Selection: Julie Gayard
Selection: Camila Palomino + Shub Roy
Compilation: Ben Galt
Photos: Jan Durina // Website
TSF Photos: Dieter H. Engler
WMW Photos: Maria Louceiro
Without dreaming there won’t be a better future, that’s for certain. Because of this reason we are happy to host Suburbs of Utopia, a gathering beyond the constraints of the Now. An evening with music, performance & movies, curated by Berlin-based music/poetry project INRA. You might have seen the open call for the event, now the line-up is complete featuring cutting edge DJ Cera Khin, viola player and singer UCC Harlo and film-director Robert Sieg amongst others. For ACUD Blog, we asked the initiators Philipp Rhensius and Adam Ben-Nun to list and discuss their four most favourite utopian items.
Favourite Utopian Story
Philipp: My favourite utopian story is ″Die Abschaffung der Arten‶ by Dietmar Dath. It is about a posthuman world which is inhabited by a hyperintelligent civilisation of hybrid animals called “Gente”. They communicate via smells, are able to change their identities by modulating their genes and don´t know any hierachies. The system of governance and servitude is abolished. There are still some humans around, but they count as a “failed experiments of nature history”.
Adam: My favorite utopian book is “The possibility of an Island” by Michel Houellecq. It’s based in a post apocalyptic future, where mankind devolped cloning techniques. So the new you gets a book with memories as he comes to life, and that’s where he gets his sense of self from. Sex is no longer needed in this world, and happens only virtually. The world that is presented in the book is a cold and controlled one, and it feels like, sadly, this is where we are heading.
Favourite Utopian Song
Adam: Heal the world” by Michael Jckson. This one is a perfect example of how consumer culture swallows every great idea, and turns it in to something you can buy. The producers of this song were perfectly aware of the power it has, not as something that will really change anything in their reality, but as a top hit in the charts.
Philipp: Apart from a lot of jungle tracks, whose rhythmical complexity perfectly reflects the current stimulus overload of our nervous systems, I would vote for “In the year 2525” of the folk duo Zager and Evans from 1969. Ok, it might be a dystopian future vision, but it has some utopian ideas: The verse ″ Your arms are hanging limp at your sides/Your legs got nothing to do/Some machine is doing that for you or: “Ain’t gonna need no husband, won’t need no wife/You’ll pick your son, pick your daughter too/ From the bottom of a long glass tube‶.
Favourite Utopian Idea
Philipp: Postcapitalism, well described in the book “Inventing the Future”, a manifesto from Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams. Inspired by Mark Fishers idea of ″Capitalist Realism‶ in which he writes about how much we are affected by a perception of reality that is totally occupied by the neoliberal hegemony, Srnicek and Williams are convinced that the Left should overcome their melancholia, and self pity (they call it ″folk politics‶) and take advantage of the positive potential of technology by creating a “post-work society” with state-sponsored automation to ease out wage labour, and the introduction of a universal basic income. This should be a hyperstitional process: a kind of fiction, which transforms itself into a truth (like the influential neoliberal think tanks did in the 70s until they established their ideas in the Common Sense).
Adam: fav utopian idea: I was just recently talking with someone about how all attempts to form “the new man” or “a new world” have eneded up doing a lot of damage. But at the same time we must not let this despair, or else will dive right into to “Capitalist Realism”, and think there is no alternative. Dissilusion is important, but so is hope, action andresponsibility towards life.
Favourite Utopian Movie
Adam: My favorite utopian movie is “Sleeper” by Woody Allen. He playes a new york health food store owner that got frozen and woke up 200 years later. Then it’s up to him and Diane Keaton, to find the underground and save the world from the mind control of the “great leader”.
Philipp: “Her” by Spike Jonze, where a lonely writer starts an obscure relationship with an electronic voice. Imagine how great it would be to fall in love with an operating system designed to please your needs rather than with a human being with all these lame anthropological limitations of the body-and-mind-complex. Not.
SA 2.12 // 20H // 8€
ACUD STUDIO // CONCERTS + PERFORMANCES + SCREENINGS
SUBURBS OF UTOPIA:
CERA KHIN // UCC HARLO // INRA // ROBERT SIEG // WIZARD ASHDOD // AUTO
a gathering beyond the constraints of the now: music, performance & movies, curated by inra. think & dance!
