Vierte Welt

3hd Festival 2016 recommendations

10 October 2016

The second edition of 3hd Festival, hosted by Berlin-based event-organisers Creamcake, is happening across the German city this week at venues including HAU Hebbel am Ufer, OHM, and Vierte Welt, running October 11 to 15.

This year’s theme follows the title ‘There is nothing left but the Future?’ and will come accompanied by a live Creamcake Boiler Room Berlin set on October 13 and a series of broadcasts on Berlin Community Radio called 3hd Presents… and moderated by music journalist and writer Steph Kretowicz throughout the week from October 11.

Some events to look out for include the following :

The Heal the World exhibition @ Vierte Welt with an opening featuring a program of talks by Rianna Jade ParkerRuth Angel Edwards  and Vika Kirchenbauer among others – Oct 11

Kara-Lis Coverdale @ Vierte Welt will present intimate solo piano concert PICL (Pieces in Caps Lock), followed by a conversation with journalist and music theorist Raphael Smarzoch – Oct 12

‘Speculative Futurism’ @ OHM Berlin featuring music by coucou chloé, Ssaliva and Music For Your Plants among others, as well as an installation by Ink Agop – Oct 12

Claire Tolan, SHUSH-to-come: SHUSH choir & performance @ Vierte Welt – Oct 13

‘Acting under Capital’ @ Hebbel am Ufer featuring media based artwork Inga Copeland / Lolina, Soda Plains & Negroma and COOL FOR YOU among others – Oct 14

‘Present Sense’ @ Hebbel am Ufer featuring Aïsha Devi & Emile Barret, Easter and HVAD among others – Oct 15

‘There is no time! Let it go’ @ OHM Berlin features an evening of DJs and producers – Oct 15

See the 3hd Festival website for details.**

aqnb x Video in Common @ 3hd Festival, Oct 12

29 September 2016

As part of this year’s 3hd Festival programme, AQNB and Video in Common (ViC) are presenting screening, performance and discussion event, ‘Staying Present’ at Berlin’s Vierte Welt on October 12.

In referring to the title of this year’s festival topic ‘There is nothing left but the future?’ AQNB focuses on the question mark, interrogating what we actually mean by ‘the future’ and whether the past has a role in determining it: What do we gain from thinking about the future in terms of the past? And is the very notion of the future itself little more than an ideological and conceptual fallacy?

The ‘Staying Present’ program presents artists, musicians and ideas that draw on convention and tradition to comment on the contemporary condition. Artists featured in this edition include an AQNB/ViC editorial video with Klein, video and sound works from Jaakko Pallasvuo, Maxwell Sterling, Institute for New Feeling, Gary FembotEaster as well as a live Skype psychic reading from Martha Windahl.

‘Staying Present’ follows a series of events organised by the art editorial platform and video production partner ViC in London, and Los Angeles –two other key cultural centres in the AQNB network. Titled ‘The Future Is Here, It’s Just Not Evenly Distributed’, ‘At the Backend’ and ‘Accessing Economies: Engagement & Withdrawal’.

See the FB event page for details.**

Header image: Jaakko Pallasvuo, ‘Castling’ (2016). Video still. Courtesy the artist.

A look back at 3hd Festival

17 December 2015

“Maybe, the music lost the war,” posits Ji-Hun Kim at the final panel titled ‘Global and Local Music Scenes’ of 3hd Festival, running across venues in Berlin from December 2 to 5. Given the overall theme of the rather meticulously curated event programme –‘The Labour of Sound in a World of Debt’ –it’s possible to see how that might have happened. In a climate of big brand sponsorship and accelerated media uncovering, exposing and mining the so-called ‘underground’ in the flattened space of the internet, the outlook of what could have been counterculture appears rather bleak. But then, when it comes to a project like 3hd –where its Creamcake organisers Anja Weigl and Daniela Seitz manage an international cast of musicians, producers, desginers, writers, brought to the German city on a tiny budget –it seems there is still hope.

Here, it’s the sense of community, however dispersed along the global online, that really is palpable. Attendance, for one, is healthy. Crowds vary nicely in demographic depending on the night and engagement with the discussion series –moderated by Adam Harper and including topics like ‘What is the Musical Object in the 21st Century?’ and ‘Visual Pleasure, the Impact of Image Making’ –is lively. The latter takes place in Kreuzberg’s Vierte Welt, surrounded by the art of 3hd’s The Labour of Sound in a World of Debt exhibition. It includes sculpture by Ella CB and Per Mertens, the heavily branded graphic design of Simon Whybray’s JACK댄스 night posters and Kim Laughton’s ‘TIDAL (tone-on-tone)’ video featuring a billboard screen ad for the title music streaming site in what looks like an industrial wasteland.

