is a festival/program for adventurous music and related arts, in
Berlin, Germany. This year the theme was
the current re-emergence of all things ghostly, mysterious and dark
in experimental music, avant-pop, and art.
I was in Berlin at the time. The pretext demanded
investigation. Wasn't able to attend all exhibitions, concerts or
performances, but here's what I found most interesting.
Between You And Me, Kunstraum Kreuzberg
Kind of impossible to photograph this one... much better
photos and video at artist
It was a completely darkened and black room, maybe 10 x 15
meters. Cutting the room in half, there was a wall of light, maybe
50 cm wide. Transparent, as in, you could see the line of the
edges, the space in-between them, and darkened contours of whatever
was beyond. You could put your hand into it, through it, and you
could walk through it.
Sounds a bit unimpressive in text I guess… but it was magical,
really "whaaaat….?". It looked like a force-field, something
electric and pulsing and real, physical, yet you could move through
it. Best part, when moving through it, there were hyper-directional
sound INSIDE the wall, a constant, ever-lasting soundscape of
breaking and crashing glass. You could stand, move around inside
the wall, and be washed with light and sound.
This work was exceptionally well executed: It was craftily
built, it was theoretically interesting, and personally highly
inspirational. My previous experiment with projecting on smoke (the
didn't exactly go as planned, cough cough. I was happy to see
someone pull this off so well. You just need complete control of
the room and it's light.
Ghosts Of The Shelf
A bit easier to photograph this one. At another area of the
massive Kunstraum Kreuzberg, there were
Ghosts Of The Shelf
exhibition, about the slow disappearance of
analogue video formats like VHS, Beta, Video 8.
What I liked about it, was that they put the focus not on the
technical nostalgia, but on the aesthetic of the media, like how
one could focus on the grains of film in analog film or the
artifacts of mp3 compression. Raise hand if you ever cursed the
useless tracking controller of a VHS device. This exhibition
investigated the "feel" and "look" of the analog video era and many
of the artists who actively used (or abused) the particular
aesthetics of this platform.
I think this is interesting. Are we able to recognize the
inherit aesthetics of the media we are using right now? What will
future generations reminiscence about our age, our
In particular, I really loved the Video Reclames by
. An incredible, ever-lasting montage of animated VHS
logos of the 80s. Nice idea for a music video, cough cough. Or for
live show visuals. Coughing again, with a whiff of
. Another completely blackened room at Spectral /
Kreuzberg Kunstraum. Again impossible to photograph so it's a photo
of the whole Kunstraum building from outside. (Two kids
skateboarding the grafitti trench, was afraid they'd beat me up so
I took the photo sniper-style from behind a tree.)
There was a huge sub-woofer inside, pulsing and pouring out
sinister pulses and tones, like being in the belly of a techno
monster. And then… when firing up the flashlight on my mobile to
see what was going on: The floor is covered in vinyl LP's!
And they reflect the light of the mobile flashlight in
incredible patterns around the walls and ceiling. The walls are
covered in… monochrome reproductions (or something weirder) of LP
covers? Arranged in huge matrixes. And there are vintage speakers
in the roof, blurring out a granular collage of speakerphone
voices, alerts, announcements, hard to make out. Completely
surrealistic, certainly scary, absolutely awesome.
Conclusion: Absolutely interesting and inspirational.