Sollmann & Gürtler is the new collaboration of Philip Sollmann, also known as Efdemin, and the multi-instrumentalist John Gürtler. We are proud and happy that the duo will present their debut live act in Berlin due to the release of “Gegen die Zeit” on Sky Walking Records in our Club. For this very special occasion Philip Sollman has put together a commented playlist for our blog.
Maria Teresa Luciani – Sounds of the city
Für mich eine der Entdeckungen des Jahres: Maria Teresa Lucianis Musikalische Kollagen habe ich im Zürcher Schallplattenladen OHR empfohlen bekommen. Eine einzigartige Sammlung von Tonband-Arbeiten aus der Pre-Sampling Era, kürzlich veröffentlicht von Finders keepers.
Giraffe – Juni
Vom sympathischen belgischen Label Meakusma kommt dieses leise Album, das sich erstaunlich gut in die Alltagsgeräusche meiner Wohnung integriert und bei der ich gern vergesse, dass überhaupt eine Schallplatte läuft. Die Unterhaltung zwischen elektronischen Texturen und geräuschhaft gespieltem Schlagzeug kommt unserer Idee von flüchtiger Musik sehr nahe.
Head of Wantastiquet – Dead Seas
Vor ein paar Jahren ebenfalls in Belgien aufgenommen ist diese grossartige Sammlung von driftenden Gitarren-Stücken, des mittlerweile in Berlin lebenden Paul LaBreque (Sunburned Hand of the Man). Alternative Tunings, ein grosses Sammelsurium von Saiteninstrumenten und unorthodoxes Picking entführen den Hörer in mystische Welten. Das farbenfrohe Innen-Cover vom famosen Maler Abel Auer ist die perfekte Illustration der sanften Psychedelik dieses Meisterwerks.
Heiner Goebbels / Alfred Harth – Der Durchdrungene Mensch / Indianer Für Morgen
Heiner Goebbels spielt eine grosse Rolle in meiner musikalischen Sozialisation. Nicht nur diese Schallplatte, die mit ihrer Mischung aus MS20 arpeggios, Tonband-Collagen und Free-Jazz aufs tollste eine sehr westdeutsche linksradikale Stimmung zu Beginn der 80er Jahre konserviert. Goebbels war auch der Auftraggeber für die Reproduktion der Harry Patch Instrumente, die ich kürzlich für meine Komposition MONOPHONIE mit dem Ensemble Musikfabrik benutzen konnte.
Der leider viel zu früh verstorbene Hans Reichel war meiner Meinung nach einer der interessantesten Musik-Menschen des letzten Jahrhunderts. Seine Spieltechnik, die von ihm gebauten Instrumente (vor allem auch das grossartige Daxophon) und sein Humor waren einzigartig. Alle Aufnahmen auf dem Label FMP sind Meisterwerke.
Berliner Ring – Bardo
Ebenfalls auf Meakusma erschienen ist die kurzweilige Sammlung dreier Stücke von der Gruppe „Berliner Ring“ um den Instrumenten-Erfinder Christian Günther. Dieser arbeitet mit seinen einzigartigen Rhythmus-Geräten, Ringmodulatoren und Filtern. Dazu kommen Schlagzeug und Bläser. Die Musik ist wie der Band-Name schon andeutet perfekt um in der S-Bahn um Berlin herum zu fahren. Krautige Loops und waberndes Gluckern, kreisendes Schaben und schnaufendes Rattern über fragilen Beats in einem hölzernen Klanggewand.
23.11 // 20H // 8€
ACUD CLUB // CONCERT
SOLLMANN & GÜRTLER // FIONA MCGOVERN // SKY WALKING DJ TEAM
the live debut of the new collaboration of philipp sollmann aka efdemin and multi-instrumentalist john gürtler
More Info – FB Event
Fotos by: Pierluigi Muscolino // Instagram
Wir suchen ab dem 1.1.2018 eine*n Mitarbeiter*in in Teilzeit im Bereich Musik- und Kulturmanagement.
Für das unabhängige Kunsthaus ACUD suchen wir eine vielseitige Person, die einerseits Erfahrung bei der Ausrichtung, Produktion und Abrechnung von Kultur- und Musikveranstaltungen hat andererseits Begeisterung und Nähe zu aktuellen Kunst- und Musikströmungen mitbringt. Die Person sollte teamfähig sein, sorgfältig und zuverlässig und dabei den strategischen Überblick behalten.
