Archive for January, 2012

Transmediale 2012

Monday, January 30th, 2012
© Vibek Raj Maurya

© Vibek Raj Maurya

 Transmediale 2012 in Berlin, from 31/1 till 5/2. When everything fails;

Incompatibility is the condition arising when things are not working together. Given the current worldwide proclamations of crisis, be they political, financial, technological or environmental, it may seem as if incompatible elements and situations are everywhere, that everything is failing. Ironically, it is the supposedly ever-more compatible media-scape, where everything connects, that render such crises instantly visible. This raises the question if connective media and all-present data collection are even complicit in the production of crisis itself? Where do incompatibilities arise and how are they integrated in a world-order built on the paradox that it is predicated on convergence, but is in fact also constantly leading to divergence?


These are among the difficult questions we aim to tackle at transmediale 2012. With the theme in/compatible, the festival probes the productive and destructive sides of incompatibility as a fundamental condition of cultural production. To be in/compatible means to refuse a quick return to business as usual. It means to instead dare an investment in the unusual: aesthetic, ambiguous and nervous expressions of politics and technology that are contingent with the dark sides of network culture.


The too old and the too new are two sides of the same coin: nothing ever works perfectly.


Since years we have heard about the coming “promised land” of convergent technology, culture and economy as proclaimed by new media entrepreneurs, neo-liberal economists and development experts. Instead of a smooth operation, it is increasingly clear that processes of convergence bring about new tensions in everyday life,economy, politics and technology. Tensions and states of crisis are not contradictory to convergence which is instead a process that should be understood as dependent on the production of the incompatible.


“The media age proceeds in jerks, just like Turing’s paper strip,” Friedrich Kittler wrote, and in this he could just as well have been talking about technological development in general where the production of incompatibilities is central to having any development at all.


The simultaneous monumental failure and global ubiquity of technology seems to move us beyond the polarity of utopia and dystopia. Instead we are entering the blurred environments of the unadapted, monstrous and “uncorporated”. The increasingly unclear tension-states between open and closed, freedom and control, idealistic and commercial are giving rise to a new kind of “techno-cultural uneasy”. The in/compatible in this context is a singular moment of transversal reflection. Artists, hackers and tinkerers engage the imperfect nature of technology. They give it a cultural shape, developing a modular reflexivity that responds to the ever-changing social and economical terrains of the networked world.


transmediale 2012 is an in/compatible being, moving not necessarily forward.


More than a failed operation, incompatibilities lie at the heart of the governance of the inherent differences in network culture. This means that the incompatible is not the outside of networks but it is an internal and constant state of disruption which is necessary in order to enable the “open” state of a never completed system. Capitalism evolves according to the principle of “creative destruction”, as Joseph Schumpeter once formulated it. Allowing for incompatibility is central to the capitalist logic of always being “open to business”, the constant integration of new areas of production. But this does not necessarily mean that incompatibility always leads to co-optation. The in/compatible moment produces a gap in capitalist production, a temporary moment of stasis which may be used to reflect on where we are going, if anywhere at all, and on what conditions.


As an in/compatible being, transmediale 2012 highlights projects and cultural phenomena that saviour this stop in the incessant flow of things and posits it as a moment of tension that allows for a redefinition of our initial terms of engagement. The in/compatible being is one that moves with the particular rhythms of this tension, but not necessarily forward. Contrary to the fear of the incompatible, so prevalent in the age of cloud-computing, the festival raises the question of what happens when incompatibility is brought to the fore rather than hidden away in the dark underbelly of digital culture?

image: Photos of e-waste found on Flickr (2009) by Vibek Raj Maurya
© Vibek Raj Maurya

Klick here to view the Programm

If you are planning on visiting the Transmediale and still looking for accommodation in Berlin, don´t look any further! We are a nice and clean hostel in Berlin Prenzlauer Berg and we offer a 10% discount for Transmediale Visitors.  In order to get the discount all you need to do is make a booking through our website and at check in mention the code word TRANSMEDIALE!  We are looking forward to welcome you!!

The best places for vegetarian Food in Berlin

Monday, January 16th, 2012



Ann´s blog on veggie food in Berlin. 

I will share some of my favorite places to eat  with you!

As I am a vegetarian, I am always keen on trying new (vegetarian) restaurants. Most of the regular restaurants serve vegetarian food too, so now worries, if you are a vegetarian you definitely won´t starve here :)!

As Berlin is a big city I will now only focus on eateries that are located close to the   hostel in Prenzlauer Berg .

Located in one of the hippest streets in the district Prenzlauer Berg, Kastanienallee (or among locals often called: Casting allee), there is a small authentic Libanese Restaurant serving the best Falafal in town! The place is called Babel!
Also worth while is trying their Haloumi cheese sandwich, yummie. As in most arabic restaurants they serve tea for free. In summer there is a nice terrace outisde on the sidewalk. From here you have a great view over the Casting allee and all the beautiful hippsters walking down this road!!

Okay, sometimes as a vegetarian you have the urge for fast food, for a hamburger for instance. But the problem is most of the vegetarian hamburgers taste crappy.
I was so suprised as I finally found a great and really tasty vegetarian burger. If you want to try it you should go to the white trash fast food restaurant!!

