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Poor, but Sexy

Reflections on Berlin Scenes

Edited By Geoff Stahl

Poor, But Sexy: Reflections on Berlin Scenes offers readers a varied cross-section of the city’s scenes, providing a prismatic view of one of Europe’s mythical cultural capitals. The authors gathered here address a range of topics, including Turkish gay clubs, queer filmmaking, record labels, the legendary Russendisko, electronic music festivals, the city’s famous techno scene, the clandestine dimensions of its nighttime club culture, and the fraught emergence of the Mediaspree. With the shifting context of post-Wende Berlin its backdrop, this collection puts into relief an electic array of case studies, presenting to readers interested in exploring urban issues a number of critical and analytical perspectives on the city’s cultural life as it moves into the twenty-first century. Poor, But Sexy is an important contribution to the critical analysis of the cultural spaces in the city, and allows readers access to one of the few scholarly overviews of Berlin’s varied cultural life available in English.
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Getting By and Growing Older: Club Transmediale and Creative Life in the New Berlin: Geoff Stahl

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GEOFF STAHL

Getting By and Growing Older: Club Transmediale and Creative Life in the New Berlin

In times characterized by public and commercial organisations’ growing demands for security and control, to consciously work with the unpredictable, even if “only” within the arts field, not infrequently amounts to an assertion of provocative independence, and defiance of the paralysing regime of diffuse paranoia. To embrace the unpredictable is to pay tribute to our common experience of contingency as a positive creative factor and to open up new levels of meaning. It entails the risk of possible failure but, equally, the promise of being propelled by the dynamics of open-ended processes beyond familiar cultural, personal and artistic borders into new realms of experience. (Oliver Baurhenn, Jan Rohlf and Remco Schuurbiers, CTM: Unpredictable Programme,2008, 4)

Ex-Berliner: How has the idea of the festival evolved in 10 years? Oliver Baurhenn: We’ve created structures. When we started, it was this grassroots thing, nobody cared about things like taxes and contracts. We’ve created demand from outside, but also from inside. We always tell ourselves “the next festival will have to be the best festival.”People from outside also have high expectations. After 10 years of survival, people want to have money. (Ex-Berliner, 12 Jan. 12 2009, 9)

In January 2014, the electronic arts and music festival, CTM (formerly Club Transmediale), celebrated its fifteenth anniversary. During that period, this annual event has been a showcase for contemporary electronic visual...

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