Photography has changed significantly over the course of the last couple of years. Instagram had a huge impact on it bringing mobile photography to the next level and new emerging technology such as the 360° cameras that entered the market and VR headsets are changing it now even more. Photography is becoming more and more participative, interactive and immersive. The viewer gets involved in the final results in a way that wasn’t possible a few years ago. You can now interact with the photos and photographers in different ways, become part of a community, experience individual pictures as a part of something larger. Especially on Instagram this has become an important part of the concept of photography. It has managed to lift mobile photography from a hobby to a profession and made photographers the new stars of our generation.
Samsung is pushing this new side of photography even further by making the world of Instagrammers accessible to their fans offline in the form of a live exhibition that is happening here in Berlin in the coming week. They teamed up with some of the most talented photographers from their Samsung Snapshooter Program to create an exhibition that was entirely shot with the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. Curated by star photographer Joachim Baldauf the work of Instagrammers such as thomas_k, konaction, urbanentdecker_, loewe7, aguynamedriadh, helinbereket, juancamiloberlin, muenchmax, widenka and many more will be exhibited as beautiful prints and with the help of the Gear VR headsets the visitors will even be able to explore some of the photos as stunning virtual reality panoramas. The exhibition titled “Galaxy Gallery 360” will be open to the public from August 31 – September 5, 2016 at Bikini Berlin.
photos: Valerie-Siba Rousparast
Using something old and repurposing it for something entirely different – doesn’t this sound like something totally typical for Berlin? Just think of all the old, disused buildings close to the “death strip” back in the early nineties that were re-used by the artist and subculture scene for various new purposes, all the nightclubs in old factories and power stations. Think of all the cafes and bars fully furnished with granny’s old interior, the urban playgrounds like Holzmarkt or Klunkerkranich made of scrap wood and metal. There are countless examples here in Berlin that paint a picture of a city that constantly recycles and repurposes itself.
Stuart N. R. Wolfe is one of the creative minds in Berlin that perfectly understands the spirit of Berlin. For his project berlin-re-cycle he found one disused material that Berlin has quite a lot of: Old abandoned bikes. The streets are full of them and Stuart saw them as a great source for material. Through his work as a sculptor and furniture designer he already handled a lot of unusual materials and created new shapes in the past. With the scrap pieces of the bikes he now extended his repertoire with something quite practical: lamps.
photos: Thai Hoang
Over the weekend I stumbled across an awesome photo series by Thai Hoang that I want to share with you today. Some of you might also know the young photographer from his Instagram account loewe7 that was also part of our #berlin exhibition last year. As part of the monthly Instameet #CamerasAndDancers organized by Jacob Jonas The Company Thai had the opportunity to follow a group of five dancers through Berlin and capture them in stunning formations in various iconic Berlin backgrounds. I love the idea of this Instameet, I love the guys from the group and I love the results of this photo shoot!
Just a couple of days ago I had an interesting conversation with one of my co-writers about the current mood in the city and it was pretty surprising how contradicting our individual impressions were. It really got me thinking about my views of the city that I have kept for a long time. Of course it is pretty much a given fact that the place you live in becomes a conduit for your personal moods. But I had this idea about Berlin that – beside the obvious spikes up and down – it somehow averaged in a state I would describe as a bit grey, a bit dirty and a bit grumpy. I remember I often thought that the people in the subway had the corners of their mouths turned a little more downwards than any other city in the world. And the perception of my co-writer that she currently had of Berlin pretty much confirmed this notion, even though her view was even a bit more gloomy than that.
I reacted almost perplexed. My perspective was completely different. I was away from Berlin for the past 6 months and after I returned recently the city has greeted me with such a good mood. The city seemed so cheerful, so many people in the streets smiled and me and looked so carefree and happy. I saw such a colorful, vibrant and relaxed world around me. So clean and so green. I felt and still feel like in some kind of paradise, every day that I leave the house. It was really curious, because I absolutely didn’t remember the city like that. Of course now in the summer the mood of the city and the people is generally on an upwards trend. But this was more than usual.
A few months ago my neighborhood in Prenzlauer Berg has been enriched with a great new Vietnamese restaurant that I would like to introduce to you today. We have already a couple of Vietnamese place and fusion restaurants here, so did we really need yet another one? I can confidently answer this with: yes. Because Anjoy is really quite something. It’s run by a charming young lady who’s mom used to cook in the Dong Xuan center in Lichtenberg. Her kitchen there was super popular, so it made a lot of sense to give a bigger audience a chance to taste her amazing cooking. At Anjoy you’ll be served traditional Vietnamese dishes, but the menu was curated in a way that it stands out from the typical Vietnam restaurants. Here you can enjoy a beef stew so rich in taste it almost reminds you of a Gulasch, crunchy pork belly and lemongrass skewers and a platter full of delicious sea food, to name only a few of the options. Even the drinks are little pieces of artwork. We tried almost everyone of their mixes and we couldn’t get enough of them.
