31 August 2012

30 August 2012

Pulse Park

After a quick peak on Sunday night, we went back to the Jahrhunderthalle on Tuesday with the jury to check out Pulse Park, the interactive light installation by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. We had our pulses played into the sky, danced to the lights, napped on the grass and even met the Biebs?! 

hearing how it works


the local project coordinator for Pulse Park explained the project to the jury afterwards

they evaluated the work

met Mammalian's "Biebs"

got some autographs

and of course, went for another twirl on Our Century.  

29 August 2012


On Monday night we saw Denseland, a sound art/improvisation trio from Berlin consisting of singer/percussion player David Moss, bassist Hannes Strobl and drummer Hanno Leichtmann. We started off the musical evening with some singing in the car from Duisberg...

Brian singing Adele again

Maurice using his portable speaker/microphone

Damla arriving at the Maschinenhaus in Essen

the Duisberg crew

we had some time to kill before the show and hung out in the grassy field

favourite pics of the interns, Meike (above) and Judith (below)


the roten teppich walk

artist Q & A after with David Moss

some notes from the performance

I have a feeling this show will win some unusual awards...

GEMA is stupid

If you try to watch a Youtube video of a popular artist in Germany chances are you've encountered GEMA. They are an organization that collects royalties on behalf of artists whose music is being used in public events and their contract with Youtube expired in 2009. So now you often see a sad face and a message that GEMA has blocked your access.

The fiscal stupidity of this move was apparent when a bunch of the kids I'm working with in Germany - all claiming to be hip hop fans - didn't know who Jay Z is. They knew Tupac, an older and dead rapper whose work would have been circulating during the pre 2009 contract problem but not the more contemporary Jay-Z.

GEMA needs to make a deal with the artists who will benefit from the distribution of free music on Youtube, which will act as a loss leader for their product, raising awareness and, in turn, sales. Keeping German people ignorant of a lot of popular music is not a good business move. Make a deal with the artists and let the kids rock, already.

On the other hand. Who cares. Pop music will probably go down in history as a regressive mistake that obsessed too many people for all the wrong reasons. I'm with Adorno and Attali on this one.

But, still, as a business move, GEMA's ban is stupid.

28 August 2012

Red Carpet part 2

So a bit more about the red carpet. 

It has been observed that other performers in the festival (some of whom are children) don't get a red carpet so why should these children?

That view misunderstands the role of the red carpet. The red carpet is not some moment that happens before or outside of the project, it IS the project. It's part of the performance. To be absolutely clear: this is a performance. This is not a real jury giving awards that will make a difference to the performers lives or careers. This is a performance of a jury comprised of children who would not ordinarily be attending the festival. Celebrating them with a red carpet is an interactive performance that the audience of the festival is invited to participate in. The red carpet is the show. The children walking into the theatre and being announced is the the show, the children struggling to stay focused (and failing) is the show, the children laughing at nudity is the show, the children running around the lobby and singing Nicki Manaj's Super Bass in response to Pulse Park is the show.

We're all pretending these kids are special as a performative act, an act which becomes what it says. "I now pronounce you man and wife" is just a bunch of words that makes no physical changes in the world, yet tax status changes, names change, social status changes. Lives are drastically altered.

"These children are important enough for a red carpet." Maybe if we say it enough, pretend it enough, applaud it enough it will become a little more true.

Let there be a red carpet: and there was a red carpet. And it was good.

Anne Teresa De Keersmacker talks to the jury

Thanks to Anne Teresa for talking to us at 5 AM!!!

En Atendant, at Sunset

After watching Cesena at sunrise, the CCA jury returned to watch the related sunset piece, En Atendant, also choreographed by Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker. 

the sky was all sorts of crazy 

the first red carpet walk for jury 3 

waiting for the show to begin in the jahrhunderthalle

the sky again

we had a great artist talk after the show with one of the dancers... she told the jury about what went wrong in the show (the brring brring of a cell phone), demonstrated a time she hurt her leg while on stage, and answered questions about being a dancer

after evaluations, we went to Pulse Park, an interactive installation by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer that takes your heart beat and pulses it in lights across the field

the photos don't really show the pulses very well...

ghost jury