‘Schwarz oder weiß, es ist mir gleich. Es gibt keine Farben in diesem blauen Reich’ Joris Van de Moortel @ Künstlerhaus Bethanien, January 17th, 2013

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Joris Van de Moortel is concerned with architecture as an important medium of our mental and physical experiences of space. Besides musical performances, he  creates assemblages, which often resemble stage sets or the remains of a performance. For his generally large-scale installation works, Van de Moortel uses pedestals, walls and boxes or a number of things that seem to have been found by chance: towels, musical instruments, door leaves, a single window, or an old cooking pot are combined into unpretentious artefacts, which seem to bear their own, expansive dynamics within them. The artist bundles, ties, screws, and then shuts up his work in wooden or acrylic glass cases, or he has them hang from the ceiling in bin-bags. His environments  – often in conjunction with musical performances – are inspired by found situations and often they have no clearly defined beginning, middle or end. Thus, the artist often ‘recycles’ the work at the end of an exhibition by destroying it, and constructing a new work with the help of the resultant junk. In this way, the “undoing” in Van de Moortel’s work becomes an important aspect of the “doing”.

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Joris Van de Moortel is a grantee of the Flemish Government in Künstlerhaus Bethanien. As the 17th of January were also Open Studios at Bethanien, this last picture is an installation in his studio.

The video below correspond to the last 25 seconds of the performance that accompanied the exhibition-installation… all is blue…

EXHIBITION: 18.01. – 10.02.2013. Tue – Sun: 2 – 7pm. Admission free.

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BodyControlled #5 @ LEAP, December 7th, 2012

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MindBox – Christian Graupner (DE)

With the audio-visual triptych MindBox Christian Graupner & partners created an audience reactive installation and an electro acoustic music instrument using the body of a ‘one armed bandit’ as an user interface. MindBox is a part of the work cycle H.RP [Humatic Re-Performing].

The installation attracts visitors’ senses offering a joyful gambling- game around musical, choreographical and cinematographical elements as dance & beat-boxing. The latter expression describes a form of vocal percussion from which the installation derives its title. MindBox is a triple-channel ‘media catapult’ to be touched. The arm and buttons of the modified fruit machine function as a tactile interface to the actions of a filmed character whose vocal- & movement clusters can be re-composed and re-performed by the audience.

MindBox is an artistic collaboration between: Christian Graupner (GER) – Humatic, inventor, media artist, director, composer; Roberto Zappalà (IT) – performer, choreographer; Norbert Schnell (FR) – IRCAM Centre Pompidou, interactive music & sound design; Nils Peters (DE) – Humatic, system developer and software artist.


FeeedBack 5 *public prototype & casting module – Christian Graupner (DE) & Alan Gleeson (IE)

FB5pp demonstrates the evolving audio features of the pipelined multi-screen media installation FeeedBack 5.

One by one, female visitors are invited to put on headphones and to wear a “prepared” electric guitar. In doing this they accept to play the main role in an intense re-performance, by becoming a experienced feedback guitar player and creating their own rich soundscape .

A smartphone and additional sensors are mounted on the guitar to transmit accurate 3D motion and position data to an external system which provides a reactive real-time soundtrack giving direct response to players activity and creating a close-to-real simulation. Surrounding visitors can observe the player becoming one with the instrument in swaying movements but are not able to listen to the spectacular soundtrack.

In addition to being a standalone sound installation FB5pp fires the imagination for the pipelined multi-channel / multi-user audiovisual work FeeedBack 5 ( The setup serves for casting and test shootings that will develop to the complex piece which will be realized in early 2013.

