Position, Partners and the Future
MUU as my position "stem" - and the branches:
The Material of MUU can be transformed into different related shapes and therefore is a good starting point for my positioning in the field here in Berlin.
Over the year I have met several artists like Chris Dreier, Frank Lohmeyer, Takuya Furukawa, Joseph Grassl through the echtzeitmusik scene but also people like Ron Gunn the sound technician/audio engineer from Tresor (one of the oldest nightclubs in Berlin) and people from the field of social sculpture such as Shelley Sacks.
Development in my closest field is, of course, of priority - to train myself further. On the other hand, I want to continue interdisciplinary work broadening my field was of personal importance.
Is a platform for and from the Berlin scene of experimental music. It mostly serves as a calendar to announce concerts. During the time before "Corona" I visited two to three concerts a week at many different venues such as:
...and others that do not have a webpage. Through visiting so many concerts over the year, I have gained much inspiration and had countless exciting talks about the scene, its development, and where it is going. The concept behind the platform of creating music and performances right in the moment brings a very alert and diverse audience from different fields. This creates a field of people who strive for the development and innovation of music and its link with other disciplines.
The Social Sculpture Academy:
At the beginning of the year, I had the chance to meet Shelley Sacks, Oxford Brookes emeritus professor and founder of the social sculpture research unit (which seems to be the only interdisciplinary arts master program in the Eu ;) ). Over the year, I have been in several long meetings (sometimes several days of meetings) and other people here in Berlin with the goal of creating a Social Sculpture Academy. The main objective is the "new ways of perceiving / new eyes for the world". This relates to my research into senses, but it also is an opportunity to get into another field as well. Learning about social sculpture from Beuys's favorite student is, of course, very exciting. Looking at MUU, this might seem unrelated and more like a sidetrack, but I have spent many hours of the past year with the people of the academy and will work with them in the future.
Chris and Frank:
I met Chris Dreier and Frank Lohmeyer at an echtzeit concert last winter. They have reviewed my work throughout the process and are future partners in expanding MUU into a "google maps of electromagnetism". We quickly started talking about the SOMA Ether, went to other concerts together, and continued talking about my project.
We will soon develop the idea of a "google maps of electromagnetism" on to a webpage. The idea is to build an open source map that shows more electromagnetic sounds. It shall be possible for anyone to register and add sounds to the map. Then you would leave QR codes at the places where you recorded a sound. In this way, other people who do not have devices like the Ether could listen to it just with their phones.
Early on, I told Marie and Maria (my internal- and external-coaches) about this. We decided that I should not ask them to be "coaches of my study project" but to keep the relationship on the same level. This was more beneficial to my initial idea of getting into the scene rather than being an "intern" at the scene. In this way, my relationship with them would not be founded on money and a study project but from shared passion.
Not having a 2. external coach in this way (in fact, I had 3+ unofficial ones) also meant that I could spend more hours with Maria as a pioneer of the field who even knew my work from the project in Ghent. This was very beneficial; when Maria and I had spent 10 hours, we were still deeply involved with the process. One week later, the Corona situation meant that I had to adapt further, and it would not have been useful if I got a new, wholly unrelated coach in this situation. I discussed this with coach Marie as well.
Is a filmmaker also graduating this year. When we met, we both realized that we are both very interested in the early audiovisual works of Berlin Pioneers (Walter Ruttman and Viking Eggeling). From then on, we met and talked about our processes on our graduation works, sharing inspiration, and making music together. We have planned a thorough reflection session on 18.6, where he will share in-depth feedback regarding MUU.
Is a web designer and coder; he also plays in a noise rock band. We met at an echtzeit concert and have since been in contact. We were talking about music and my process of MUU. We developed an especially interesting perspective on the comparison and differentiation of white (color) and noise (sound). Sadly Takuya is moving to Düsseldorf now, so future collaboration to make music will be difficult.
Early in the year, while using the Ether and the Chladni plate for my research, I realized that both tools could be installed as an impressive interactive installation as well. The Ether would record electromagnetism, which would them be used to vibrate water with the Chladni plate. A camera would film the shapes from the Chladni Plate, which would be projected on walls for people to see. Spaces, where there is lots of electromagnetism, would give excellent results - such as train stations.