Der Aufgabenbereich umfasst folgende Tätigkeitsbereiche:
– Koordination und Optimierung des Geschäftsbetriebs
– budgetäre und finanzielle Übersicht in Zusammenarbeit mit der Buchhalterin
– allgemeine strategische Planung und Ausrichtung des Geschäftsbetriebs
– administrative Betreuung, finanzielle Übersicht, Kalkulation und Abrechnung eines EFRE-geförderten Residency-Programms im ACUD Club in enger Zusammenarbeit mit dem Programmkoordinator.
– administrative Betreuung, finanzielle Übersicht, Kalkulation und Abrechnung einer Ausstellungsreihe in der ACUD-Galerie in enger Zusammenarbeit mit den Kuratorinnen.
– Strukturiertes Vorgehen, Organisationsfähigkeit, Fähigkeit zu eigenverantwortlichem Handeln, Belastbarkeit, Flexibilität
– Erfahrung mit Budgetierung und Abrechnung von Fördergeldern (Eine Expertin für EFRE wird die Einarbeitung bei dem EFRE-Programm betreuen)
– Erfahrungen mit dem Mac und Excel
– Deutsch als Muttersprache
– Sehr gute Englischkenntnisse in Wort und Schrift
– Kenntnis der aktuellen Berliner Musik- und Kulturszene und Erfahrung im Bereich Veranstaltungsproduktion
-Teamfähigkeit, Sozialkompetenz, Zuverlässigkeit
– Bereitschaft zu flexiblen Arbeitszeiten, teilweise auch an Wochenenden und abends
– 32 Wochenstunden (Je nach Bewerbungslage ist es auch möglich, die Stellen in zwei Stellen mit jeweils 16 Stunden pro Woche aufzuteilen)
– eine gute Teamstruktur
– vielseitige Aufgabenbereiche
– spannendes interdisziplinäres Kulturprogramm
Aussagekräftige Bewerbungsunterlagen werden bis zum 1.12.2017 erbeten an Johannes Braun // firstname.lastname@example.org
THE 7TH LITAUISCHES KINO GOES BERLIN FESTIVAL OPENING NIGHT
opening night with the best alternative band of lithuania and a DJ duo from vilnius who will heat up the dance floor
More Info – FB Event – Tickets
DANIEL MUHUNI + SVEN KACIREK
the two musicians have recorded critical voices in kenya about EPA, the new free trading agreement between the EU and the African Caribbean Pacific countries
More Info – FB Event
17.11 — 16.12.17
MATTI SUMARI – CEMENTA & TOYOTA
Toyota and Cementa are the last in a line of Matti Sumaris humoristic-melancholic quest to come to terms with a mankind which is constantly alienating itself more and more from its surroundings and leaving behind nothing but waste.
More Info – FB Event
A typical remix by Daniel Haaksman consists of Brazilian and African grooves plus a heavy bass injection. The Berlin-based DJ is connoisseur when it comes to club beats – born in Rome, the DJ, producer, label owner and journalist grew up in different countries in different parts of the world. Settled in Berlin since a few years now, he still likes to go abroad. On his journeys around the globe he is not only DJing and collecting records but is engaged in bringing together musicians from different scenes.
On November 17th at ACUD Club the remix champion is presenting his new record “Remixes 2008-2017”, a compilation of his best remixes so far. We have used the special occasion to ask him three questions about his latest release.
What is your new compilation about?
It´s a compilation with some of my remixes I´ve been doing since 2008. By now, I´ve made more than thirty, comissioned remixes. It was pretty hard to pick eleven out of this number, but I think the compilation is presenting some of the best reworks I´ve done so far.
Daniel, which artists are featured on “Remixes 2008-2017”?
The compilation kicks off with a remix I did for Brazilian Felipe Cordeiro who comes from the city of Belém, in Brazil´s North East, where the music is much more influenced from Caribbean music styles and regional sounds like Brega, Lambada or Carimbó. There´s also a cool remix I did for Colombia´s Makina Del Karibe, which I´ve been playing since years in my DJ sets, the same is for Madera Limpia´s “Loco”, a Cuban outfit, which actually was one of my very first remixes. Also there´s classic remixes I´ve done for Austrian Afro don Ku Bo, Germany´s Schlachthofbronx, New Zealand´s Weird Together and some of my recent remixes, e.g. for Populous from Italy or Samito from Canada.
