Pochen BiennalePochen Biennale

Die (neue) Vermessung der Welt

Big Data, Data Literacy, Blockchain or Data Commons - behind these more or less clearly defined terms lie phenomena that mark the current peak of a rapidly advancing development: Over the past decades, the digital transformation has penetrated increasingly deeply into our everyday lives in order to gain a foothold there. This has been followed by a fundamental change in the media, with constantly growing data streams digitally linking what was previously unconnected, making the invisible visible, and globalizing the local. While the media public sphere exploded via the Internet, the world became a village in which distances were eliminated and knowledge was made available to all users at any time. The extensive digitalization has given us a global brain that brings us closer together, while our existence seems to take on increasingly hybrid forms.

As users we are no longer just recipients: As produsers we produce information and emit a large variety of data. Under the buzzword Big Data, we enrich ourselves with ever new possibilities of digital practices. At the same time, it has become a slogan for new forms of observation and far-reaching possibilities of manipulation: Bots influence elections on social networks, we encounter new forms of exclusion, and new monopolies of power are emerging.

Thus, the digital transformation of society has two sides: Hardly anyone will question the opportunities and success it has had on knowledge transfer, communication or production relations. Nevertheless, many facets of this historically unique upheaval are indicative of this: We have not digitized a better world. New power structures have been created and cemented over the years. We have created new forms of interaction, and at the same time perverted some of them. Knowledge is available to us anytime and anywhere. And its misuse is equally ubiquitous. Where until recently the world seemed to be moving closer together as a result of the extensive digitization processes, our democratic values and our social coexistence are increasingly being put to the test. But there are alternative approaches: concepts of data literacy or ideas such as Big Democracy promise more competence and transparency as well as an unprecedented degree of social participation. What does our data reveal, and where do we give it away? How can we find answers to these questions with the means of art and stimulate new immersive experiences to engage with the thematic field - for the POCHEN Symposium 2021 we will attempt to approach this challenge.

Greetings by the curator - Agnieszka Kubicka-Dzieduszycka - of the POCHEN Biennale 2022.

Many new words are circling around us. They sound modern, mysterious and give the impression of being robust, intelligent and reliable, at least as much as the machines that control the phenomena and processes behind these words. Digitalisation, Big Data, artificial intelligence, automation, optimisation, behavioural programming, the Internet of Things, affective computing - these are the most frequently used terms to describe the current profound transformation of the world. These words raise hope for a smooth, smart overcoming of the numerous current crises and, at the same time, disquiet due to a certain ambiguity they spread. The only thing that is certain is that the current radical transition to digitality is completely changing our lives live, before our eyes. For better or worse. Although time is accelerating and the technosphere is evolving at an almost exponential pace, it seems that things have not yet progressed to the point where they are completely beyond our control, and that we as humanity are still able to collectively and more equitably shape the direction of change that technological developments are setting.

This year's POCHEN symposium, which prepares the ground for next year's POCHEN Biennale, is dedicated to reflecting and discussing these questions. Together with artists, experts, academics, activists and Chemnitzers, we want to scan the field of discourse, identify the most questionable and hopeful moments, grasp the systemic complexity of the issues, and find new approaches and perspectives to strengthen and empower communities and individuals involved in the digital transformation. As curator of the POCHEN Biennale 2022, I am delighted to be able to participate in this organic process that the POCHEN team and I have been developing together for several months, in the run-up to next year's exhibition. I expect the symposium to put us in a state of heightened, critical and creative awareness and prepare us to encounter artists who use technology in their artistic practice: Analysing, transforming, visualising and capturing data to create spaces for greater human autonomy in the digital age.