Concept and Realisation: Christian Graupner (Humatic) & Alan Gleeson. Guitar Feedback Footage: Blacky Schwarz-Ruszczynski, Project Partner: Dr. Prof. Werner Jauk, Universität Graz, Android: Control Software: Nils Peters ( Humatic). Additional Technical Support: Servando Barreiro & Jo Frgmt Gyrs



Zunge lösen | Releasing the tongue – Christian Kesten (DE)

zunge lösen by Christian Kesten consists of the following elements: (fine) slaps of the tongue on the bottom of the mouth, (visible) tongue movements and tongue movements, which articulate a (chance) text, based on a given material of phones (syllables and smaller). Through breath and larynx they are made audible from time to time. Tongue movements, breath and voice function as independent layers which interact.

G is for Guam Flying Fox (Pteropus tokudae) – Christian Kesten (DE)

Über die Lebensweise des Guam-Flughunds ist nichts bekannt. [Nothing is known about the Guam Flying Fox’s way of living.] for voice, hands/arms, feet.

The piece was originally composed for Antonia Baehr and her Abecedarium Bestiarium.


Lips revisited – Carlos Sandoval (MX) and Etoile Chaville (FR)

Lips revisited is a study on gesture’s contrast and interpretation. The first version of the piece (an approach on microgestures) was premiered at LEAP with Almut Kühne one year ago. This time the piece is much more fragmented both in terms of its elaboration and its discourse. With Carlos Sandoval: Live electronics and actions and Etoile Chaville: Voice and dance


Go Karamazov – Eva Sjuve (SE)

Go Karamazov is an interface for live interactive performance, a wearable controller with sensors as inputs, reacting to movements of the performing body. The live audio is programmed in Pure Data and is addressing issues of electromagnetic propagation. Light has been integrated into the design adding a visual element of light and shadows. The sonic output from the controller is composed in relation to the movements of the performer.

Eva Sjuve has been developing interfaces for gestural use since the late 1990s. GO interface is an early wireless interface, developed in 2006 for the performing arts, as a Nordscen Artist in Residency. GO Karamazov was later commissioned by New Composers Series in New York, and premiered at PERFORMA 07 biennale in New York City, as one of the highlights. Go Karamozov is an interface that adresses issues of electromagnetic propagation, via a very free adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s novel the Brothers Karamazov.

‘BodyControlled #4 – Bio Interfacing’ @ LEAP, July 13th, 2012

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It is not novel for multimedia performances to have a strong corporeal profile primarily using gestures or actions coming from outside of the performer’s body. However, the inside of the body can also be a very vital and diverse source of material for artistic purposes. This approach changes the paradigm of the gestural expression, bringing the processes going on under one’s skin to the fore.

BodyControlled #4 – Bio Interfacing presents three performances using data collected from inside the human body: the EEG waves-based audio-visual performance INsideOUT by Claudia Robles Angel, Seas of Tranquility by Peter Kirn and Marco Donnarumma’s Music for Flesh II, where sounds are produced – and controlled – by his muscles.

A keynote presented by Hasso-Plattner-Institute’s investigator Pedro Lopes discusses ‘’Human-Computer Interaction: Artistic and Scientific perspectives on augmenting our bodies’’. In conjunction with the events of the performance night, anyone could learn more about the artists’ methods by taking part in the workshops presented by Claudia Robles Angel and Marco Donnarumma. Also, it was possible to come to LEAP in the 2 evenings after the performance night, and try out the instruments that were on display at the Open Stage.

Performances and Installations by Marco Donnarumma (IT), Claudia Robles Angel (CO) and Peter Kirn (US) in the videos below by order of mention. At the end, slideshow from Pedro Lopes speech.

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‘New world summit’, Jonas Staal, 7th Berlin Biennale @ KW, April 26th, 2012

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The New World Summit is an alternative parliament for political and juridical representatives of organizations currently placed on international terrorist lists. The nontransparent procedures by which these lists are created are considered a threat to democratic politics by numerous political parties, human rights organizations, lawyers, and philosophers. Often political prejudices, diplomatic relations, and economic or military interests play a decisive role in labeling an organization as a “terrorist group.”