Since you are ofcourse also interested in trying German food, at first you might think it´s nothing for you since there is a lot of meat involved.
But there is one dish that I really love and it is 100% meatless: it is KÄSESPÄTZLE. It is a kind of pasta like dish, with melted cheese and rosted onions, eat a salat with it and it´s a perfect meal. Try it at one of the nicest traditional german restaurants, Schwarzwaldstube!


Enjoy eating in Berlin!!

What to do in Berlin? Visit the former Stasi Prison!

Monday, January 9th, 2012


Stasi Prison (c) Sulamith Sallmann

Pay a visit to the former Stasi Prison in Berlin Hohenschönhausen, and learn more about the GDR times.

The Stasi Prison Memorial is always worthwhile a visit. You need to keep in mind that you can only visit on a tour. You will be guided through the prison building and outside areas. You will hear stories, sometimes from firsthand, because some of the guides have stayed at the prison themselves.

It is an unique opportunity for you to learn more about the Berlin History while being at a uniquely remained historical sight. A lot of the old furniture is still there, so it offers a really good view of how it was, and what it looked like.

When you get in a sort of creepy feeling comes over you, history gets more lively when you not only read about it but when you really visit the places where it all happened. I got  a really shivery feeling at some of the stories that had been told during the tour.


Thousands of political prisoners passed through this jail, almost all prominent figures who where opponents of the GDR – regime where held prison at Hohenschönhausen.


The location of the Stasi Prison, was in a strictly hermeneutic sealed area, in a military district. Before the prisoners where transported to the prison they where blindfolded an put into a van. Driving and driving for hours and hours in circles, just in means to disorientate the prisoner. As they finally arrived at Hohenschönhausen they had absolutely no clue that they where still in Berlin. To disorientate the prisoners was one of the many methods  the stasi used to get information from the inhabitants of the stasi prison!

This area never appeared on any map and was kept very secretly.

Follow this link for a map of the historical location.

For opening hours: you can check their website for further details and to get information on the various exhibitions that are being held.

Besides the tours through the building they also have an exhibition space, for permanent and temporary exhibitions. All exhibitions encourage and stimulate critical reflection on the forms and consequences of political persecution and suppression under the communist dictatorship.
Opening hours for the exhibitions, daily from 9am till 6pm. There is no entrance fee so you can visit the exhibitions for free!
To check which exhibitions are currently on, follow this LINK

English speaking tours are on every Wednesday and Saturday at 2.30 pm. Tours in German are on more frequent, from Monday till Friday at 11am, 1 pm and 3pm, and on Saturday, Sunday and Holidays every hour between 10am and 4pm.
The cost of the tour is 5€, if you are a student you pay 2,50€.
Most of the tours are being guided by a contemporary witness or a historicist.

Here some information on how to get to Hohenschönhausen, from the EastSeven Berlin Hostel.
Also a map: klick here
To get there you first take the U2 from Senefelderplatz, in direction Ruhleben, get off at Alexanderplatz. From Alexanderplatz you take the M5 in direction Zingster Strasse. You get out at the stop Freienwalderstrasse. From here you can walk there.
If you need help with how to get there, just come ask us at the hostel in central Berlin, EastSeven!

What to do in Berlin in 2012?

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012


@ EastSeven Lounge

@ EastSeven Lounge

Happy new year to all our friends from all over the world!
A lot of great parties and exhibitions are awaiting us in Berlin in 2012.
We have listed up some of the finest upcoming events. Read on and plan your trip to Berlin!


On almost 400 square kilometres – between Glienicke Palace, the Museum at the
Waterplant Friedrichshagen and the Museum of Local History Reinickendorf – more
than 100 museums and cultural institutions are giving access to their exhibitions,
collections and art objects throughout the night, enriched by a variety of events.
There will also be concerts, readings, theatricals and much more.


@ haus der kulturen der welt

transmediale is preparing to get in/compatible in 2012. The theme in/compatible probes the artistic imagination that is developed in a network culture where everything seems to connect, but not all fits in or works together. Under this festival theme we will present a diverse international programme: a two-day thematic symposium, a curated exhibition, an extensive video programme and a performance series which includes the legendary Joshua Light Show. Another highlight is the launch of a new project platform, the reSource for transmedial culture, which will present itself through an experimental programme of workshops, open discussions and performative interventions. The occasion of the 25th anniversary of transmediale will be marked by special screenings and panel discussions. On top of all this, we are partnering up with CTM for a festival Vorspiel consisting of partner events spread all over the city in the weekend immediately preceding our opening.



Berlin: an exciting, cosmopolitan cultural hub that never ceases to attract artists from around the world. A diverse cultural scene, a critical public and an audience of film-lovers characterise the city. In the middle of it all, the Berlinale: a great cultural event and one of the most important dates for the international film industry. Around 300,000 sold tickets, more than 19,000 professional visitors from 115 countries, including 4,000 journalists: art, glamour, parties and business are all inseparably linked at the Berlinale.


