CTM: A Countercultural Marathon of Music, Nightlife and Art

Virgen María. 

If you’re into electronic and contemporary underground culture music, you don’t want to miss out on this 10-day marathon of cultural and countercultural input, paired with discourse, club culture, and art. Get an update on the state of the art in underground music culture(s) and check out CTM, short for Club Transmediale. In this year’s installment, you’ll find performances by electronic music veterans such as Robert Henke next to underground gems like Sherelle. The festival always highly emphasizes diversity, making sure to arrange a booking that ticks all the boxes when it comes to political wokeness. Check out their artist list and you’ll see how to integrate different identities, backgrounds, and experiences.



left: Robert Henke’s “CBM 8032 AV”, photo: Mateusz Baran, right: Lyra Pramuk, photo: George Nebieridze

“Inferno” by Louis-Philippe Demers & Bill Vorn; photo: Rafael Zajac


Each year features a topic, carefully curated alongside the current zeitgeist.

This year’s theme is „Liminal“: a concept pointing towards the spaces in-between and states that are neither here nor there. A fitting theme for a festival that houses a lot of different discursive practices under one roof. Over the years, CTM has managed to put on stage what is the current mood of cultural practices. Aren’t we in a liminal state? It’s the beginning of a new decade. Politics and economics are about to collapse as well as come up with radically new ways of being on this planet. So, where we are right now as a culture? CTM is trying to find an answer to that, curating performances, concerts, discourse and more.


3Ddancer (Alex the Fairy, Rachel Lyn, Volruptus), photo: Thi Thuy Nhi Tran


left: “Frontera” by Animals of Distinction, Fly Pan Am & United Visual Artists; photo: Adrian Morillo. right: Teto Preto, photo: Marcelo Mudou


Let’s put the club in CTM, we recommend checking out the different well-curated nights at Berghain. With a ticket, you’ll almost get in for sure – and the line-ups look both dancy and experimental. You’ve come to a music festival, so we don’t want to fall short on concerts. Sunday 26th of January, you can hear Jessica Ekomane play her computer music alongside Andrea Belfi, an experimental percussionist. Staged at HAU, it’s a good excuse to pay a visit to one of Berlin’s nicest performance art venues.

Be sure to check out the exhibitions: The Botanischer Garten will be the setting for an immersive sound installation that invites us to take a stroll through Western scientific discourses. You Will Go Away One Day But I Will Not by Maria Thereza Alves and Lucrecia Dalt sure sounds promising and runs daily. Another artistic exploration takes place at Kunstquartier Bethanien. The official festival exhibition invites its visitor to look at multiple perspectives on the festival’s theme, this year under the title Interstitial Spaces.


Jessica Ekomane, photo: Camille Blake


left: Sherelle, right: !luuli

As every year, CTM seeks to give impulses for artistic expression and political participation. The program will be accompanied by talks and lectures. Author and journalist Josh Kun will talk about the sonic aspects of borders. Want to know what a border sounds like? How geopolitics resonate? Then head to The Aural Border at Bethanien on Saturday.

CTM 2020: Liminal

January 24 – February 2, 2020


Text: Kevin Junk

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