illustration for the article “Image”:

image of an image

an image of an image + all images

Through the workshop many issues were raised:

  • Can visual reference function as citation of a credible source?
  • How can we share the visual research process?
  • Can we standardize a color code as a symbolic toxonomy? Should we?
  • Is vector graphics more collaborative than scan based illustration?
  • How do we come up with an image we can agree on?

Many more questions were raised but we had to skip the break and run to the presentation.

Q&A after the presentation

At the end of the day we were exhausted but very inspired by the workshop outcomes and the overall enthusiasm.

We took another week to relax in Berlin, though we did also give another talk at Betahaus Open Design City and a radio interview with Andrea Gotzke’s S*P*A*R*

Galia interviewing for S*P*A*R* (at

The future is bright for Wikipedia Illustrated with more illustrations, more workshops and new initiatives down the line. We invite the participants of the workshop to further develop their work towards the contribution to Wikipedia and to really see this as their own draft sketchbook.

Many thanks to the Transmediale team for their huge support and especially to Ela Kagel, Cara Bell-Jones and Stephen Kovats.


Feb 27th, 2011

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