The BVG - Ringbahn situation:
When I found the Ringbahn area as especially interesting for electromagnetic research, I falsely thought it is owned by the BVG(Berlin Public Transport). I was very enthusiastic about this as the BVG decided to hire a very young team of PR, who are known for their hip and edgy marketing. I had seen this as a possible opportunity to partner with them by installing MUU as interactive installations in train stations.
1: An Ether will be installed with speakers, which will make the electromagnetism audible for passengers.
2: A Chladni plate will be connected, filmed, and shown on a screen, to make the electromagnetism visible to the passengers.
About a month later, I learned that the Train tracks are, strangely, owned by three different companies. Most of it is owned by the DB Brandenburg (German train company Brandenburg) and the VBB (Public Transport Brandenburg), while the BVG owns just parts (for example, trains)... As the other two companies do not follow such a modern approach to PR, approaching them with such a concept is more complicated. As my concept would work at most train stations, this does not mean that partnership is not possible, but instead that I will adapt the idea to stations which are owned just by the BVG.
Laura Mars Gallery:
Is one of the older contemporary art galleries in Berlin, which I have been in contact with. I got introduced to the gallery by Chris and Frank, who have often displayed work there. Initially, the idea was to present MUU through the gallery as a screening evening event on one evening. As of "Corona", the schedule of the gallery was shifted, and Gundula (the curator of the gallery) could not review my work in time. I had already announced my launch through social media, so I had to stick to the date of 06.06.2020. The galleries schedule is very packed as of the current situation, but the screening event might still happen later this year.
Initially, I had thought of MUU as an audiovisual performance (as mentioned in the timeline section). Although I made the final work of MUU more broad, its heart is still a performance. I created the music through 2 performances of 1hour. These two performances (performed just to myself), were then mixed into each other, to create the soundtrack of MUU. During the rest of this year, I will present MUU as a performance, creating the music live on stage, at different venues.
Is an event space that is used for many different things but mostly displays art projects. The university of arts (UdK) often rents the space to present graduation works. After the sad news from Laura Mars, I realized that there might be a benefit in not sharing MUU through a physical space yet. I would have the MUU page a perfect promo that could introduce the different venues to all the relevant venues and then present MUU as a performance (as initially intended) in autumn. After this decision, Gundula and Frank proposed the Zwitschermaschine as one of the venues to perform MUU. As it is an event space, I am in the process with Stephan (the owner of it) to develop a concept for displaying MUU partly through Prints and a performance on several evenings. The print idea relates to my work in Ghent (during the mapping the city project of the second year) under the coaching of Maria Blondeel and Juul Sadée.
Is one of the oldest venues for experimental music. What sets Ausland apart from other venues is its initial connection to film and the merging of audio and visual. I have tried to set up a date to screen/perform MUU there but was told that they are still rescheduling concerts from earlier and that I should get back to them later in summer. This also has its benefit: by autumn, the shows should be fully live again and not through streams, which means that I could finally create the perception of an immersive experience that I was aiming for from the beginning.
Petersburg art space:
Is an interdisciplinary art space, hosting a broad range of different cultural events. Right now, it is the only space that hosts concerts live concerts without streaming. They can do so as the venue is on a canal, and the audience can sit on the other side in public space, which is not regulated. Their schedule is densely packed, although possible, I decided against performing there now. The reason for this being that there is no way to project images with their set up, which would detach MUU´s audio from its visual nature. In autumn performances inside will be possible again with a big screen.
My own PR and statistics:
I uploaded the official trailer to youtube and Instagram on the 18. of May, on Instagram to great success (over 3800 views). From the 21. May to the 6. of June, I posted 12 PR pictures and three videos of the Chladni-plate to my Instagram account, which supported the countdown I had set up on my webpage. According to YouTube it has been watched 61+ times - this is misleading, as youtube only counts views if the video is viewed for x% of its duration. As anyone can decide for themselves how to watch MUU; for example jump through the 60minutes, YouTube will not count accordingly.
A few more future things:
The continuation with Frank and Chris on creating this "google maps" of electromagnetism, the events in autumn, such as performing MUU as initially intended and the screening-exhibition at Zwitschermaschine are not the only "future branches" of MUU. I also plan to encounter educational/science institutions to present the research behind MUU - waves. I have even been talking about MUU with Omar Paulino da Silva Filho biologist, teacher, and friend of mine (currently researching ways to cure Diabetes at the Maastricht university). He was very interested in writing a concept to examine the impact of vibration on cells. After he has finished his Ph.D. and I have more time after summer, we will investigate this idea further.
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