THE INTER-SOCIETY FOR THE ELECTRONIC ARTS
ISEA NEWSLETTER #94

ISSN 1488-3635 #94, November-December 2003
_______________________________________________________________

* CONTENTS *

* ISEA News
* ISEA2004 Update by the ISEA2004 Team
* Message from the ISEA Board by Nina Czegledy, Board Chair
* "Berlin - After the fall" Introduction by Vali Djordjevic & Diana McCarty
* "Berlin Art Scene - Stagnation And New Beginnings" by Ariane Beyn
* "Electronic Culture in Berlin" by Alexandra Essl
* "Electronic music and clubs in Berlin" by Atilano Gonzalez

**************************************************
ISEA News
by Angela Plohman, ISEA Coordinating Director
**************************************************

As you may have noticed, it has been some time since our last
newsletter. To our regret, we were unable to publish an ISEA Newsletter
this autumn, however we are extremely pleased to make up for our absence
with this latest edition, ISEA Newsletter #94, guest edited by Vali
Djordjevic & Diana McCarty, with a special focus on Berlin, Germany.
This issue brings you unique perspectives on the local art scenes, clubs
and electronic culture, with generous contributions by Ariane Beyn,
Alexandra Essl, and Atilano Gonzalez.

We would like to remind all ISEA members that we are always looking for
guest editors for the ISEA Newsletter. If you are interested in editing
an upcoming issue of the ISEA Newsletter focused on your region, please
contact ISEA HQ. All guest editors receive a complimentary one-year
membership to ISEA.

Happy holidays and thank you for your continued support of ISEA in 2004!

-- ISEA News

ISEA2006 HOST ANNOUNCED
The Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts (ISEA) is extremely pleased to
announce that the Thirteenth International Symposium on Electronic Art
(ISEA2006) will be held in San Jose, California, USA. After careful
evaluation of the four exceptionally strong bids received through an
open call for proposals, the ISEA Board unanimously decided to accept
the proposal submitted by the San Jose Convention & Visitors Bureau in
collaboration with the City of San Jose; San Jose State University CADRE
Institute; San Jose Museum of Art; ZeroOne: The Art and Technology
Network; the Tech Museum of Innovation; and Cultural Initiatives Silicon
Valley. Steve Dietz, former Curator of New Media at the Walker Art
Center in Minneapolis, will act as ISEA2006 Symposium Director. More at 
<http://www.isea-web.org/eng/16122003.html>

ISEA MEMBERSHIP 2004
We would like to announce that ISEA has a new policy of calendar-year
memberships, effective immediately. We are confident that this new
policy will make it easier to renew and keep track of your ISEA
membership. Current members will receive renewal notices by embership. Current members will receive renewal notices by email before
the end of the year. In addition, we would like to announce the return
of ISEA Associate Memberships for those unable to pay the full
membership fee. And don't forget that ISEA also offers student and
senior discounts. Please do not hesitate to contact ISEA HQ for more
details.

2004 JOURNAL DISCOUNTS FOR ISEA MEMBERS
We are pleased to announce our continued partnerships with Digital
Creativity, Leonardo and Mediamatic. 2004 subscription discount forms for 
ISEA members, for Leonardo and Digital Creativity, are now available through
ISEA HQ.

**************************************************
ISEA2004 Update
by the ISEA2004 Team
**************************************************

Plans for ISEA2004 are progressing well. The event, to be held in Stockholm,
Tallinn, Helsinki and on a ferry from 14 - 22 August, 2004, is the first
time that an ISEA has been held across three countries and this has provided
for a great deal of interest and a few challenges.

ISEA has traditionally been programmed by an International Programming
Committee (IPC).  For ISEA2004, The Committee is Chaired by Tapio Mkel,
the Chair for Helsinki and the overall event.  The Committee  comprises 41
internationally recognised leaders in their field selected in part by the
local organisers and in part by the Inter-Society for Electronic Art. (See
below for a full list of IPC members.)

We have been delighted to received some 1,400 proposals through the two
closing dates in February and September. All submissions were done via our
website using a web form and stored into a database. This procedure allowed
us to have the proposals reviewed by IPC members online.  Proposals were
assessed in the thematic areas determined for the project:  Networked
Experience, Wearable Experience, Wireless Experience, Histories of the New,
Critical Interaction Design, Open Source and Software as Culture,
Geopolitics of Media and Interfacing Sound (in collaboration with Koneisto
Festival for Electronic Music and Arts <http://www.koneisto.com>).

