Thursday, June 11, 2009

Title: "3 in 1", or "I Quit School Today"

Brückners in Berlin!

Two weeks back, the Brückners spent a weekend here in Berlin. They treated us to several outings including the Schloss Charlottenburg, Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz, the Lieberman Villa, and a ship tour of the canals through Berlin. Our ship tour unfortunately got cut a bit short as everyone dashed below deck as it began to rain. Despite the rain, it was still fun to ride around Berlin in a boat and see various buildings and places from the water.

The day spent in Wannsee was wonderful. The area is very beautiful and there are splendid lakeside views. We had coffee and cake in the gardens of the Villa where Max Lieberman spent hours drawing and painting. Inside is an exhibit of many of his paintings, and even some sketches thrown into the mix. I was particularly taken aback by a profound juxtaposition. Right down the street from the home of such a prominent Jewish artist, is the very place where members of the Nazi regime met to determine the final solution to the Jewish question, in other words, how they would go about exterminating the European Jews. The Wannsee Villa today is a memorial and educational site which also houses one of the most extensive libraries pertaining to Nazism, Jewish genocide, and antisemitism.

Schloss Charlottenburg, an old Prussian palace, is a grand example of baroque and rococo style. It has many French paintings throughout including one very famous painting of Napolean. We took an audio tour of the new wing. It was very informative and I learned quite a bit. After touring the Schloss, we walked about in the gardens and took a look at the Belvedere and the lake. From a footbridge in the gardens, we had a great view of the palace. Despite being very badly damaged and looted during WWII, the palace has been restored and stands today as a window into the lives of the Prussian royalty.

We had the Brückners in our home as the first dinner guests in our Berlin apartment. It was very exciting for us! We cooked up a delicious dinner. The menu consisted of a chocolate salad, fettuccine alfredo with fresh steamed green beans, and baked zucchini topped with herbs and cheese, and a home-made apple pie topped with bourbon vanilla ice cream. And wine of course!

Doing the Gooey!

The end result of several weekend long workshops and lots of hard work by a group of artist/performers led by Catriona Shaw (aka Miss le Bomb) and Malve Lippmann was the experimental performance of a giant human-electric gooey. We, for one night turned Festsaal Kreuzberg into a large computer monitor on which we made pop up ads, screen savers, flash games, search engines, and carried out all sorts of functions such as emails, text messaging, friend invites, chatting in chatrooms, scrolling, freezing, and etc, all of which ultimately overloaded our system and resulted in a great blue screen of death, and a great applause from the audience! The idea of the project was to explore how we interact with graphical user interfaces (GUIs or in our case a fleshy gooey) and based on the ideas and observations we came up with, determine how to represent this with humans. The project was so much fun to work on, and the performance was a blast! I have met many artist, performers, and musicians over the time of my involvement with the project, and hope to be involved in more projects in the future.

I will post some pics of the gooey event as soon as they get to me. It was filmed by a crew for Finnish TV, a documentary group, and someone from our group set up a camera so there should be some video popping up somewhere. I'll let everyone know as soon as i find out!


Last night Mandie and I went to see the magnificant Cocorosie who spent the evening presenting bits and pieces of everything beautiful. Bianca started came on before the show mixing together a very, despite containing elctro and hiphop beats and samples, organic set. Then everyone took the stage: piano harp, makshift percussion, a table full of noisemakers and toys, bass, synth, keys, (distributed amongst 5 members) and two beautiful and complementing voices, and proceded to weave together a fabrik hopeful and joyful reminders of the important things in life. It was Sierra's birthday. Everyone sang happy birthday and then an electronic birthday mix followed till they came out for an encore.

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