POCHEN Symposium Approach

Since 2018, we have been telling history and stories around the past, present and future with the multimedia biennial POCHEN in Chemnitz. Every two years, we dedicate ourselves to a new topic that has a lasting impact on people in our region and throughout Germany. In the framework of our POCHEN symposium, we come together with interdisciplinary project partners, artists and guests to stimulate valuable factual contributions and capture different voices around our theme for the upcoming Biennale. This year's symposium is an attempt to penetrate the phenomena of digitalisation and datafication more deeply. Within the framework of the individual event points, we want to uncover different perspectives. What feedback does datafication have on our social coexistence and our democratic values? And how can artistic interventions reveal and critically explore the fluid transitions between human and software, individual and mass, and work and leisure? Under the guiding question: ""What experiences and skills do people need as data-competent and data-sovereign individuals in the 21st century?"", we would like to comprehensively sensitise participants and visitors to the handling of digital as well as analogue data and stimulate discussions. We will be guided by the question: How can we penetrate the topic with the means of multimedia art and what new mediation perspectives can it offer us?

POCHEN Symposium Compact


Our POCHEN Symposium will take place at Chemnitz Open Space (Brückenstraße 10 / 09111 Chemnitz). The nearest bus stop is: Chemnitz, Stadthalle. If travelling by Deutsche Bahn, we recommend getting off at Chemnitz-Hauptbahnhof and walking 10 minutes to Chemnitz Open Space.

The POCHEN Symposium 2021 guests

Opening hours: 

Thursday: 19:30 - 24:00
Friday: 20:00 - 22:30
Saturday 19:00 - 23:00
Sunday: 19:00 - 21:00 hrs

Admission to the symposium is on a donation basis. We would appreciate a donation from you.
For the events and workshops, please check the descriptions in the programme brochure, on Facebook or Instagram.

Hygiene rules

The events are open to all guests under the 3G regulations.We ask for contact registration via the Corona warning app or analogously on the form.

We have an approved hygiene concept from the city of Chemnitz for the implementation of the event. As a matter of principle, we rely on visitors to be mature and responsible towards their fellow human beings.
Due to the hygiene concept in force, the number of visitors to Chemnitz Open Space is limited. We therefore ask for your understanding and consideration in the event of waiting times. Coming early to the events can help to avoid long waiting times. 
Wearing a mouth-nose covering is compulsory inside Chemnitz Open Space. Please ensure that there is sufficient distance between you and other guests in the Chemnitz Open Space. 
Mouth-to-nose protection does not need to be worn in the outdoor area. 

You are welcome to support POCHEN

POCHEN is mainly supported by a voluntary core team of about 8 people interested in art, who gladly invest their time and sometimes their holidays to make the exhibition and the symposium with the accompanying programme possible.
Our joint work is supported by donations in kind from companies in the region and by funding from local authorities, the state and institutions. The funding comes from the Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Saxony and the City of Chemnitz.
In order to cover the full costs and at best have start-up funding for the POCHEN Biennale 2022, we rely on your support!
Is there a possibility to include a Payppal donation field here?

We are looking for your support!

Do you want to support POCHEN or get involved with us? You are cordially invited to become part of the POCHEN crew, which makes this project possible with a lot of joy, commitment and enthusiasm. Feel free to send us an email to info@pochen.eu . We look forward to your support!


You can download our program here.


Benjamin Gruner

With Benjamin everything falls into place. As project manager of the POCHEN Biennale, he keeps together all those involved in the project using their ideas to give a proper shape to the festival.

Since 2013, many other projects had his signature next to art and cultural events: an example is the ibug festival for urban art, since 2019 also the OSTRALE art biennial in Dresden, and this year even an exhibition as part of the European Cultural Year 2020 in Rijeka (Croatia). But he is also very active on a regional level, and involved in several local cultural events: the organisation of the Fête de la Musique, and the event series Salam Chemnitz - A History of Friendship.

Benjamin Gruner

Hannes Drißner

You can see that Saxony is getting trendy when Swabian people start moving here, for example Hannes. Growing up in Stetten am kalten Markt in Baden-Württemberg, he is working as a freelance graphic designer and book editor for the art book publisher Spector Books in Leipzig. After studying media design at Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg (DHBW) and University of Reading (UOR), he then moved to Saxony.
Apart from that, he is a passionate skateboarder. Straight outta skatepark, Hannes is responsible for the visual design of POCHEN. Catalogues, flyers, everything visual carries his unique signature.