Tapio, along with the other Programme Chairs, Peter Hagdahl (Stockholm) and
Mare Tralla (Tallinn), has been working over the last weeks on developing
the shortlist of proposals following the IPC evaluations.
Artists will be notified of the results in early January and the highlights
programme for the event will be launched in February 2004.

We have now secured a ferry which will be entirely dedicated to ISEA2004
participants for three days of travel and programming.  We are very excited
about this adventure.  Details will be announced in January.
Keep your eye out on the ISEA2004 web site for updates.  And make sure you
book your ferry tickets early!  Sales will start in February!

Best regards for the Festive Season and a good start to the New Year!
The ISEA2004 team
http://www.iseat to the New Year!
The ISEA2004 team
http://www.isea2004.net

ISEA2004 International Programming Committee

Networked Experience: Peter Hagdahl (Chair), Geert Lovink,  Steve Dietz,
Cecilia Andersson,  Rejane Spitz,  Irina Aristarkhova,  Christiane Paul

Wearable Experience: Mare Tralla (Chair), Sabine Seymour, Iliyana Nedkova,
Lisa Moren, Andrew Chetty

Wireless Experience: Tapio Makela (Chair), Machiko Kusahara, Gunalan
Nadarajan, Matt Locke, Eunhye Chung, Nalini Kotamraju

Histories of the New: Tapio Makela (Chair), Maria Ferndandez, Erkki Huhtamo,
Andres Burbano, Naomi Matsunaga, Ana Peraica

Interfacing Sound: Tapio Makela (Chair), Chris Csikszentmihlyi, Rasa Smite,
Michael Century, Norie Neumark

Open Source and software as culture: Graham Harwood (Chair), Anne Nigten,
Juha Huuskonen, Miller Puckette, Ryszard W. Kluszczynski

Critical Interaction Design: Minna Tarkka (Chair), Sara Ilstedt Hjelm,
Natalie Jeremijenko, Paul Dourish, Greg Garvey

Geopolitics of Media: Mare Tralla (Chair), Eric Kluitenberg, Fatima Lasay,
Nancy Adajania, Artur Matuck


**************************************************
Message from the ISEA Board
by Nina Czegledy, ISEA Board Chair
**************************************************

This note is posted from Helsinki, where preparations for ISEA2004 are 
advanced. In addition to the strong bids for future symposia, it is a 
source of pride that 1400 completed submissions (in all categories) have 
been received for next summer. The shortlist of accepted submissions is now
being finalized, results to be posted soon. We sincerely hope for a large 
crowd of participants in all three cities, where museums, galleries, 
conference venues, organizations, academics, artists and the general public 
are getting ready to receive us. I hope to see you all on the ISEA ferry
boat next summer!

Congratulations to the San Jose Convention & Visitors Bureau and 
collaborating organizations for the strong and successful bid for ISEA2006.
Sincere thanks are due to the short listed applicants for their efforts and 
impressive submissions.

On behalf of the ISEA Board, I would like to wish you all a Happy Holiday 
Season and New Year.

- Nina Czegledy
ISEA Board Chair
 

**************************************************
Berlin - After the fall
Introduction by Vali Djordjevic & Diana McCarty
**************************************************

The city of Berlin [1] has an illustrious past, full of social and economic
upheavals, extreme political changes, and wars - all of which have marked the
urban landscape. The boom and bust cycles with their monumental destruction
and rebuilding projects are well known. In recent years, much of Berlin's
attention and economic resources were devoted to reunification; massive
projects like the reconstruction of Potsdamer Platz, and the renovation of
Mitte & Prenzlauer Berg took place primarily in the East. Prior to the
political changes of the late 80's, both East and West Berlin had active
cultural scenes. In the West, an eclectic youth developed an alternative
lifestyle of squatted houses, bars and arts spaces. Few had financial
worries as relocating from other cities had economic benefits. Districts
like Kreuzberg saw squatters living among a large Turkish and Kurdish
population. In the East, a thriving underground Punk scene and living room
poetry readings were part of the cultural life. After the political changes,
the city was transformed once more. Cheap rents, government subsidies and
open minds gave rise to a city rich in cultural capital. Part fact, part
fiction, the Berlin of the late 80's and early 90's did offer many people
the chance to realize dreams.