Japanese composer and visual artist Ryoji Ikeda has conceived an exhibition for the
Hamburger Bahnhof that, for the first time, compositionally unites the two symmetrical
halls on the upper level of the museum’s east and west wings. The exhibition’s title “db”
(abbr. for decibel) refers to this symmetry while simultaneously indicating the
complementary relationship between the two exhibition spaces.
Ikeda has designed the white room and the black room as counterparts, not only physically
(brightness, color), but also conceptually and perceptually. The project is a composition in
which time and space are shaped through the most minimal use of sound, light and visual
elements. It is the artist’s first solo exhibition in Germany.
Since the mid-1990s, Ryoji Ikeda (born 1966, lives in Paris) has been among the foremost
international composers and artists in the realm of cutting-edge digital technologies and
their integration into visual and acoustic presentations. His works are based on
spatiotemporal compositions in which the musical and visual material is reduced to a
minimum: sine waves, sound pulses, pixels of light and numerical data. He investigates
sound, time and space on the basis of mathematical methods and transforms them in his
concerts and installations into an intense experience for the audience.
The exhibition “db” by Ryoji Ikeda is the latest project in the “Works of Music by Visual
Artists” series, which Freunde Guter Musik Berlin has presented in collaboration with the
Nationalgalerie Berlin since 1999 and, since 2002, also with MaerzMusik, the
contemporary music festival of the Berliner Festspiele.
A project by Freunde Guter Musik Berlin e.V. in collaboration with Nationalgalerie im
Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin and MaerzMusik 2012 |
Berliner Festspiele.
Made possible by funding from Ernst Schering Foundation and
Hauptstadtkulturfonds. With thanks to Gallery Koyanagi, Tokyo.
of cours also a lot of partying in the new year!! you can start for instance this Friday at

What´s on:

Zeitgeist Sessions feat Kingdom & C.R.S.T at Horst Krzbrg

24 – 7:00H
Horst Krzbrg: Tempelhofer Ufer 1; Kreuzberg; 10961 Berlin

Kingdom, C.R.S.T., Martin Lewis, Mene Axelrod, Ill_K
Zeitgeist Sessions takes its winter refuge at Horst Krzbrg!
For the twelfth day edition we have Kingdom (Night Slugs/Fade to Mind) and C.R.S.T.
(Well Rounded/Ten Thousand Yen) joining us.
As for Kingdom: Night Slugs biggest protégé du jour just entered the XLR8R list for track
of the year twice. After having opened a second branch with the Fade to Mind Sublabel
and the Dreama EP just being released, the stateside resident will be eager to play his
amalgam of R&B, HipHop and Contemporary Dance out on this fine Kirsch Audio
soundsystem Horst provides. Not to mention this is his first impact on Berlin…
And as for C.R.S.T.: Comming all the way over from the shores of Cardiff/Wales the
DJ-Collective consisting of Chesus, Raj-Clart, St. Rowdy and Tony Blitz will showcase
some of that inspiration that inhabits their productions on Well Rounded or Doc Daneeka’s
Ten Thousand Yen imprint. None other than Zed Bias warmly recommended their DJ-sets
spiced with lots of Future Garage for the new year to come!

They will be accompanied by upcoming artist Martin Lewis who will give you his definition
of bassmusic with a set of own productions and remixes as a late christmas present. Be
curious about his hybrid of Ghetto Funk, Dubstep and House. And check his little teaser

Mene Axelrod and Biggerdubz’ Ill_K of Impulse/In Beat We Trust fame complete this line
up, taking you on a musical trip through the depths of the subfrequency styles.
Season’s Greetings from Zeitgeist Sessions!

Caboume (garage- fromberlin!)

Starts at 8pm. Also go here for fantastic fast food!!


Cowboy Club, just around the corner from the EastSeven Hostel!!
The band is called Django Lassi and they play gipsy swing music! check it out!

From mid November 2011, the Department of the Islamic Orient will unveil its new
permanent exhibition in newly renovated rooms purposefully allotted to its collection.
Ethnographic collections from Islamic societies can now go on public display for the
first time since the museum’s opening in 1970, when it was called the Museum für
Spread over a total of 850 square metres in four exhibition rooms, ‘Muslims’ Worlds’
takes a look at various topics that continue to play an important role in the way
Muslims perceive themselves and others. Architectural structures, such as the richly
decorated wall of a guest house from Afghanistan, serve as the living embodiment of
various topics, for instance the gender-specific use of space and the convention, now
hotly debated, whereby women are consigned to the private sphere and men to the
Magnificent artefacts from Turkestan, now Central Asia, go some way to answering
questions as to what material cultural artefacts are able to tell us of the identity of the
countries they originate from and what significance historical collections have for
these societies now. The complex diversity of the Islamic religion, its orthodox and
mystical aspects, as well as the phenomena of everyday religious practice are
illustrated through a range of objects taken from various Muslim sources.
All areas of the exhibition include interactive media that give visitors the chance to
experience more on the diverse topics and the social debates surrounding them. (text:


Check our weekly Berlin Hostel Blog to read about events and parties in Berlin!