The parliament of the New World Summit forms a democratic supplement to the existing political order. The event questions those politics that are based on exclusion and deny any form of true political participation to those groups that have been listed. The New World Summit aims to articulate a new kind of public political space where representatives of the organizations debate the limits of the current democratic system. The referents who are participating in the summit are not prosecuted, but see themselves as agents of fundamental democratic principles. The event itself is based on a notion of fundamental democracy pursuing the ideal of an open, egalitarian society.

The New World Summit is a project by Rotterdam-based artist Jonas Staal in collaboration with Younes Bouadi (producer), Robert Kluijver (curator), Paul Kuipers (architect), Vincent W. J. van Gerven Oei (editor), and Sjoerd Oudman/the NWS Design Collective (design). Please visit also

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1.The struggle of art in the twentieth century is characterized by an aspiration for freedom. It has battled the church, the state and the wealthy bourgeoisie in order to no longer have to serve a religious, political or economic agenda. Politics in The Netherlands took that battle seriously. In our post-war era, politics had assigned to art the financed duty to be free. Any direct ideological commitment had become suspect, as a result of the role played by art in the Nazi and Stalinist systems. The conclusion of both politics and the art world was that it was better not to be engaged at all, than to be engaged with the wrong parties. A generic politics – a politics that exchanged ideology for management, out of fear for dirty hands – sponsored an equally generic art. An art that does not dare to serve a larger political project is thereby nothing but entertainment for the voter-consumer and his managers.

Without making explicit their ideals, both art and politics have fallen prey to demagogues and populists, who utilize the spineless landscape of capitalist democracy and its art as an open field for ideas. Ideology is back, yes, but it is in the hands of racists such as Dutch far-right Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders. And art is political again: but only because those same agitators discard it as a plaything of the elite. We are in need of a proactive politics and a proactive art, which dare to serve a truly ideological project. The outlines hereof have become visible in recent times. From activists for Internet freedom, such as WikiLeaks and Anonymous, to the worldwide Occupy Movement: democracy is being defended fundamentally as an open, non-exclusive space. A movement such as Occupy, for instance, is not a readymade ideology, but an instrument, through which politics is brought back to the streets, and democracy is shifted from representation to action. Fundamental democracy is thus an ideological project that does not compose a political system by itself, but actually makes it available for society as a whole.

What can be the role of art within this political movement? According to the Polish artist, Artur Żmijewski:

“By becoming once again dependent, art may learn how to be socially useful, even at an operational level.”

Art may only become of social significance again if it dares to make the ‘freedom’ it has gained in the 20th century serve an ideological project. The movement in service of fundamental democracy is in search of a truly new visual language, a form that effectively makes the democratic instruments available for the people as a whole. This is where art can demonstrate its power, namely: its imagination.

2. My answer to Żmijewski’s call is manifested through my project New World Summit; a two-day conference that will take place in Berlin on the 4th and 5th of May. Political and juridical representatives of organizations that are included in the so-called international “terrorist lists” have been invited to speak within the framework of an alternative parliament. These lists include organizations that are internationally considered to be state threats. In the European Union, a secret committee, the so-called “Clearing House”, draws up this terrorist list. This occurs in a highly undemocratic manner: “The process for adding or removing names from the terrorist list is done in secret by a committee which generally meets bi-annually, and there are no public records of these proceedings.” (Source: “Adding Hezbollah to the EU Terrorist List” – Hearing before the Subcommittee on Europe of the Committee on Foreign Affairs House of Representatives, June 20, 2007).

The consequences for these organizations and people who are in contact with them includes a block on all bank accounts and a travel ban – whereby in the latter case we have managed to make a few legal exceptions. History is written by the victors. Whoever gets hold of the monopoly of violence in our society, ultimately decides who is a terrorist and who is not. The terrorist thereby is not only excluded from the political process but is also excluded from the rule of law. Think of prisons such as Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, or the extraordinary rendition program of the C.I.A., wherein terror suspects abroad are kidnapped in order to be interrogated in the prisons of allied countries, and generally also to be tortured.

