Northern lights, strobe lights, fairy lights; aren’t lights just the best? From October 10-21, you can see lights in all their illuminated glory in Berlin during the annual Festival of Lights. Taking the whole light show craze thing to the next level, the entire city will be lit up like Christmas: from park benches to churches, bridges and trees. The 12 days will open and close with ceremonies, and are filled in between with other arts and cultural events, live jazz and shopping sales. You can choose to view the extravaganza by bus, boat, balloon or (wait for it …) Segway. All in all, a splendid reason to visit Berlin.
Berlin has long had the reputation for being uber cool; think The Metropol, the huge cathedral-like cinema which Dario Argento used to film his nightmarish horror films. Now, courtesy of The Michelberger Hotel, there’s an uber cool place to hang out when in the city. More of a collective experience than an hotel, the Michelberger is also a graphic design studio where their ‘crew of space cadets’ make many of the objects featured in the building. Check out its amazing website graphics.
By Zac in on Friday 21 September 2012
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The famed Tacheles art squat, a decrepit, decaying structure when it was first take over, nearly twenty years ago, has been closed and its occupants evicted by police this week. The closure signals not just the end of a vibrant, subversive era in Berlin’s famed art scene, but also a chilling precursor of further evictions across Europeas politicians, inner-city property developers and police collude to support the interests of finance and consumerism.
This month, the British government revoked laws that protected the rights of squatters. Police immediately began operations to remove around 20,000 people from buildings all over the country. For now, other governments in Europe are remaining tolerant, recognising maybe that in cities like Paris (notably La Maison de la Plage and La Générale in Belleville) and Berlin, colorful, lively art squats are elemental to the cultural fabric – and yeah, even the economy – of big city life.
Berlin-based designer and vegetarian, Silvia Wald, is playing a cruel, yet genius joke on carnivores. She opened a ‘butcher shop’ full of tasty-looking meats in all shapes and sizes. The catch is: you can’t eat any of it. All of Wald’s meat products are made from textile materials. Her fluffy cold-cuts are sold as pillows, accessories, cushions, and other decor. These pillows would make for a great conversation piece on any meat-lover or vegetarian’s sofa.
Now here’s an idea: create a super catchy single and then persuade those with the purse strings to fly you from Australia to Jamaica to shoot the video. My only regret is that Van She has the idea first. Damn! But they win, hands down (or up in the air, as the case may be) with this awesome track, Jamaica, off their new album, Idea of Happiness. Van She will be playing a limited run of dates in Australia this September before they head overseas for a string of shows across Europe and America. They’ll be returning home for Stereosonic and Foreshore Festivals this summer.
Wedding coming up? Want to class up your passive aggressive notes in the office kitchen? Or just have an appreciation for the beauty of the written word? Giuseppe Salerno is an Italian, Berlin-based calligrapher whose versatility and passion for the written word has kept him in constant demand. Salerno runs occasion workshops in Berlin, in English, for under $50, including all the tools to get you started. Don’t pass up the chance to learn directly from a true virtuoso of the form.
The Berlin-based ex-pat Jen Ray depicts scenes of female empowerment in mind-boggling detail with a technique of line that is breathtaking. Construction, destruction, deconstruction and reconstruction happen simultaneously. In her situations, she develops a timeless, eternal approach to the story of humankind. Paired with a sense of style that rivals Brian Eno and George Clinton, a pattern craziness that links her to Asian 19th century gangster-grandmaster Kuniyoshi, and a humor and boldness that keeps things a little street-tuff, things are super funky out there in Amazonia. Her first monograph, Ain’t We Got Fun, has just been released in Europe and soon will be available worldwide.
An homage to Berlin, that’s what you’d call this photo series by Michael Belhadi. The Berlin-based photographer captures the most beautiful and laconic places in Germany’s capital by using the look-and-feel of the 70′s crisp but soft pastel-colored aspects.
Eran Amir is from Jerusalem, Israel. I met him once in Berlin and had the pleasure of indulging in some of his fine ideas. His videos are stop-motion within stop-motion and the planning and amount of co-ordination that each clip contains is mind-blowing. His latest video, Rivers and Homes by J Viewz, has been voted [...]
Berlin-based architect Van Bo Le-Mentzel designed and built the smallest house in the world. The wooden house measures one square meter, and its ‘flipping mechanism’ can turn this tiny house into a cozy place for a nap. Le-Mentzel took inspiration from his life as a refugee, and he decided he wanted to create a simple, affordable house that can go anywhere. Le-Mentzel’s architectural design is ‘a house for everybody, a square meter of freedom’.
Seneca, one of my favourite philosophers, once coined the phrase: ‘All art is an imitation of nature’. I wonder how he would have described this beautiful series by Berlin-based artist Walter Mason. He takes all kinds of elements from nature, alters them in his own peculiar way (for example, by rearranging stones or leaves, applying water drops, cutting patterns or stiching out patterns), and then documents the output in a beautiful picture series.
When it comes to sports, watching the athletes gives us a sense that they are almost weightless. Berlin-based artist Jens Ullrich produces simple collages that combine sports action shots with images of stone sculptures. It all comes across as beautiful and graceful.
Olympics? What’s that? Hipsters are just going to do their own thing. Which means organising their very own version of the games: the Hipster Olympics. Held in Berlin, the best of hipster subculture gets celebrated with excellent contests incolving horn-rimmed glasses throws, skinny jeans tug-o-war, vinyl record spinning and racing in cloth tote sacks. Bring it on, we say.