Nowadays, the situation is quite different. On the square in front of the
Hackescher Markt station there are often groups of students gathering around
mobile blackboards or pillars with maps of far away countries. Some of them
hand out leaflets to the passers-by protesting against the city council
plans to cut down university budgets. The German capital can't afford
education for its young people anymore. But these are not the only public
services to be cut down; the prices for public pools tripled during the last
two years, child-care fees will double next year, public parks are not
maintained due to a lack of funds. Berlin is in a crisis. 50 billion Euros
in debt, no other city in Germany is as broke as the capital.

Berlin is, in many instances, not your typical western capital. With an
unemployment rate of 17.3 percent (that is nearly 300.000 people), it
clearly belongs to the eastern part of Germany. The average unemployment
rate in the country is about 10 percent or about 4 million people, but these
numbers are not distributed evenly: in the former western republics, only 8
percent are without work compared to more than 17 percent in the former east
[1]. In Berlin you can add a corrupt political class and and the
accompanying bank scandal [2]. The result is a bankrupt city.

So the spending power is low. It is not as easy as it was to find a job that
would pay the bills and still allow spare time to make culture  be it
digital or analogue. Things looked good in the middle of the nineties.
Hundreds of small companies set up shop and wanted to get rich fast, selling
their knowledge. Information seemed to be a valuable good. Then came the
fall, like everywhere else. For Berlin, it was worse as there was no
traditional economy to compensate for it.

The rents are still cheap and in some areas, even falling. In the adjoining
districts of Berlin-Mitte (Center) many small artists and designer groups
are renting shops for low rent and  can organize exhibitions and events. But
the glamour is gone. It is difficult to make art if you have to worry about
paying the rent. Berlin has to take care that it won't lose the last
capital it still has  the people.

Of course, there are plenty of events in Berlin. Large scale
international events like the Berlinale garner media attention and attract
large audiences to see the films or go star searching at Potsdamer Platz.
The Berlin Biennial fills Mitte art galleries and institutions to bursting
with artists and art fans. Then there is the Berlin Art Fair, which keeps up
its attempt to make an impact on the international art scene. Popkomm,  a
large music fair, formerly based in Cologne is also moving to Berlin.
Smaller events like Urban Drift, markeB and the club transmediale offer more
intimate venues for local and international works in music, architecture and
electronic culture.  For the new media crowd the main event of the year is
the transmediale festival [3]. This year it flies under the banner "Fly
Utopia" and intends to examine "the power of utopian ideas in an age
dominated by the dreams, horrors and frustrations of science and
technology." Antonio Negri as the keynote speaker surely will add to this
motto and attract a diverse audience.

Transmediale's now not so new location is the former Congress Hall [4].
Since 2000, it takes place in this extraordinary location reminiscent of an
alien spaceship coming directly from the pulp novels of the 40s and 50s.
Built in 19n this extraordinary location reminiscent of an
alien spaceship coming directly from the pulp novels of the 40s and 50s.
Built in 1957 by the American architect Hugh Stubbins, it was a gift from
the American government to the city of west-Berlin, sending a signal about
the American intention to spread its ideas of freedom and democracy in the
world. For the building to be seen in east Berlin  the Wall just a few
hundred meters away -  an artificial mound was erected.

After the building collapsed in the beginning of the 80s, burying a
journalist and inspiring the name of the German post-Punk band Einstende
Neubauten, it was reconstructed and now accommodates the House of World
Cultures, dedicated to the task to bring international arts and culture to
Germany.

In spite of the economic woes, Berlin is still a thriving city where
theater, poetry, literature and even opera find an audience. The following
texts provide an overview of what the local art scenes, clubs and electronic
culture have to offer.

URLs:
[1] http://www.stadtentwicklung.berlin.de/bauen/wanderungen/index_en.shtml
[2] http://www.arbeitsamt.de/hst/services/statistik/berlin/index.html [german]
[3] http://www.berliner-bankenskandal.de/ [german]
[4] http://www.transmediale.de/
[5] http://www.hkw.de/

** 
Vali Djordjevic and Diana McCarty live and work in Berlin. They are active
on the fringes of art and media. Djordjevic is free lance journalist and
member of mikro.org. McCarty is a freelance producer and member of
bootlab.org.


