Hannes Grassegger, Malka Older, Peter Pomerantsev
© Kampnagel
Hannes Grassegger, Malka Older, Peter Pomerantsev
© Kampnagel
Theory / Online / Kampnagel / Digital

Pandemic Talk Series

Shared Base Reality. How can we create a shared vision of reality in the digital world?


5 Euro (Parallel to the live event, the talks are also available as a stream on the Kampnagel YouTube channel.)

Past dates



6:00 PM


ca. 90 Min.

In a three-part conference (live at Kampnagel as well as a stream on the Kampnagel YouTube channel) the Summer Festival invites experts to discuss with international guests the current effects of the Covid-19 pandemic from sociological, technological-political and pop cultural perspectives.

Talk 2: Shared Base Reality. How can we create a shared vision of reality in the digital world? Hannes Grassegger in conversation with mit Malka Older, Peter Pomerantsev und Ben Smith

In the coming years we will face a growing challenge: the fragmentation of reality. With the decline of the mass media and the growth of antagonistic reality bubbles through social media, democracies around the world are in danger of losing their foundation: a common understanding of what is really happening. In addition, we are witnessing an emerging civil war between digital tribes, from closed Q-anon conspiracy Facebook groups to #BlackLiveMatters activists on Twitter. Increasingly, their clashes are taking place in the physical world, again driven by technology. Mass group chats in encrypted messaging services such as Telegram were used by protesters in Hong Kong and the so-called Hygiene Demos to organize direct action or feed disbelief surrounding the Sars2 virus. Such tendencies are an effect of the radicalization and reinforcement mechanisms of machine learning over commercial social media platforms, leading to competition between the group-building capacities of states and technology platforms. Are we facing the emergence of platform states? Or could we instead use the group-building capacities of platforms for a unifying rather than a divisive reality experience? This panel aims to start a discussion on the concept of »shared base reality«. How should information architecture be developed so that it promotes togetherness and exchange? Can we create platforms that combine the advantages of free and secure speech? Could states or transnational entities create sovereign information spaces that enable citizens to access facts?

Malka Older, PHD, is a science fiction author and expert on state-building. Peter Pomerantsev is one of the world's leading experts on disinformation and a member of the Arena Project at the London School of Economics LSE. Ben Smith was editor-in-chief of Buzzfeed Germany for many years before joining the New York Times as a media columnist in January 2020. The host Hannes Grassegger is an investigative journalist who explores the relationship between technology and power.

Program as PDF-Download here!

FR 14.08. / 18:00 Talk 1: In the eyes of the virus (not) all are equal Paula-Irene Villa in conversation with Dr. Karsten Schubert and Sabine Hark.

FR 28.08. / 18:00 Talk 3: Procoronastine & argueing – The Summer of Crisis. Klaus Walter in conversation with Julian Warner & Mascha Jacobs.


This year the summer festival takes place under special circumstances. Therefore it is important that we observe security measures to protect everyone and collect the contact information of our guests. This works without complications, but only with your help:

· Everywhere: Keep a distance of 1.5m, except in self-chosen groups of max. 10 people;

· In all indoor areas: Wear mouth-nose-protection, except in fixed seating areas;

· In the festival garden and in the Peacetanbul Restaurant: please always register as soon as you take a seat. The registration is done analogue with pen and paper or digital via a QR CODE. More information on site.

Here you will find the current coronavirus hygiene rules for your visit.