One consequence hereof is the overall weakening of constitutional law. Since everyone is a potential terrorist, civil rights (such as the right to privacy) are restricted, while the power of the state over the citizen and the judicial system is strengthened. The proposal put forward by the Freedom Party for the arrest of potential terrorists upon suspicion (i.e., without actual proof) is in that same line. The justification for this is invariably that democracy must be resilient against its enemies: terrorists supposedly hate the free Western world and its acclaimed democracies.

But these organizations – which are characterized by a range of different ideological currents, from communist to socialist, from Marxist to anarchist, nationalist, racist, religious-fundamentalist and sectarian – are not by far all opposed to democracy as such. There are organizations that support free elections and advocate equality between men and women, rich and poor, majorities and minorities. Many of them struggle for self-determination and against military occupation or other forms of oppression. For what the West has imposed upon the world as “democracy” in the last decades, has not exceptionally led to corruption, injustice and subordination of local interests to those of a Westernized local elite and their foreign patrons.

The organizations on the terrorist list are accused of terrorizing civilians with violence. 9/11 is the most extreme and frequently cited example thereof. But they are themselves terrorized by Western military operations. What is the fundamental difference between the 3000 victims of the Twin Towers and the hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq, as a result of the Western “liberation”? Terror and state-terror thus constitute two sides of the same coin.

These examples are not intended to legitimize these organizations’ employment of violence, but to make clear that the qualities considered to be ‘distinctive’ of democracy – such as free elections, equality between men and women, gay marriage or even policies against terrorism – can also be found in a variety of organizations on these terrorist lists. Hence these symbolic qualities do not constitute a democratic organization or state per se.

The violent policy of the so-called “terrorists” therefor reflects the violent policy of the so-called “democracies”. The purpose of the New World Summit is to bring these together, by creating a new political space. A space where the boundaries of our current system are mapped out. A supplement to our parliamentary democracy: a platform for its ‘shadow side’. Only together do they constitute the world order in which or against which we have to take a position today. Together they constitute the conflictual field wherein we must define what we actually understand under the notion of democracy.

3. And this question – what is the democracy that we stand for? – denotes the project in which I see art and politics united in a significant manner.

Fundamental democracy is the project I wish to defend. Not as an exclusive good for the nation state on the one hand, or the “terrorist” on the other, but for everyone, always, under any circumstances. I believe in democracy as a universal movement. A movement that fights for a non-exclusive political space where every voice can make itself heard, seen and felt, without a ‘state of exception’.

As an artist I want to create the conditions for this political space. I do not want to create art within a so-called democracy; I want to help shape democracy myself. And as it has become apparent globally, I am far from alone therein.

Also signed by: Artur Żmijewski and Joanna Warsza (curators 7th Berlin Biennale), Robert Kluijver (curator New World Summit), Younes Bouadi (producer New World Summit), Paul Kuipers/EventArchitectuur (architect New World Summit), Vincent WJ van Gerven Oei (editor New World Summit), Kasper Oostergetel and Geert van Mil (build-up New World Summit), Sjoerd Oudman and the New World Summit Design Collective (design New World Summit).

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Noisekölln presents Justice Yeldham @ West Germany, April 28th, 2012

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Lucas Abela (aka Justice Yeldham) cheeks are flattened by the glass, the foot of his tongue presses against his instrument like some over-satiated worm, blood eventually cloaks the glass in a pink fluoroscent haze, and then … he bites the glass into pieces until it’s nothing but a bloodied mound of shrapnel at his feet. The noise his instrument emits ranges from a subterranean death rattle through to a squalling motorised melee, with plenty of sonic variations in between.