**************************************************
Berlin Art Scene - Stagnation And New Beginnings
Ariane Beyn
**************************************************

Looking back at last year, it is difficult to say which art events best
deserve the label 'highlight'. Instead, stagnation or defeat seems to have
dominated the general situation in Berlin; due to energy consuming struggles
of survival or to surfeit is sometimes hard to tell.

A recent example was the foreseeable run down of Berlin's art fair [6],
which was founded in the early recuperation of the art market in 1996,
despite Berlin's much-discussed lack of solvent art collectors.
Subsequently, bad management, the city going bankrupt with a corrupt
property deal, and, after failed attempts to pull forces together, a limited
willingness of many Berlin-based galleries to collaborate, left this year's
fair further away than ever from its ambitious initial concept: to stake a claim on
the potential of Berlin's attractive 'young and experimental art scene' and
on the networks of the galleries to win international galleries, collectors,
and curators for a small, but first-rate young fair. In 2003, the larger
part of the formerly 'young', today internationally successful Berlin-based
galleries dropped the "Art Forum Berlin" altogether. In this crucial
situation, the fair organization showed little imagination and failed to
'strike back.' For example, by filling the gap with local art projects or
project spaces. Only a few weeks after a mediocre, highly conventional
program had taken over at the "Art Forum", the core of Berlin's galleries
debuted on a large scale at a competing fair in London, set up by
"Frieze" art magazine. Here, also the Berlin-based artists Klaus Weber, Tino
Sehgal or Monica Bonvicini with B Friedrich, Berlin, presented works in
'statement'-booths.

The notion of an "art scene" shifts with London's situation, where on a
Sunday thousands pour into the New Tate to see a work by Olafur Eliasson
after it was reproduced on the frontpages of most English newspapers. In
Berlin, a leisure-time audience for contemporary art is only slowly growing
into visibility. Newspapers never headline with contemporary art and even
though awards were distributed, the media still do not consider visual
artists to be pop-stars. In today's specific situation, Berlin's museums
would definitely profit from a slight redefinition of their focus group
towards the so-called 'art scene'. Too often, ambitious museum exhibitions
of contemporary art in Berlin have left mainly one question unanswered: who
exactly do the curators address with this? (lately: "Berlin-Moskau" at
Martin Gropius Bau, "Face up" at Hamburger Bahnhof). But how to evaluate the
inside underrated, outside often overrated quality of Berlin's art scene?
All art and culture workers in Berlin, including the artists who arrive from
all over the world, together form their own critical and professional
audience - and this 'pool' seems to be the real potential of Berlin's art
scene today. This scene can be located in commercial art galleries as well
as in subcultural project spaces or in the few small, but relevant art
institutions. Here, it is at work on the productive and on the receptive
side, this way constantly re-setting its own standards, similar to a
specialized film festival, where professionals are stuck in one place for
days only to watch and discuss each other's work.

Three Berlin-based art magazines attract different reader-audiences inside
and outside of Berlin. The founders of the magazine "Neue Review" bank on
the joint forces of a 'professional audience' when they invite artists,
curators and critics to the experiment of writing reviews in couple or group
authorship. Obviously this concept automatically increases the number of
readers. On the other hand the art critics who recently founded the "u_spot"
magazine take a risky path when they locate their peer group in Berlin but
among a less informed audience. The artists who publish "starship", which
has generated a number of extensive issues so far, can build on connections
to the art scenes of Vienna and Cologne.

The fair debacle showed the necessity to vacillate between the local
experiment and a stabilizing outside, a broader international public or an
art market on a larger scale. Another strategy of survival in times of
limited public funding is collaborative projects and temporary coalitions,
which today successfully constitute Berlin's art program to a large part.
Since it has become almost impossible for institutional or independent art
spaces to sustain a continuous program, everybody is busy with teaming up
and sharing funding for temporary events (or very long-term projects on a
small scale).