It´s a pretty international line-up, how would you describe the Daniel Haaksman touch on the remixes?
It´s quite delicate to do a version of someone else´s music, you have grasp a song or tracks essence and then try to elevate it, you can make it more dancefloor friendly or just flip it into something else. I always try to do both but ground it with my particular sound which nurtures from both Brazilian and African grooves plus a heavy bass injection. And if one of my remixes sets a dancefloor on fire, I know it turned out right.
We see ACUD as an open space where people have the possibility to work on their art and present it. With No Shade we are trying to support female and non-binary DJs. The program is a combination of training sessions and parties. The last edition took place end of September.
As part as the new festival We Make Waves, the No Shade DJs will be performing again on Friday November 10th. We did a Q&A with Ace of Diamonds, one of the DJs participating in the program.
fave beverage is mezcal
fave thing about berlin are my friends that i grew up with
fave thing about the trainee program is the space, Acud itself. best place&best ppl!
how do you see your role as an artist in participating in politics or making political work?
The work I do merges ethnography with media and contemporary art as a practical research and manner of presentation to give a more practical purpose to anthropological research outside of the university. My underlying theoretical thought is to recontextualise dominating ideologies and challenge Western systems of thoughts, like dividing the world in binary oppositions for example, to create a framework in which existing power dynamics are re-evaluated. I’m interested in developing inclusive and interactive methods of knowledge production, that shift existing modes of representation. As I’m based in working through or about somebody other than myself, it is necessary to be critical of the way you represent other people in your work as well as to problematize what it means to create work ‘in the name’ or ‘for the sake of”. The interdisciplinary collaborations of anthropology with other domains thus also help to find new and other ways of perceiving and understanding selfhood and otherness, including their relation. The next project I’m doing end of November is participating in the Ghetto Biennale in Port-au-Prince and doing the research for my master’s thesis in anthropology there.
For women and non-binary people working in music, specifically DJs, what are ways to combat misogyny and build your community?
I’m realizing more and more the necessity to combat misogyny as I realize more and more how omnipresent it is. The music industry is a loud example, as you just have to look what attitudes are rewarded the most in the industry. The stuff I play can be very brutal lyrically and it’s important to be aware of what you play and where it comes from, but there are so many amazing female producers and singers, that it’s super fun to play their stuff and just support what they are releasing.
Generally, it makes me angry the degree to which misogyny is internalized in so many different domains. We are conditioned to always consider what men are thinking, so often women are holding back either because they think they can’t match sexist stereotypes understood as “standards” or because our actions are interpreted as waiting for the D, but actually all you are doing is having a good time. I like to dress up and wear sexy clothes and not so long ago a friend was asking me if I was not afraid of what men were thinking dressed in a tiny outfit. It is true that a lot of men will always look at you like it’s any of their business what you look like, but I don’t care what men are thinking about me and I don’t want to care. I enjoy the freedom of presenting myself the way I feel and nobody no matter what gender or skin colour should be forced to hold anything back from their own fabulousness.
So, because I grew up in Berlin, I’m already part of an open-minded community that I love and of course I want them to come to the events I’m playing. Still, I like to unite people from different backgrounds or ‘scenes’, which normally wouldn’t meet. With the DJs No Shade is training, it is happening already, which is great and for the beginning of next year, I am planning with friends to make an event. Each of us has a different, but overlapping musical focus. In this way, the goal is to have a diverse, respectful crowd and build an unpretentious space where for example women can just bounce their body without being afraid of what people might do or think. I think that’s also the most important way for me to build a community as a DJ, meaning the level of action on the dancefloor. A great vibe connects people. I want people to go home after a night and feel moved, have the feeling that they made an experience. While playing, I try to give nobody a second to chill and that you don’t want to miss a single beat, because it’s constantly challenging your booty to bounce.
In a nice vibe the interactions off the dancefloor will shape a lasting experience of the night as well and participate in building a sense of community.
In the end I want to mention the collective of No Shade I’m participating for sure in the combat of misogyny as well, because being in the collective means on the one hand for female and non-binary DJs to be more present in the club scene, but on the other hand it also means to develop a visual language and a representation to the outside that expresses the power of being non-binary or a woman without reducing it to genitals.
