The Plastic Garden by IP Yuk-Yiu
This coming Wednesday the transmediale festival for technology-based art is opening its 5-day-program at the Hause der Kulturen der Welt. This year it’s already the 27th edition and the theme is afterglow.
“The world is finally digital but as masses of data and electronic hardware pile up, it seems to be more made out of trash than of treasure. transmediale 2014 looks at how the liberatory promises of the digital are now contrasted by data mining, mass surveillance and e-waste dumping as well as by the wasted bodies and minds produced by our constantly required attention to excessive data flows. afterglow is the diagnosis of this post-digital moment where instead of resigning into cultural conservatism we need to ask if there are means of renewal in the excess, overflow and waste of the digital afterglow?”
For me visiting the transmediale exhibition has always been an artisitic technological wonderland where I can discover things that I would have never thought about could exist, the most significant one being this mindblowing music machine reacTable that was later on used by Björk on her world tour. I’m looking forward to make equally interstering discoveries at this year’s edition. Some previews after the jump.
Even if you are madly in love with Berlin as we are, you should always get yourself into different surroundings every once in a while. If you can’t imagine going into nature,there are a variety of exciting cities to discover, one of them being Venice in Italy which is pretty much the opposite of Berlin as a city. During the summer I had the feeling the whole city was actually venturing there to see the Biennale of Contemporary Art which takes place there every two years and is definitely worth a trip. But even without the Biennale going on Venice has a lot of great events like Carnevale or the film festival. It also has a magic of its own that can’t be compared to any other place on Earth.
Around Christmas I was invited by Anonimo Venenziano to be their foreign correspondent and to visit the city that I already know quite well off the beaten tracks. During my stay I collected 7 valuable reasons for you guys to visit Venice and the surrounding areas if you get a little Winter sick of staying in Berlin. Find my discoveries after the jump.
What do people look like when they get more and more aroused and finally have an orgasm? Photographer Clayton Cubitt’s short clips provide an answer to this question. For his project Hysterical Literature the artist asked women to read lines from their favorite books while, invisible for the viewer, being sexually stimulated.
A project called Beautiful Agony toyed with similar images. On this porn-page users could upload clips of their faces, while masturbating. The concept is similar to youporn, but instead of genitals in close-ups and crazy acrobatics you only see grimaces and big smiles.
Both projects seek a beauty in sexual arousal that is hard to find in modern pornography and concentrate their search on the faces of the protagonists. Affects and emotions prior to , during and after the orgasm create little stories and an undeniable tension in the spectator. I find the videos beautiful to watch, funny, subtle and sexy. So take a peak at the clips and let me know what you think…
all artworks: Lorella Paleni
When I stumbled across the flyer for today’s exhibition opening by Lorella Paleni I was instantly in love with this Italien artist based in Berlin. I love how she combines very rough and urban textures and backgrounds with natural elements like animals and plants. Her paintings are beautiful and mysterious at the same time, you instantly wonder what the characters portrayed are experiencing in that very moment. Get lost in her artwork after the jump and don’t miss her exhibition at Kunsthalle HB55 at Herzbergstr. 55 opening tonight at 19h.
For the second part of our series The Berlin Experts we talked with gallery owner and curator Johann Haehling von Lanzenauer who co-founded the Circle Culture Gallery with Dirk Staudiger in 2001. Circle Culture is one of the leading galleries for contemporary art specialized in artists who draw their influences from street art, avant-garde design, pop-art, graffiti and other genres that go beyond traditional forms of art. For over 10 years Johann has maintained the urban attitude of the street in his gallery at Gipsstraße in Mitte, bringing his exceptional exhibitions also into a second location in Hamburg, several international art fairs worldwide and to recurring pop-up exhibitions in unusual spaces. Enjoy our interview with one of the most interesting personalities of our city about the art scene of Berlin after the jump.
photos: Pawel Zawiślak
I have always admired young artists who make powerful art out of imagination, who grab my attention and speak to my mind with just one image. Unfortunately, this ability to snap people out of their habitual state of mind is a very rare quality, especially in today’s cultural scene, where everyone seems to communicate through visual images.