The ambience of Anjoy is also worth mentioning here, a quite modern interior, yet still approachable and comfortable, with lots of seating outside which makes this a great summer option. To give you a bit more of an impression we took some photos of you. But be warned, they are quite mouth-watering…
Sad news for urban explorers of Berlin. One of the most beloved abandoned places of the city has vanished. In the night of July 22nd 2016 the former public swimming pool and water park Blub in Neukölln burned down. The place was a popular spot for explorers, photographers and Instagrammers alike for years now, especially since it was one of the more easier ones to get into. Many abandoned places are heavily sealed off, or guarded by righteous neighbors or even security. But here you could basically just stroll in through an open fence.
I went there last year with a friend who is a born and raised Berliner and he still remembers going there to have some fun in the water as a kid. He was shocked to see the place abandoned, so vandalized and full of graffiti. Of course places that are so easily accessible also attract all kinds of shady people that want to let out some steam. There had been several fires over the past year, but the last one took down the main wooden constructions and tower which makes the place completely inaccessible and unsafe. It’s probably going to be torn down entirely soon now and new buildings are already planned to be constructed in its place. Such a shame, not just that this fun water park had to shut down business many years ago, but also that this amazing ruin is also vanishing now. Of course with the development of Berlin there is a lack of space, so all of our beloved abandoned places are endangered to but torn down for new constructions. Let’s hope we can keep a few of them as our urban playgrounds.
photo: The Drummer
I always like to refer to Berlin as a playground for grown-ups. Here you can easily try out new things, start new projects and experiment with crazy ideas. You will find lots of enthusiastic people willing to get involved, the resources are amazing and diverse and since Berliners are so curious to discover new things you will quickly find a willing and attentive audience. People here have a certain understanding that some things are a work in progress. Some experiments will thrive, others might not work out, but you won’t fall very hard, because the playground has a very soft floor made of sand.
Last week I met one man here, that totally takes advantage of the playfulness of Berlin and its curious audience. He woke up one day with the dream that he wanted to be a drummer. He was often involved with musicians and rock bands, spending time with them backstage, but in terms of his own musical skills he is a complete novice. Let’s face it: Playing the drums is really difficult to learn. But he saw it as a challenge and decided to make a project about it: The Drummer was born. The Drummer is not simply a nickname for him, it’s also the quest of learning this instrument in only one and a half years, and it’s going to be the name of his band that he is about to form.
Today we want to share a charming little video and photo set with you that is the result of a collaboration of Instagrammer Franz Becker and photographer Lisa Müller. It portraits two girls swirling around in Berlin having a good time and looking quite fabulous at it. We totally adore the combination of the rough urban charm of Berlin and the cute fashionable girls. Speaking of which: The girls are wearing the pieces of the joyful festival-inspired fashion label Lone Rascal. But see for yourself after the jump.
A city has many sounds and of course so does Berlin. Especially busy areas like the Oranienstraße in Kreuzberg is full of strange noises. Rico Loop went down the street with his loop machine catching some of the sounds in the street, creating his own noises with bike bells and other objects he finds on his way, beat boxing and singing on top of the loops. The result is a crazy, funky song that is super catchy and perfectly captures the improvised nature of the multicultural district. Check out the video shot by Arthur Moore that shows him in the process.
One of the things I really appreciate about Berlin is that ordinary things often come wrapped in special ways to make it more intriguing. We are really quite privileged when it comes to entertainment and culture. Take for instance going to the movies. Of course we have the traditional multiplex and small program cinemas. But then there are also luxury theaters with VIP treatment, glamorous vintage cinemas reminiscent of the old days, shabby underground locations with art flicks, mobile kinos projected on fire walls, open air screenings with whirlpools and so many other unusual ways to experience movies.
The upcoming Audi Urban Cinema is yet another event that will nurture our high standards in light entertainment. The popular series is already in its fourth year and will once again raise the bar for cinematic experiences. Last year the event took place inside the courtyard of the Kulturbrauerei which was already pretty great as a backdrop for the movies. But this year they’ve stepped up moving over to the riverbanks of the Spree setting up their screen at the Arena.