This Thursday we are happy to welcome the art collective Synergy at ACUD Club. The founders are seeking for interaction and union: They want to create something greater and to bring people together, ignoring boundaries, stamps and nations. And they also love to spell their name in various languages: Synergy dhex узаемадзеянне 協同效應 sức mạnh tổng hợp סינרגיהвзаимодействиe სინერგია взаємодія փոխազդեցություն التعاون Isku.
The night at ACUD will consist of a concert, curated jam session, and a party with DJs that through their selection and state of mind reflect the ideals that they collectively cherish. They are inviting all of you to collectively sing, dance and to listen to the sounds filled with diversity. We asked the founders five questions about Synergy.
How many languages do you speak?
Although we recognize the importance of linguistic skills, from our experience the language barrier has never stopped us from connecting with people of many different cultures and nationalities. When certain people share the same frequency, one can always find a way to communicate. While looking for this frequency level, we usually turn to music and dance. We speak only few languages, but our events are open for everyone, wherever they are coming from or going to, that’s why we try to suggest this openness through multilingual name.
In every edition we try to collaborate with people from different backgrounds and origins, because as a Collective we always try to build a bridge between certain concepts, that from our perspective can interact with each other and together create something new and exciting.
This time we joined forces with Between Us, a non profit independent organization, which began as an Arabic language library – seeking to increase mutual visibility and knowledge between Arabic and Western culture through literature – has expanded its activities to also include diverse cultural and artistic events and activities in it’s space and beyond, such as feminist self-defence classes, theatre workshops and music events such as We Belong to Music jam session, that is going to take place in ACUD this Thursday.
What’s the message of the night you’d like to send into the world?
Time seems to be quickly passing from the moment we started, but our message becomes more and more relevant. With the rise of nationalistic movements, racism, bigotry, xenophobia, sexism, greed and ignorance, it is extremely important to pave another, positive path, to join forces and to look for answers to many problems that humanity faces today. Our goal is to create a safe space for self-expression and freedom, to link seemingly different minds, spark the idea of universal consciousness and to bring people together through music.
Can you tell us more about your collective? When did you start?
We started last winter, in February, by organizing an event to support refugees and migrants staying in Warsaw through celebration of music of all cultures. Our collective outcome was approx. 1 600 euros, which was an enormous help for the Polish Migratory Forum and this sum covered work of professional advisors in legal issues for those in need.
Since the very beginning, as cultural workers and activists, we wanted to combine our passion for music with taking a stand in matter we care about. We feel responsible for the surrounding reality as much as we believe in human potential and power of collective actions.
Synergy in it’s every edition aims to have a positive, locally-oriented social impact. That’s why we would like to concentrate on supporting those in need through gathering funds and involving local communities and musicians, to bring them all together in a beautiful way.
Who are the people performing?
Carefully chosen curators from different parts of the world – DJ’s and musicians that through their sound selections and state of mind reflect the ideals that we collectively cherish. You’ll hear melodies that traveled all the way from Beijing to Berlin, from Syria to Europe, even from a distant place in time in Persia and are now re-constructed by musicians from 6 different countries. All their paths met in Berlin – for us, that symbolizes the possibility of the coexistence of people of all nationalities, religions and cultures in one place. Synergy aims to honour this diversity and celebrate the union of music and freedom.
Will there be future events?
This is only the beginning. Our next stop: Warsaw.
DO 28.9 // 19H // 5-10€ DONATION
ACUD CLUB // CLUB NIGHT
SYNERGY همکاری HEVKARI التعاون SINERGIA & WE BELONG TO MUSIC
DJ RYAN R // ZAMBON // CHARLIE // NAJIB BLACKY
a beautiful union of music and freedom that brings people together, ignoring boundaries, stamps and nations
14 July marks the start of our new club series dedicated to rap and electronic music from France called ARROGANCE. Spinning records are Luc Le Truc of the Hamburg sister series “Je danse donc je suis” and Berlin based producer and DJ M.A.R.E.C. Here’s the second playlist for you compiled by Luc Le Truc this time bringing you pop and electro tunes à la français. Vive l’arrogance plûtot que la France!
If you missed the 80s in real, don´t worry – thanks to Corine you can relive them in a purity that makes fading to grey the neonpink eyeshadow not only of all wannabe retroacts but also of many original ones. And Corine lets out no detail: her name gives you the link to the proper drug to use while dancing to her songs.