Aurora Sander @ 3hd Festival (2015), Berlin. @ 3hd Festival (2015), Berlin.
Aurora Sander @ HAU. Courtesy 3hd Festival, Berlin.

Vierte Welt is also the setting for 3hd’s official opening, where the multiple wall-mounted LED screenings of Emilie Gervais’ ‘Brandon aka Kamisha’ CGI animation and Lawrence Lek’s ‘Unreal Estate (The Royal Academy is Yours)’ projection is shown up by Easter’s short but striking live performance. With it they unveil their ‘True Cup’ video, a film that’s part of a sort of distributed art project featuring the artists, Max Boss and Stine Omar, staring at their flip phones and moving, model-like, around Galerie koal where they also have an exhibition. The show features a serialised video piece, Sadness is an Evil Gas Inside of Me, running at the same time as 3hd and featuring a cast of global creatives, including voice over by Vaginal Davis and cameos by actor Lars Eidinger and Britta Thie. The latter Berlin-based artist similarly has an episodic video work, drawing on Leigh Bowery and showcasing an international art scene in her Transatlantics web series. It’s for that she’s been invited to join the ‘Branding–Hype–Trends’ discussion of 3hd, with its focus getting lost in the panelists’ understandable inability to identify and deconstruct the complicated, inextricable inter-relationship between creativity and capital.

That collusion, or obsession even, is unsettlingly present at the HAU Hebbel am Ufer night of performances the following day. The plastic palm trees and cartoonish props of the exotic Contiki-esque Aurora Sander-designed ‘Love Jungle’ sets the scene for Dafna Maimon and Adrian Hartono’s performing the high-life in a massage for ‘Dear Unkown One’. Conceptions of luxury, money, power, feature heavily tonight. Classically-trained cellist Oliver Coates performs the disturbing soundtrack to a live rendition of Lawrence Lek’s ‘Unreal Estate’. The 3D animation travels through the empty rooms of an imagined London Royal Academy of Art, now up for private sale. Lek’s bilingual voiceover reads English and Mandarin translations of instructions on running a wealthy household from Russian Tatler magazine: “Learn how to do everything yourself. That’s how to stop the servants blackmailing you”. Colin Self’s multimedia performance of his sequential opera ‘The Elation Series’ is a festival highlight, while Aaron David Ross (ADR)’s ‘Deceptionista’ presents an assault of noise and real-time Vine videos shattered into violent shards of visual information fed through the Tabor Robak-developed VPeeker software.

Colin Self @ HAU. Courtesy 3hd Festival, Berlin.
Colin Self @ HAU. Courtesy 3hd Festival, Berlin.

Repeatedly, a blurring of boundaries between what you might consider ‘pop’ versus ‘underground’ circulates throughout the four-day event. Malibu opens a queer, vocoder-heavy sung performance at OHM with Justin Bieber’s ‘What Do You Mean?’. A video presentation by Nicole Killian opens the ‘The Media, Fan and Celebrity Culture’ panel live via Skype from her home in Virginia. The Richmond-based artist talks Tumblr aesthetics and self-started teen girl culture as not only a subversion but a kind of hack into the power of celebrity by not just ‘killing’ their idols but by ‘eating’ them too.

That kind of pop culture cannibalism is something that Danny L Harle and DJ Paypal do in their own way at Südblock on the last night. The former does so by weaving his high-classical background with ‘low’ pop music appreciation into the slightly manic electronic opuses he and his PC Music peers have become known for. DJ Paypal, meanwhile, hijacks dance to develop an almost aggressive pursuit of a pure high. The subject of Justin Bieber again emerges at Vierte Welt as Simon Whybray shows the global superstar’s latest Purpose album cover as an example of bad graphic design in his opening lecture for the ‘Branding–Hype–Trends’. It seems that Whybray, too, is unsure of the distinction between what is and isn’t ‘bad’ when considering counterculture and its position within the mainstream, but then that’s probably, vitally, the point. **

Creamcake’s 3hd Festival was on across venues in Berlin, running December 2 to 5, 2015.

Header image: Nile Koetting @ HAU. Courtesy 3hd Festival, Berlin.