Two theater related projects proved that the format of the platform still
has enough experimental drive to harness the available potentials. For a
"kiosk for usable knowledge" [7] on urban politics by Tulip House inc. a
two-story wood construction was put up on Rosa-Luxemburg Platz. Following a
concept of artist Stephen Craig, the spatial situation favored intimate
dialogues between invited guests over public lectures. Documents of the
events were projected or left in an archive open to the public. In October,
Matthias Lilienthal's HAU-series [8] started out in three theaters -
amalgamated due to financial stringency - with an "art and crime"
performance art festival, recently followed by 24 hours of protest lectures
by members of Berlin's battered universities. Another variable platform is
"Urban Drift" [9], which was present at festivals since 1999 and launched as
a panel event on architecture and urban space at Caf Moskau in 2002. It now
continues the discourse with exhibitions in a project space at Zoo Station.
Maybe a similar concept will catch on at the German pavilion of the Venice
Biennial of Architecture in 2004, curated by "Urban Drift" initiator,
Francesca Ferguson.

Compared to the arguments in Berlin's local art scene which accompanied the
first Berlin Biennial in 1998, the 3rd Biennial [10] in February 2004 seems
to draw near in complete silence. Curator Ute Meta Bauer and her team count on
the collaboration with different local institutions and project spaces,
including, for the first time, the important Arsenal cinema, where one focal
point of the curatorial concept, an extensive film program will be shown. In
contrast to the previous Biennials, the 2004 Biennial organizers seem to
attach great importance to the Berlin-based art scene as an audience.
Projects like a collaboration with the "reboot.fm" free radio channel may be
overseen by the internationd art scene as an audience.
Projects like a collaboration with the "reboot.fm" free radio channel may be
overseen by the international party guests, but will leave an impression on
local politics and local scenes.

URLs:
[6] http://www.art-forum-berlin.de/
[7] http://www.ersatzmedia.info/engl/veranst/mob.html
[8] http://www.hebbel-am-ufer.de/geschichte_2.html
[9] http://www.urbandrift.org/
[10] http://www.berlinbiennale.de/bb3/bb3_en.html

**
Ariane Beyn
is a Berlin-based Ph.D. candidate in art history and a curator. In 2002
curated "Hearing Aid" on sound works of the Canadian experimental filmmaker
Michael Snow. Co-Curator of "Utopia Station" at Venice Biennale of Art 2003.
Reports regularly from Berlin for www.artforum.com.


**************************************************
Electronic Culture in Berlin
Alexandra Essl
**************************************************

Berlin is predestined for subculture in many ways, so I only can provide a
small insight into a few special electronic culture projects in the city.
Beforehand, I want to mention that many people interested in culture use the
legal ability to found a 'Verein' as as a easy possibility for cultural
action. The so called Verein is a registered association and non-profit
organization which allows many forms of activities.

The first project presented is the 'c-base' [11]. The legend goes like this:
 In 1995, the remains of a 4.5 billion year old space-station were recovered
below Berlin-Mitte. Its story, however, starts in the remote future as it
crashed to earth during time travel and got stuck in the past. After a
strange artifact with the inscription 'c-base project - be future
compatible' was discovered, a constantly expanding reconstruction team was
established. The space-station has the form of a 'C' devided into 7 rings,
which represent 7 workgroups (clamp, carbon, cience, creactive, culture,
communication, core). Nowadays, a crew of human beings including all ages,
genders, races and social situations is working on several related projects;
Workshops and seminars about 2D and 3D design and animation, lectures on
Open Source, programming languages and Wireless LAN take place. Moreover,
they organize exhibitions, performances, events and parties, e.g. in the
past: webcuts - internet film festival, bordsynthese - live electronic music
event, the freifunk.net summer convention [12], and more. Currently you are
able to visit parts of the space-station at Rungestrasse 20, Berlin-Mitte.

>From January, 30th to February, 7th 2004 c-base is organizing PRIMETIME, a
partner event of the International Media Art Festival, Transmediale.04 -
'Fly Utopia' [13]. The new and improved Transmediale festival goes into its
fourth year inviting artists, film-makers, theoreticians and political
activists to show their work and talk about the pressing issues of the media
society. Transmediale invites the world over to Berlin, still a provincial
city in many ways, and is one of the only options for a larger audience to
see new media work. That is, funding for electronic culture is still very
limited.

