curated by Jens Balzer and Martin Hossbach in cooperation with Henrike Werner
Combinations between different areas of pop, performance art, visual art, and videoaesthetics have already enjoyed a high degree of popularity for quite some time. Pop producers, most particularly in the realm of electronic music, have joined forces with video artists in order to present their music within audiovisual frames.
But still, there is an essential lack of projects that really emerge out of a joint effort – projects in which performance art, video, visual art, and pop infuse one another and mutually interrogate their commonalities and differences, as well as their particular boundaries and potentials.
This is the aim of the Decession festival: For an evening and a night, six influential figures within the Berlin-based electro-pop avant-garde take over the Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz with all its different stages and foyers to present their music with other artists in a multimedia context – and move beyond the mundane presentational format in which the artist stands motionless onstage in front of a laptop and calls forth preprogrammed sounds.
James Whipple, aka M.E.S.H., is well known for his completely unique sonic world with its bare-bones, yet peculiarly shimmering hybrids of hip-hop, industrial, and techno. For Decession, he and his artistic collaborator Michael Guidetti will create a performance that combines immersive video and programmed laser with live electronic instrumentation. Using the visual and aural language of big-budget science fiction and action films, M.E.S.H. sketches a fictional scenario involving catastrophic terraforming, and terror at the limits of sentience.
Lars Holdhus, aka TCF, uses complex mathematical algorithms in his compositions while repeatedly interrupting them with other, more organic, sounds. For Decession, he gives an insight into his ongoing research in humanoids, Artificial Intelligence and speech. His installation in Roter Salon will consist of a choir of 3d printed throats, a video work and a performance. The video work will be situated in CG, Japan, China and Europe and feature material ranging from humanoid labs to speech research labs. Also, he will be serving aged puerh tea from 1990 and before.
Claire Tolan is an artist and hacker who explores information structures and theory, human-computer interaction and the intimacy and privacy of online communities. She works with NGOs on projects related to information management and digital activism, and she hosts „You’re Worth It,“ a show on Berlin Community Radio devoted to the sounds and culture of ASMR, Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. Within Decession, she presents her performance „Die Siedler von SHUSH", a role-playing game moving through a world where soft and soothing SHUSH is mined and traded as an alternative currency.
Bill Kouligas, known as producer for and director of the culturally groundbreaking record label PAN, works on the intertwining of contemporary electronic music with the traditions of post-punk and the electro-acoustic avant-garde from the 1950’s onwards. Developed in tandem with the artist Spiros Hadjidjanos, his project for Decession will make the invisible and inaudible topology of Internet communication the basis of an audio-visual concert installation. Alongside operatic vocalists, active wireless routers extend in space with optical fibers, creating open networks that can be manipulated and disrupted by viewers. The immersive installation creates a live visualisation of the Internet both as material and as medium, aiming to simultaneously navigate within and reimagine the given space.
Daniel Fisher, aka Physical Therapy, traverses the entire sonic sphere of techno within a few seconds with his high-speed, hyper-eclectic dance music montages. His Decession performance, developed in collaboration with the graphic designer Florian Ludwig, centers around smell, the sense most closely tied to memory.. He will present „Club“, a custom designed perfume that evokes the club itself – the particular olfactory web that metastasizes only in the confines of a pulsating techno club, the product of years of sedimented sweat, dirt, cigarette ash, piss, beer, cocktails and cum. Accompanying the perfume display will be a custom soundtrack played through nearby speakers: a unique DJ set as heard distantly and muffled as if inside another room, covered with the cacophony of the party.
The mysterious duo of Amnesia Scanner combines dark industrial sounds with club elements; energetic kicks and deep bass drums jolt your body into dancing action, but the rhythms are rarely „normal“ enough to really let you go with the flow. At the Volksbühne main stage, they will present an immerse five-dimensional 720 degree audiovisual Experience, developed in cooperation with London-based designer Vincent de Belleval. Using theater, film set and night life technology, they will transform Volksbühne into a living, fire breathing organizm.
Last but not least, the aftershow party in Roter Salon presents two of the most promising young DJ talents based in Berlin. Bao-Tran Tran, aka mobilegirl, shifts tempos and adds triplet bleeps and bloops, metallic crunches, or reggaeton kicks to turn R&B classics by the likes of TLC, J-Lo and Brandy into post-internet-friendly dance tracks. Tobias Lee, aka Why Be, fuses most different genres like ballroom, rap and instrumental grime into an hectic and cathartic, highly individual style.
21:40 M.E.S.H. & Michael Guidetti
22:20 Bill Kouligas & Spiros Hadjidjanos
23:30 Amnesia Scanner & Vincent De Belleval
21:10 - 00:00 Physical Therapy & Florian Ludwig
21:10 - 21:30 Claire Tolan
23:00 - 23:20 Claire Tolan
21:10 - 21:30 TCF
23:00 - 23:20 TCF
00:00 - 05:00 Aftershowparty: Why Be, mobilegirl
Co-produced by Münchner Kammerspiele.
Made possible by the support of the Hauptstadtkulturfonds, Berlin.