Towards the end of the Q&A session at “BERLIN’S MEDIA ART COMMUNITY: A FEMALE PERSPECTIVE” the inevitable question whether the panel members considered themselves feminists was asked. The panel’s reaction was predictable: No one wants to be seen as the cliché feminist. The organizer points out that the they used “female” in the title of the event instead of “feminist”, because they thought not every participant would see herself as a feminist. Everybody seems to agree that feminism has negative associations. It is obligatory to distance oneself from those uncool bitter and unsexy feminists form the seventies.
Last night I was at an opening at LoBe art space, at a small project space in Wedding. After closing the gallery we went to a pub across the street. Some of the kids running the place asked me whether I was conscious of we were accelerating gentrification. By showing art that is of no interest to the people who live in the neighborhood we would attract people with money who would start moving there. Well, probably true. They explained to me that they had bought the house with the pub and were running it as an alternative space and that that they were showing art too, but only art produced by locals. They pointed out that the neighborhood management had communicated in flyers that they were trying to “improve” the neighborhood by giving cheap space to (non-commercial) art galleries. In other words: The clueless artists are being used. Point made. However, I thought that the place with the alternative kids did just as much to make the area attractive for people like myself. More so anyway, than some of the other establishments in the neighborhood, like the gambling place next door, which again are probably a lot more popular amongst a majority of the neighbors, than a bar with windows covered with wooden panels and a lesbian band playing in the back. Catch 22.
Note: The space of LoBe is actually not rented but privately owned and–while probably very welcome–not funded or aided by the neighborhood management.
Aram Barthol showed internet art in an internet café at Kottbusser Damm in Berlin. The concept is simple: Rent all computers and set the homepage on each computer to one of the featured art projects. For convenience distribute sheets with artist info and an exhibition map (most internet café have xerox machines and the workstations have numbers). Cheap wine and beer for the opening can be bought directly from the counter. As a side effect two cultures and very different urban communities is are brought together – after all this is not St. Oberholz where the frontal lobe of the digital bohème resides in a latte machiato rich bring-your-own-laptop-environment.
The way the staff at Kottbusser Damm 103 adjusted to the new clientele was the an art experience in itself. Of course the internet art was great too. Here are some links:
Dragan Espenschied / Education of the Noobz
Tobias Leingruber / Webmarker
Recorded at Tempelhof Airport – until recently the airport closest to the city center of Berlin. The building is known as one of the first modern airports. The architecture is typical for the Nazi era and admittedly impressive. Today the building is used for fares and large events. The airfield is publicly accessible and used as a park.
Last Sunday I followed an invitation to witness an Art performance at Galerie M in Marzahn (for non-Berliners: Eastern outskirts with visually extremely cool socialist high rises that will take at least 50 years to become popular amongst Mitte hipsters and only under the condition that yuppies will invade Neukölln and Wedding before).
The performance exceeded the 15 seconds that it claimed to take through its title (15sec) by 2:30min. I did a bootleg recording with my cellphone from a safe position behind glass in the gallery’s entrance space.
Isn’t the tiny Smart on a leash sweet? To bad it couldn’t go wild on its own without a driver.