One of the greatest examples and exceptions that springs up to my mind is with no doubt Polish artist Pawel Zawiślak, currently based in the beautiful Moscow. All his works are not simply grabbing my attention, like many other artists’ do, but they also embody such a deep meaning that you just cannot possibly turn away. Pawel is widely known for his prestigious art and illustrations, as well as for his highly-rewarded cooperations with exclusive magazines, art galleries, young designers and fashion labels all around Europe.
What makes me so supportive is probably his unique creativity in making art as a genuine projection of his inner sensibility, his emotions and inspirations. Apart from his commercial illustrations, he draws images of real life, shifting from mythological constructions to fascinating stories by playing with appearance, meaning and symbols. What strikes me every day is the attention given to the details and the impressive use of contrasts in the compositions, which remark once again his unique style and his pertinence with themes.
For your luck and mine, the Polish Institute in Berlin will soon present his excellent works with the exhibition Dots, Lines & Me and takes us all on a surrealistic trip through thematically diverse scenarios, where colors, shapes and media do not know any boundaries. If you don’t want to miss Pawel’s mindful and limitlesss art, you better start saving the date of the vernissage which takes place in Burgstr. 27, on Thursday 7th of March! Get a sneak preview of what I’ve been talking about after the jump.
It was one of the most talked about contributions for our GIF.ME.BERLIN. exhibition from 2011: Moving Forward – Looking Backward, a series of animated GIFs by visual artist Hara Katsiki. This weekend we have revived the series of intricate animated digital paintings on vintage photographs that has been expanded with 2 new pieces to be part of a group exhibition at the new nightlife-meets-art-hub POP. For the grand opening of the new art-themed nightclub this Saturday we have installed our collection of old TV sets once more to screen Hara’s amazing artwork. More after the jump.
artwork by Olaf Hajek
Last weekend a very interesting exhibition opened at Direktorenhaus. As the name suggests Handmade in Germany focuses on design and art made in Germany and feature the work of designers such as Fiona Bennet and Bless, artists like Olaf Hajek and Andreas Maier, product designers such as Valentin Loellmann and Sarah Böttger, German manufactures like Deutsche Werkstätte Hellerau and Fürstenberg, as well as many more. I think it’s a really nice showcase of German craftsmanship worth seeing. The exhibition is on display until November 14th 2012. Get a preview of the featured art, design and their makers after the jump.
Berlin is poor but sexy, so it follows that the Berliners are probably not a great market to buy your designs but get them wearing it cos they’ll make it look damn sexy- and everyone knows sex sells!
As a struggling designer (but aren’t we all) of a fledgling jewellery label in the city of Berlin, i am interested to see how other designers are surviving in the city that perfected cool but saves its pennies for beer and cigarettes. There’s no lack of ways to showcase your wares here; with endless design markets and exhibition opportunities, but after the materialistic mindset of my hometown Sydney i wonder: where are all the consumers?? So in the interest of personal research i take it upon myself to harass some other designers from far and wide who have also been seduced by Berlin and are attempting to support themselves in this broke but sexy city…
I’d like to start with artist and designer Ebon Heath who likes to play with words in his work – in the literal sense. Read my interview with him and check out his amazing jewellery after the jump.
Ai Weiwei is one of the currently most renowned artists in the world. That isn’t simply due to his mostly conceptual art, but especially because of his political activism. Ai Weiwei lives and works in Beijing, China and criticises the communist government through his art, on his blog, on Twitter and in plenty of interviews. He’s walking on very thin ice and in 2011 was arrested and held under false pretext at an undisclosed place, without even his closest relatives knowing if he was still alive. At this time an international protest formed to free Ai Weiwei and at least since he has been known outside the artworld as well. While people on the streets were shouting out: “Free Ai Weiwei“ young journalist and documentary filmmaker Alison Klayman was sitting in the editing booth piecing together what would become her first feature film Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry. She had accompanied and interviewed the artist for three years and gotten insights to his thinking, private life and working process. Last night I went to see the films with Claudio…