Another independent project associated with c-base is the BerlinBackBone
[14], an collaborative effort to establish a large, city wide Wireless LAN
network. Sven Wagner, one of the initiators, explains it: "The
BerlinBackBone is a result of the free thinking culture in Berlin and the
need to get a payable high bandwidth internet gateway. The project was born
out of the need to get an internet connection for the c-base project located
at Rungestrasse 20 in Berlin. In this area it is not possible to get a
normal DSL connect from any company. The status of the BerlinBackBone right
now is that we are trying to setup an autonomous wireless data cloud over
the roofs of Berlin."

Then there is the bootlab e.V. [15], located in Berlin-Mitte, in the
abandoned telegraph bureau. Mainly oriented towards digital production, this
Verein hosts various groups and individuals that work with different forms
of media. Their public space, Raum3, hosts workshops, film and video
screenings, exhibitions, and lectures. In February of 2004, bootlab goes on air, when
reboot.fm will broadcast on local FM radio for 100 days.

One of the oldest groups working on the intersection of electronic and
computer geek culture is the Chaos Computer Club [16]. Their
characterization given in their FAQs states: "We demand freedom and flow of
information without censorship. Although we enjoy to discuss and analyze
recent advances in information technology, our focus is on addressing the
issues of our time by giving targeted recommendations for a public policy
able to deal with these issues in an intelligent manner." They are very
active on the topics of data security and carried out some spectacular hacks
during the 80s and 90s raising questions about what the big corporations and
the government is doing with the individual data of the people.

The male geek portion prevailed very much in the past. But the women and
girls are catching up very fast. They founded a subgroup called Haecksen [17],
to support each other in making their mark larger on this still male
dominated field.

Each year during the bleak days between Christmas and New Year the CCC organizes
the international Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin - from
December, 27th to December, 29th 2003 in the Berlin Congress Center [18].
This is definitely the place to be for every computer geek and geekess.

If all this is too much to take in, then consider just stopping by the
Automatenbar, mentioned in the music part of this newsletter, for a drink
and a dose of local electronic culture.

Links
[11] http://www.c-base.org/
[12] http://www.freifunk.net/
[13] http://www.transmediale.de/
[14] http://www.wavelan-berlin.de/
[15] http://www.bootlab.org/ http://reboot.fm/
[16] http://www.ccc.de/
[17] http://www.haecksen.org/
[18] http://www.ccc.de/congress/2003/

**
Alexandra Essl is infected with the virus 'computer' since 1995, addicted to
the electronic music scene since 1989. Now planing and organizing some
events and parties in the electronic music scene.


**************************************************
Electronic music and clubs in Berlin
Atilano Gonzalez
**************************************************

To speak about Berlin's club scene always requires a quick look at the
city's urban development since the wall came down fourteen years ago. Since
then the eastern parts of the city have been taken over first by the youth
and underground culture, then by the investors and their customers. First
they took Mitte, then Prenzlauer Berg. Friedrichshain is still to come. Due
to the bad economic situation it takes much longer than everybody had
expected, so that there are still a lot of more or less legal places where
you can listen to electronic music right in the middle of the town.

Another important aspect to consider is the rather liberal way Berlin's
authorities handle the situation with all these innumerable concert and
party locations. It can happen that they immediately close a new space, but
if there are no complaints from the neighbors an illegal bar can work for
months or even years. Since the parliament and the government moved to
Berlin in 1999 it has become more strict, but even in the summer of 2002 you
could attend dance parties two hundred meters from Parliament and the
chancellors office. It is difficult to imagine something like that happening
in some other city.

And finally there is the tradition to keep the bars open until the very last
customer leaves. Until 1989 that was the best way to deal with the difficult
situation of being surrounded by a wall. There is no complicated system of
licenses as in many other countries, so Berlin nights are regularly very long.

Probably Berlin's most famous and longest running clubs is the TRESOR [19],
located in the vault in the basement of a former bank near to Potsdamer
Platz. The music is Techno, often in a Detroit style. On the first floor the
GLOBUS offers more housy tunes. Fridays they sometimes play Gabba. The most
amazing thing about this place is, that the dance floor downstairs still
feels offers more housy tunes. Fridays they sometimes play Gabba. The most
amazing thing about this place is, that the dance floor downstairs still
feels the same as it did ten years ago. It feels as if you stepped back in
time. It is not clear yet, when they will have to move out of this place.
The investors, who wanted to redesign the building into an entertainment
center, ran out of money, so that the club may stay, but on very short term
renewals of their lease.