A prime example of a new generation electro-synth-pop in france with a dark and hypnopathetic sound. Like Corine they fell as a child in the big 80ies-pot that their parents forgot to lock up properly. But compared to her, they added some new electronic gear they found ín the room of their elder siblings. Sadly a video that doesn´t fit at all to the music´s atmosphere.
Bagarre are like the white trash cousins from Perez and the younger siblings from Grand Blanc. They not only know how to mix most effective lots of genres (“Ça va des sound system jamaïcains au punk, en passant par le rock, la house, le rap français et la techno.”) they also know how take all new street codes to extremes – including the almighty Russenhocke.
And here we go with the parents. A fake german-french couple. It was ’85 and they already completely knew what the 80ies were about.
No electro? No Rap? Come on. Funkyness knows no boarders – even musicwise.
A parisien duo and members of Mawimbi (means in Swahili “Waves”) – a DJ-crew and since 2013 also label which focuses on electronic music with african influences. Sometimes a bit ethnokitschy but mostly very hypnotic, organic and powerfull!
14 July marks the start of our new club series dedicated to rap and electronic music from France called ARROGANCE. Spinning records are Luc Le Truc of the Hamburg sister series “Je danse donc je suis” and M.A.R.E.C who has compiled this banging playlist for you. Vive l’arrogance plûtot que la France!
“Bouga may be only famous for that song, an eternal Banger that sums up all Marseille at its best: a wonky piano coming from 2000, a harsh warm accent, and succulent sunny punchlines on a very hard beat. Bienvenue sur la planète Mars.”
“Kekra sums up la french arrogance at its best, he represents the future of french rap with a mask: crazy energy, crazy beats, crazy new flows, and over-arrogant punchlines. Wild, Bold and without limits typical from any Paris suburban.”
“Booba is a Legend, impossible to sum up in a sentence or a recap. Probably the biggest CV in french HipHop the n°1 of the French Rap Game? Started in the Underground with Time Bomb, then Lunatic in the 90’s, when French Hip Hop was limited to Conscious rap (with IAM and so). One of the first to bring the Gangster vibe to french Hip Hop and still representing it, with new beats and new forms of musicality. Definitely Talentuous and with the arrogance that goes with it.”
“Grems is old school and new school at the same time, more than a rapper, a fierce representer of French HipHop in its culture: Graffiti, art, music, rap … always underground, somehow arrogant towards the one who don’t think, and for a reason, always conscious, always right but he never looses the bounce of the hiphop. He is from the ones that swim counter current because he can: unlimited technique, bouncy beats, explosive creativity and an incorruptible state of mind.”
“Three of the new generation on a banger song, from the buzzing hip hop scene of Montreuil in Paris. Myth Syzer is the new French Super-producer with his collective Bon Gamin. Everything he touches is gold and Banging. Prepare for some of his diamonds. Ichon is one of his accolyte rapper and poet, bringing this subtile arrogance to the French Rap. Prince Waly is the new school rapper with and old school flow, as if one day Jay Z had woken up in Montreuil speaking french.”
“Don’t worry, nobody understands Jordee, not even french People, we just like him. He is what represents the most artistic way of making Rap Music today. Melodies, mood, weird beats … and probably a lot lot of drugs.”
Every Wednesday throughout the summer (June – August), we invite you to our backyard to cool down with music, food, drinks and friends. Summer sounds from DJ’s and performances in the courtyard, plus live sets in the club, a special summer drinks menu and soul food from Glory Box Spicy Soulfood.
Spend the early evening hours and welcome the best part of the week with us!
Poster: Marius Wenker
DI 18.7 // 18H // FREE
ACUD COURTYARD // PANEL
ACUD BACKYARD SUMMER X MUSIC POOL:
ORGANIZING YOUR OWN SHOW
a community evening about the ins and outs of organizing a concert and the different activities associated with it
More Info – FB Event
MI 2.8 // 19-23H // 4-6€
ACUD COURTYARD // SCREENING+TALK
BACKYARD SUMMER X SOUNDING IMAGES: C. SPENCER YEH
screening of the concert film 2002 (2015) with an introduction by the artist
More Info – FB Event
Lief Hall is back in Berlin for a special double performance. The artist and musician is currently living in Vancouver, B.C. Canada and was previously one half of the electronic music duo MYTHS who toured with Grimes in 2012. Hall’s solo music integrates elements noise, improvisation and extended voice to create her own unique vision of dark electronic pop.