Rene Szymanski

Rene is the one in our team who has an eye for everything. At POCHEN he is responsible for the accompanying programme. In this role, he investigates how multimedia art can be understood by everyone, and how the content of our topics can be succesfully delivered to the public.

Since his studies of philosophy, he has been doing this regularly for the Kulturhaus Arthur in Chemnitz. There he is mainly entrusted with project development, artist booking and fundraising.

Rene Szymanski

Natalie Bleyl

Natalie grew up in a village near Aue in the Ore Mountains and came to Chemnitz in order to photograph the local urban vibes. As a photographer she is part of our social media team.
After graduating in European studies at TU Chemnitz, she started her master’s programme in British and American studies. Apart from that, she is a successful analogue photographer: This year, she received the recognition award of the JugendKunstTriennale of the Kunstsammlungen Zwickau. Her works have hung in the Club Zukunft and the Kunstsammlungen Zwickau, among other places. Now, they hang at our place – on Instagram and Facebook, where she regularly provides you with photos.

Natalie Bleyl

Constanze Gröer

Constanze at POCHEN keeps an eye on the numbers: she skilfully juggles them from debits to credits, so that the balance sheet looks alway accurate. 

She is also the Feel-Good-Manager in the Spinnerei e.V. Here she takes care of everyone and everything: all balance sheets, members and guests. In addition to the bookkeeping, she runs yoga classes, gives massages, handles incoming requests and makes appointments.

Constanze Gröer

Frank Schönfeld

Frank is simply the one that every project needs. A practical person, a sharp and accurate thinker, and mostly a man of action who doesn't waste time with words. This is the reason why he is in charge of the entire production at the POCHEN Biennale.

Other organisations also appreciate his practical attitude: the Chemnitzer Entwicklungsgesellschaft (CWE) for instance, where since 2017 he has been helping the Chemnitz cultural and creative industries to prosper. In this context, he is also responsible for the conception of the Chemnitz Creative Development Programme (Krach). As Chairman of the Spinnerei e.V., he is also responsible for numerous other events: the Treibsand festival, for example, or cultural events such as the a wie apéritif at the State Archaeological Museum in Chemnitz (smac).

Frank Schönfeld

Maria Cuptior

Maria is our networker: she loves art, culture and everything related to it. She takes care of our social media channels: At POCHEN she is responsible for liking and being liked, for sharing and being shared, for talking and being discussed in all social networks. 

Since 2015 Maria, born in Transnistria (or on Russian Pridnestrovie), has her second home in Germany. After finishing her linguistics studies, Maria went to Leipzig to work as a volunteer with children. Just one year later, Maria followed her creative and analytical impulses and began a dual training in marketing communication  in Chemnitz. Currently she works at KOMSA AG in the area of e-mail and content marketing.

Philipp Nürnberger

Philipp does magic at the POCHEN Biennale: from his fingertips directly to the laptop screen. He is responsible indeed for the entire text production at the POCHEN Biennale.

He has been already doing this for years:  first as a student of German studies, then as an editor in a publishing house, and today as a copywriter in a marketing agency in Chemnitz. And if the magic is not happening with his fingertips he definitely suceeds with his legs: at the Chemnitzer Druckbude e.V. he works as a skateboard trainer.

Philipp Nürnberger

Lucia Schaub

Lucia came to the POCHEN Biennale as a mail artist: in other words, she sends all different kinds of objects around the world and checks if the postal service delivers them.

In addition, she works as a project coordinator at the Chemnitzer Wirtschaftsförderung (CWE). Her showpiece so far: the city’s 875th anniversary. And she is also well networked beyond the city limits, whether at festivals in Switzerland or in Chemnitz’ twin city Düsseldorf as long art is in the focus.

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