Time has long been recognised as life’s most precious commodity. While money or power can be lost and regained, time is irreplaceable. It’s a resource that is becoming increasingly scarce in this Age of Acceleration and it’s up to organisations like Berlin’s Creamcake to combat a capitalist culture of human disposability in the so-called “experience economy”. Hence, the ‘Paradise Found’ triple event, which reaches into the interdisciplinary art and music platform’s network and brings back artists they’ve worked with before, alongside greener up-and-coming talent of a similar ilk or ethos.
Happening in the monastic ruins of Klosterruine on June 7, July 27 and August 17, the music and performance series picks up on the Berlin event space’s summer program, focussing on its medieval yard as a place of change and transformation. Katrīna Neiburga & Andris Eglītis’ “Playground – for accepting your mortality” hybrid outdoor installation will host visitors and performers alike, while expanding on the overall theme of survival and utopia in a nod to Old Testament notions of the Garden of Eden and eternal life.
A clear play on English poet John Milton’s epic 17th-century poem Paradise Lost, ‘Paradise Found’ responds to the Franziskaner-Klosterkirche’s Catholic setting with a secular sequel to Adam and Eve’s origin story and ultimate exile. It examines the subversive potential of queer feminist gestures and agnostic rituals in a historical location by creating a vital orchard of diversity and hybridity. In welcoming back musicians, composers, producers and performers into the Creamcake fold, it cultivates these artists’ ongoing practices by offering support and recognition.
Kara-Lis Coverdale returns after 3hd Festival 2016 with her electronic and acoustic compositions exploring a patient concentration on “sonic afterlife, memory, and material curiosity”. COOL FOR YOU (aka Vika Kirchenbauer) recently dropped her COMMUNAL MESS album debut via the Creamcake label and is another 3hd alum, as is Lamin Fofana. The latter Berlin-based producer and artist creates instrumental electronic music that contrasts the reality of our world with what’s beyond and explores “questions of movement, migration, alienation and belonging”. All three of these artists appear for the first ‘Paradise Found’ event on June 7, alongside a collective sonic mediation and “hyperobject photosynthesis” by Creamcake event newcomer Judith Sönnicken.
The series as a whole presents as a sort of triptych of moods and themes, where the almost devotional tone of Coverdale and Kirchenbauer’s Sacred music influences meet the transcendent realities of Fofana’s crumbling, other-worldy ambient and Sönnicken’s spiritual contemplation, on the first night. Bendik Giske’s creaking saxophone loops, Cucina Povera’s layered vocal cycles and Nile Koetting’s immersive ‘scenography’ that obscures the distinction between performative space and its audience creates a certain tension of definition. Michelle Woods interdisciplinary ‘tastesounds’ further intensifies this friction for the second ‘Paradise Found’ edition on July 27.
The closing event, on August 17, goes full hedonism in the debaucherous pop of rising star Dorian Electra, along with the sarcasm and dark humour of London lyricist and DJ Shygirl. Meanwhile, 3hd 2017 participant i.Ruuu hacks, scrambles and destroys its popular cultural references with an overdriven assault of what could be described as the sonic equivalent of ‘too much of a good thing’. One thing that there could never be too much of, though, is the care, attention and time that the ‘Paradise Found’ program offers its artists and their audience. It takes the etymology of the English word ‘curation’ (as coming from the Latin word for “to cure” or “take care of”) seriously, offering space for spontaneous community to flourish.**