Category Archives: Happenings

A Date with Berta – der kleene Musikkompass

While attending the Streams and Traces exhibition, I applied for date with Berta, the tandem bicycle who brings you all over Berlin on a magical tour that you follow by reading Berta’s compass.  Berta leads you to special places where you listen to a story and a song that was developed with purpose for that area.

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Partying with Berta in Mauerpark!

Here is a video that explains a bit about Berta.

English Text from Berta’s website here:

May I introduce myself – my name is Berta

Music is more accessible than it has ever been. With modern technology and services we can listen to almost any song we want at anytime and anywhere. This new found level of access has reduced the perceived value of music from an enjoyable artistic piece to a mere consumable.
What if certain music could only be heard in certain places?
Berta emphasizes the exclusivity of select music by limiting the playback to a certain area or place defined by the musician. Berta is a compass for music – showing the distance and direction to the closest song location. As the listener approaches the destination, Berta begins to play the musicians’ story about the song and why they chose the location to place their song. Once the story has ended, Berta will play the song on her internal speakers. This process of navigation, story telling, and listening, actively engages the listener in a more meaningful and memorable manner. Berta emphasizes the uniqueness and the experience of a musical piece. Berta is not an app but rather a physical object with heart and soul.

Foliage purchased for the Weatherbox!

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Today was a second trip to the Dong Xuan Center in eastern Berlin to purchase some greenery for the Weatherbox.  I brought along my friend Linda.  She purchased a light up LED “Gluewein” sign that made her very happy!

I had taken stock of which plants I might want to purchase the last time around, so this time consisted of bringing my tape measurer and figuring out exactly was appropriate size wise and what might look good in the box. It turns out that the grassy fields they had for sale fit the depth and length of the Weatherbox almost perfectly!  I also got some plants to hang from the ceiling of the box to create the rain-forest-y look I’m going for.

Weatherbox dimensions:

120cm long/55cm (at the highest part) 42cm (at shortest point)/40cm deep

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My purchases!

All around a successful trip and the Weather box is starting to look good!

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Box found for the Weatherbox!


Weather BoxToday I found an ad on eBay Kleinanzeigen for a perfect terrarium for the Weatherbox! (Dimensions 120cm long / 55cm high – 42cm high / 40cm deep)

As soon as I saw it, I knew it had to be mine!

Rounding up my friend Linda, we made our way on the tram to pick up the terrarium.  It was a little bigger than I expected when we got there, and the people who were getting rid of it thought the Weatherbox Project sounded pretty cool and told me to keep them updated.  They were a really lovely couple and they even helped Linda and me bring the terrarium down to the street from their flat.

We called a cab and hemmed and hawed a bit trying to figure out the best way to fit the Weatherbox and both of us inside the cab while also allowing the driver to see out of the back of the vehicle.

We finally got it sorted and then we were on the way!

The cab driver even helped up bring it out of the cab and onto my street.

Here it is, ready to go upstairs.

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A visit to the Dong Xuan Center – Weatherbox research!

While looking for fake foliage for the Weatherbox, I received a tip that I should try the Dong Xuan Center on the outskirts of Berlin in Lichtenberg.

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The Dong Xuan Center, as it is known today, has been located in the same spot since 2006.  It has grown over the years from three to eight halls.

It hosts a miraculous collection of items.  It has a wide assortment of asian food and markets, clothes, neon signs, glitter, hair cuts, and what I came looking for: fake foliage.

While we were there, we also took stock of all the amazing amount of glitter!

 

I will be certain to make another visit here once I find a proper container for the Weatherbox!

 

Resurrection of an Age Old Idea – The Weather Box Project

I’m currently working on putting together “The Weather Box Project,” a project that I began in 2006 as part of my Project Development and Grant Proposal Writing class at Harvard University.  Life got in the way for a bit, but now the Weather Box is back with a vengeance!!!

Diagrams

Diagrams

I’m currently working on putting together “The Weather Box Project,” a project that I began in 2006 as part of my Project Development and Grant Proposal Writing class at Harvard University.  Life got in the way for a bit, but now the Weather Box is back with a vengeance!!!

The Weather Box is a participatory and interactive art project.

Original Goals:

• To encourage thinking about the effect of emotions on the environment

• To encourage thinking of the effect of the environment on mood

• To create an installation that archives words and their representation of mood and the weather patterns that are produced inside the Weather Box

• To produce documentation of the climate in which the box was situated

• To conclude if the weather does indeed effect emotions and if emotions do affect weather patterns

• To intersect art, science, technology, and social psychology

From my original proposal:

“The Weather Box is an interactive visual art installation in which the viewer may create weather patterns inside an enclosed environment using a series of emotion based words. It is also a research study that combines psychogeography with environmental awareness in an exploratory approach to how one assesses their affect on the current environment and the affect of the current environment on oneself.”

Working alongside the magnificent Adina Bogert-O’Brien, we are constructing a series of code to create a series of weather patterns that will happen inside the box, as well as creating a physical environment for these interactions to happen.  Stay tuned!!

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Testing out the lights for a storm – once hooked up to the box, these lights will change color depending on the mood of the person using the Weather Box.  Very exciting!!

Lilipad Testing – Test for “Happy”

Lilipad Testing – Test for “Happy”

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Testing out the lights for the sun!

Here is a video of the blinking lights!

Streets of Berlin

I was a camera operator as part of the “Streets of Berlin” project, a group of volunteers in Berlin and a video platform interested in getting the unheard stores of the people who live on the street in Berlin out into the world.  The videos are in German.

In this episode we meet Turan, a man of 58 who has struggled for years with heroin addiction. To earn a living, he has collected returnable bottles or sold lighters on the street. Previously, he also sold clothes at flea markets or bars.  He used to steal bicycles to sell them in order to pay for his habit but he does not take part in any criminal matters these days, since he firmly believes in karma. In this first video, Turan describes how he could not even find his old workplace on a day without heroin.  He also states that he no longer believe in friendships and prefers to live his life alone.

In this second part, Turan talks about criminal behavior, the paralysis of his father, the comparison between Kreuzberg and Steglitz (neighborhoods in Berlin) and people’s eating habits. He also describes how he developed a heroin addiction that started with smoking hashish.  Turan has three children at the time of the taping of this interview, aged 31, 27, and 24.

 

You can find the Streets of Berlin Facebook here.

You can find all of Streets of Berlin’s videos on their YouTube channel here.

Music video shoot for Alfred Ladylike’s “Level Up”

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Some pictures from the Alfred Ladylike “Level Up” video shoot!

Great day with great people!

Watch the video below!

“6 Mal Courage” at 48 Stunden Neukölln

This year I took part in the 48 Stunden Neukölln arts festival, as part of Mathilde Benignus’ project “6 Mal Courage.”  In this project she videotaped 6 foreigners living in Germany on something that they felt shows courage in their every day life.  I chose the “Beschwerdebrief” or “complaint letter,” as this is something that I learned early on in German classes, have found on many German language tests, and seems strongly tied into German culture.  You must know how to complain by letter when living in Germany!

Below you can find my snippet of the video, both with English subtitles and without.

You can find a link to the project here.

You can read more about 48 Stunden Neukölln in English here.