Another classic of Berlin's electronic scene is the WMF [20]. In its sixth
venue now, it is located at the Cafe Moskau on Karl Marx Allee, the GDR's
most prestigious attempt to imitate Russian architecture and urbanism. The
WMF started 12 years ago in a squatted house one hundred meters away from
TRESOR, but had to leave when the house was requested back by the owners.
The name WMF originates from this time as the building belonged to the metal
cutlery company WMF whose name was still stuck up at the top of the
building. Even after six different locations the name stayed. The WMF people
have proved an affinity to east German architecture and historical places
and the Cafe Moskau fits perfectly into their concept. It only could be
topped by organizing club nights in the Palace of the Republic, the
grandiose entertainment hall of the former GDR. Fridays the WMF offers
monthly events and Saturdays one can listen and dance to the WMF Djs playing
house music or to the regular live acts.

The club Maria am Ostbahnhof [21] is featuring mostly minimal and
progressive electronic music. It is located in an old industrial space with
minimalistic interior design from young Berlin designers. It hosts the Club
Transmediale [22], whose next turn is from January, 30th till February, 7th
2004. Club Transmediale is dedicated to new forms of electronic music and
media art in the context of sound- and club culture. It is organized in
cooperation with the Berlin media festival Transmediale and offers a lot of
projection screens and enough space for 800 to 1000 people. The program will
be available on the website in the next weeks.

Besides the official long term clubs, there are also many smaller clubs all
over the center of Berlin. To mention some of them: One of the recently
popular ones is RIO at the Chausseestr. 106. in Mitte. Very diverse
electronic bookings Saturdays. Fridays there is house at the
"Rufmichniewiederan" (nevercallmeagain) [23] at Pallisadenstr. 89. A small
club in the basement of an eighties GDR building. Fridays and Saturdays and
right around the corner the PARADIES [24] features more experimental
electronic sounds. Also in the same area you'll find the GOLDEN GATE located
in a pillar of a train bridge close very close to Jannowitzbre. They
feature a lot of different styles from punk rock to hardcore electronics. At
the moment the KINZO's [25] future seems not to be clear, but you should
check, if it still exits at Karl Liebknecht Str. 11, very close to
Alexanderplatz. They play house and related sounds Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Always worth checking the AUSLAND [26] in Prenzlauer Berg, a place for
underground experimental electronics. And in the end two bars featuring
similar sounds, often even live acts. The NBI [27] on Schauser Allee 157,
a cozy lounge with an extremely well compiled program. And the small
Automatenbar [28], which is for members only, but you usually find somebody
to get you in there. It is located on the corner of Neue Schauser Str.
with Mstr. and it consists of vending machines for drinks, music,
visuals, but sometimes they also allow humans to play there. Open 24/7.

This is just a small list. There are many more and every month a new one
appears while others have to close. All these changes the city has gone
through the last ten years have made it more difficult for the underground
club scene, but our impression is that it is still going strong.

vURLs:
[18] http://www.tresorberlin.de/
[19] http://www.wmfclub.de/
[20] http://www.clubmaria.de/
[21] http://clubtransmediale.de/
[22] http://www.ruf-mich-nie-wieder-an.de/
[23] http://www.paradiesberlin.de/
[24] http://www.kinzo-berlin.de/
[25] http://www.ausland-berlin.de/
[26] http://www.music-scan.de/nbi/
[27] http://www.automatenbar.de/; http://www.automatenbar.de/press/

** 
Atilano Gonzalez runs WMF records, the club's label and is addicted to
electronic Berlin nights since 1993.

**************************************************

ISEA Newsletter Contributors: Vali Djordjevic & Diana McCarty (Guest Editors),
Ariane Beyn, Alexandra Essl, Atilano Gonzalez, the ISEA2004 Team, Nina Czegledy.
 
ISEA Board Members:
Peter Anders, Chris Csikszentmihalyi, Nina Czegledy, Gunalan Nadarajan, Anne 
Nigten, Julianne Pierce, Wim van der Plas, Cynthia Beth Rubin, Mark Tribe.

ISEA HQ:
Angela Plohman, Coordinating Director

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