On Friday night at ACUD Club, Lief plays music from her soon to be released record “Roses for Ruins.” Opening the night for her is warsaw pop wonder Pictorial Candi. During the launch of the science fiction magazine Kapsel on Saturday in the Studio, Lief presents her new lecture “Un/Seen: Performing the Invisible” which explores the relationship of dreams, memory and algorithms.
We are very happy to have Lief at ACUD! For our Blog we have asked her five questions about Science Fiction.
If you could choose, on which planet would you like to live?
The planet Athshe from Ursula Le Guin’s book “The Word for World is Forest” is a place that really appeals to me. Athshe is a planet that is completely covered by forest, and the Athsheans that live there are non-violent and in total harmony with nature, never killing animals or cutting down trees. I mean, it would be a big change for me from living in the city, so I would have to really consider it carefully, but sometimes the idea of living in a forest among peaceful little beings really appeals to me. But it is a bit of a pipe dream since humans are banned from the planet, as well as the fact that it doesn’t actually exist, haha.
You most favorite SF book?
My favorite SF books are Ursula Le Guin’s “The Left Hand of Darkness”, Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaiden’s Tail” and pretty much every Octavia E.Butler book. The things that I really love about these writers is that not only are the books incredibly well written, but they also make me re-discover and re-think my everyday life experiences and things I take for granted. For example, after reading “The Left Hand of Darkness” the idea of there being only two sexes seemed so strange to me. In the book there is a third sex, which is both male and female, and the book really normalized that for me and basically undid a lifetime of social programming of previously dualistic thinking.
Similarily, in “The Handmaiden’s Tail” I became newly aware of the precarity of women’s rights. The book basically took something which actually happened in the Middle East, where women who had fought for and won equal rights suddenly had all their rights taken from them by a return to secularism. Because the story takes place in a modern time and in North America it really hit home and made me understand on a very personal level what others in the world have actually experienced. It also made me realize how the struggle for equal rights is not something which is always progressing, but is something which can be taken away at any time, and so is a very precious thing which must be protected. I think the best science fiction stories, like these ones, help us to understand the present in a much deeper way far beyond simple entertainment.
Where does your fascination for algorithms come from?
I am not particularly interested in algorithms so much as in the current way in which human lives are socially, politically and ethically constructed. Oddly enough algorithms in this day and age seem to play a very major role in this. I am also very interested in the connection between the things we see and the things we do not see and how the unseen, the ethereal, the invisible, effect the world in a very physical way. Algorithms to me are like dreams, memories, or the subconscious in that they are deeply connected to the way we live our lives everyday but their impact is often not fully appreciated because they act under the surface.
Do you believe in utopias?
Good question! I think that striving to create the best world we possibly can for ourselves and for others is absolutely essential but that the idea of perfection, of a utopia, usually leads to more harm than good. This is one of the big themes in SF which we see in older books such as “Brave New World” or in more recent movies like “Equals”. The idea that we can create a perfect world, totally free from any form of pain, violence or emotional turmoil can only be imagined through a kind of external governing and control of people, which in both SF and in reality only leads to more pain and more harm than good.
Why is SF not only for nerds?
I think there is definitely still a place for nerds in the SF community, haha, but at this point there is a lot more SF has to offer to more than just this niche group. For one thing the accelerated production of new technologies makes SF stories much more relevant and more plausible than ever as it helps us to understand where these new technologies are leading us. It is so easy to just consume these new technologies without thinking, to alter our lives around them, but SF is one way in which we can step outside the everyday and question what we are doing, the short and long term implications.
The fact that SF has been instrumental in imagining technologies which now actually exist or are being created makes it even more relevant to us today. A couple small examples of this are William Gibson’s coining of the term cyberspace or the movie “Gattaca” which imagined genetic alteration of unborn fetuses, which is now in the process of being developed. So I think there is a very real exchange happening between fiction and the construction of our current reality.
More generally I think SF has the ability to take us outside of our everyday experience, to reveal things about the present from an altered perspective, so we can see ourselves more clearly. For me that is the real value of SF.
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