In 2016, being a geek has nothing to do with thick glasses, comic books and high school wedgie traumas, at least from what I can deduce of the Retune Festival 2016. Geeky things nowadays come in artistic, haptic forms, shaping the future less from a scientific perspective and more from a cross-cultural, playful and creative stance.
The Retune Festival takes place in an old school in Kreuzberg on Glogauer Straße. In every little of the former classrooms, you can stumble upon workshops, little toys, self-programmed Virtual Reality worlds and artworks that invest into the trope of virtuality transforming reality.
My visit to Retune was quick and delightful, with many of the sweet creators explaining carefully what they were trying to do. And indeed, if those people are deemed “geeks”, then apparently geeks are extremely fashionable now. Jugend Forscht vs UdK Rundgang – science exhibition meets playground meets sophistication.
While my arts & crafts skills are limited to yelling at glitter when it doesn’t want to come off, I believe that the “making” aspect of our culture is going to be an essential part of our future. Jobs are being replaced by robots – which means we have more time to build cooler robots! Like miniature crab-robots that battle each other (I am heartbroken about missing this contest!). I mean, we used to “make” tables and chairs, I’d love to see young people go back to making stuff again, this time around with the help of 3D-printers and sophisticated software.