According to Bruce Russell – WIRE magazine, Justice Yeldham is “the most exciting performer I have seen in the last three years – in fact, since I first saw Iggy Pop. Ecstatically Abela purses his lips against amplified glass whilst deftly employing various vocal techniques ranging from throat singing to raspberries turning the discarded shards into crude musical instruments, resulting is a wild array of cacophonous noise that is strangely controlled and oddly musical. The instruments simple, original and effective premise is a welcome riposte to over complicated musical performances of modern times. A one of a kind act re-defining the expression ‘don’t try this at home’ this show quite simply needs to be witnessed to be fully appreciated, let alone understood”.

The line up at West Germany on the night of April 28th was:
Justice Yeldham:
Ill Winds:
Moon Wheel:
Anna Vo & Peter Newman: &

The video below shows Justice Yeldham at minute 0:00, Anna Vo & Peter Newman at minute 1:56, Ill Winds at minute 2:40 and Moon Wheel at minute 3:15 

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‘La zona: Radio pickinck performance’ by Ralf Homann @ NGBK, April 19th, 2012

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La zona. Radio Picknick performance

What does constitute the unclear zone of a revolution? Who defines such a statement? For decades, small, illegal FM stations have been accompanying resistant political practices without any kind of vanity and in a very charming way: from occupied grounds of nuclear power stations, border camps of “no human is illegal” campaigns, to camps on Wall Street, the Schlosspark in Stuttgart and soon perhaps in Berlin-Mitte. Under the radar of visual and thus representative charging: It is a remote flickering, a hissing and a silence maintained by pure energy. Maybe also the blue taste of roasted sesame seeds on salted celery. Could it be that a political act that emerges from nothing?, without an interest?, from a wayside gathering? From a picnic arrangement somewhere in the open countryside? With roasted sesame seeds and a radio station?

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Ralf Homann works as an artist and author of radio features. He examines the relationship between space and electronic media with a special interest in the narratives behind knowledge. From 1999-2008 he developed the Experimental Radio at Bauhaus University Weimar.

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‘We’re gonna need a bigger boat!’ Group show @ Kreuzberg Pavillon, April 5th, 2012

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We’re gonna need a bigger boat! 

Urban dictionary: Phrase originaly used by well known actor Roy Scheider in the 1975 blockbuster ‘Jaws’. He utters the line when he gets a good look at the size of the shark that is circling the small fishing boat he is on. You/We’re gonna need a bigger boat! is used in day to day life when a situation seems insurmountable and most likely this is what this ever moving and collective run guerilla institution from Kreuzberg wants to highligh with this exhibition.

They pop up with artists curated shows every Thursday night from March-May in Kreuzber’s ancient red-brickstone Post building between Görlitzer Park and Schlesisches Tor. On April, 5th within the group show “We’re gonna need a bigger boat!”, they presented seventeen paintings/collage/pictures, one video in a tabloid and four sculptures/objects from the following artists (in the slide shown in order of appearance):

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Ronny Lischinski, Andreas Helfer, Olve Sande, Maria Unverricht, Lea Asja Pagenkemper, Ronald Versloot, Annika Hippler, Ronny Lischinski, Olve Sande, Hansa Wißkirchen, Jana Meincke, Nora Lena Meyer, Sara Pfrommer, Nicolas Puyjalon, Eli Skatvedt, Nadine Deja, Maria Unverricht and performances by Tomoko Nakasato and Nicolas Puyjalon. Curated by  Nora Lena Meyer and Eli Skatvedt.

The videos below show the spontaneous performance by young French artist Nicolas Puyjalon: 1… the beginning: using his hands to built something to arrive to “an objective”, 2… later on, issues trying to stand straight the artifact he built to reach his purpose  … the irreverent of the effort (moreover in society nowadays). It was good to see how people (public, spectators) responded. To me was a beautiful methaphore of “working as a group is better than alone // …I cannot alone, but together WE can”, do not know if this was the objective but resulted in this pleasing interaction, 3… finally Nicolas got to put the sticker on the ceiling and his goal accomplished (last pic shows the little red sticker in the ceiling)

Text by Maria Muñoz