CTM 2013



programme (pdf) ECAS WP 3 - Stage

CTM 2013
»The Golden Age«
25.01. - 03.02.2013 / Berlin, Germany

The 14th edition of CTM took place from January 28 – February 3, 2013 in different venues in Berlin including the HAU – Hebbel am Ufer, Berghain, Stattbad, and Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, as well as the historic Funkhaus Nalepastrasse, home of the DDR National Broadcasting Corporation until 1990.
Entitled The Golden Age, CTM.13 reflected on the (over-)abundance of music in the modern world and its consequences for individuals, aesthetics, politics and the economy. Never before has such a plethora of fascinating and exciting new music existed, never before has communication between artists and their publics been so direct, and never before have listeners so eagerly opened their ears.

CTM’s 2013 theme took the festival’s mandate of exploring unconventional new music as a starting point to venture further than ever before into the nebulous zone beyond individual genres, styles, formats, scenes, or traditions. Within this murky frontier of interconnected yet radically diverse musical niches, the future of pop music coexists with the avant-gardes of past and present, historically-informed refinement stands next to eclectic mashups, and abstract sound research merges with the club sounds of the moment. The most exciting music emerges where unexpected encounters occur. And it might well be that the conditions for such unbridled creativity have likely never been as favourable as we find them today. The seven-day CTM.13 festival could only begin to convey an idea of this colourful cornucopia. And yet, even in this measure, the risk of overtaxing festival visitors and organizers was very real.

Over 200 artists and professionals from 25 different countries contributed to 120 performances and projects that made up the CTM.13 program, which also included the 6-day Transfer programme that encompassed the Discourse programme of artist talks and film screenings, a collaborative MusicMaker’s Hacklab for music technology, contributions from Universities via performances, installations, and an Education Networking Day, and an exhibition.

ECAS supported events during the festival:
Exhibitions & Installations25.01. - 24.02.2013
Date25.01. - 24.02.2013
ActionInstallation: "Skrillex Variationen for exhibition "In That Weird Age"
ParticipantsRobert Sakrowski
LocationKunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien
Sponsoring PartnersDISK
PrintCTM '13 catalogue, pg. 74
Online References http://www.ctm-festival.de/archive/all-artists/a-e/curatingyoutubenet/

Descriptioncuratingyoutube.net, 2013
Social platforms are the modern form of archives. while facebook organizes everything we want to share with the world, especially moods and daily insights, and flickr displays the picturesque side of our lives, youTube is currently the most appreciated moving image and sound archive. These aggregator platforms are growing every day and present us with a non-linear and a non-chronological presentation format fuelled by users. Everything exists on the same level and is only hierarchically structured by the amount of clicks and a specific »Item-to-Item Collaborative filtering« algorithm.

Curatingyoutube.net (CyT) follows the Beuysian line of »everyone is an artist«. art has become ubiquitous and routine. CyT is therefore a logical, consistent approach in revealing themes, topics, approaches, reactions, re-enactments, and incredible juxtapositions of the over-abundance of materials or »artworks« displayed on youTube.

with »Skrillex Variationen«, CyT presents the manifold forms of appropriation developed in the digital age. CyT re-organizes youTube-videos within thematic video-grids. These grids become an interactive orchestration of images that provide a comparative and analytical view of the new web phenomena. The musician Skrillex and his song »Scary monsters and Nice Sprites« (2010) are the starting point of this research into contemporary web based appropriation art.
Date25.01. - 24.02.2013
ActionExhibition: "o.T." and "Tape" for exhibition "In That Weird Age"
ParticipantsAlexander Dorn
LocationKunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien
Sponsoring PartnersDISK
PrintCTM '13 catalogue, pg. 75
Online References http://www.ctm-festival.de/archive/all-artists/a-e/alexander-dorn/

Description»o.T.« (german for »untitled«) is comprised of a photograph of a blurry sun, inserted into a strange background of a painted forest tortured by a storm. The photo hangs alone on an entire wall in a room – a clean space lit only by a soft overhead light. Depicting neither sunset nor dawn, but a state of uncertainty, and oscillating between painting and photography, the scene creates a fake world. a disturbing effect results from the tension between Object art, painting, and photography, which is wrought in this work.

The work »Tape« is a memorial for the most beloved mix-tapes you used to put in your car radio. you know all songs by heart, have sung or hummed them along during your trips. Sometimes you had to change the tape while driving, handling it without care as you searched for another oft listened tape in your dusty glove compartment. Dorn elevates the lowly tape into an artwork, casting it in bronze and freezing for all posterity, with all its cracks and scratches.
Date25.01. - 24.02.2013
ActionInstallation "- " for exhibition "In That Weird Age"
LocationKunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien
Sponsoring PartnersDISK
PrintCTM '13 catalogue, pg. 75
Online References http://www.ctm-festival.de/archive/all-artists/a-e/doppeldenk/

DescriptionDoppeldenk’s »–« (minus) is the dark half of a work complex loosely revolving around kraftwerk and the associations triggered by their name. Embracing the bad sides of life in a humorous, playful way, the work ambiguously deals with the fall of mankind by examining the complexity humanity’s quest for a better life, which may turn good intentions into bad outcomes and vice versa. with references to Hieronymous Bosch’s »Hell« triptych both in form and by the fusion of elements of pop culture iconography with traditional techniques, »–« is not only a painting, but a triptych that proposes another axis of interpretation on the religion of advancement through technology. The triptych’s left and right wings depict adam and Eve as angry and voluptuous robots surrounded by artefacts of capital sins, capturing the moral and ethical conflicts of a globalized world.
Date25.01. - 24.02.2013
ActionInstallation "Vinyl Rally" for exhibition "In That Weird Age"
ParticipantsLucas Abela
LocationKunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien
Sponsoring PartnersDISK
PrintCTM '13 catalogue, pg. 73
Online References http://www.ctm-festival.de/archive/all-artists/k-o/lucas-abela/

DescriptionIf ever you wondered what could be done with your old vinyl other than preserving it in your personal archive, have a look at the Vinyl Rally, where more than 6000 vinyl records are reused in the construction of a car racing circuit for remote control cars outfitted with styli. picking up all sorts of cacophony as they race about, the cars are also equipped with cameras that transmit their trajectory on a flat screen in an arcade-like sit-in gaming console, where gamers drive the car through the circuit in real-time. This immersive experience also allows gamers to modify sound parameters via a series of unique audio effects mounted onto the cars’ dashboards, giving each one its own distinct sonic flavour. The sounds picked up by the cars’ styli are emitted from speakers built into the game consoles’ seats, causing them to vibrate in correspondence with the movements on screen. This audiovisual and physical experience can only be truly appreciated when seated at the controls.

CTM.13 Theme

Under the conditions deployed by digital culture, globalization and postmodernism, that which has always been key aspirations and promise of art and pop culture now fully unfolds: unleashed subjectivity and an unharnessed imaginary meet the wide public acceptance of its diverse forms of expression. Those manifest not so much as essential originality but rather as the products of continuous processes of self-design based on the eclectic or syncretic appropriation and transformation of already existing materials.

Against this backdrop, today’s music presents itself as more diverse than ever before, and never before have the listeners’ ears been so receptive. This “anything goes” situation, barely constrained by canons, technological limitations or gatekeeper authorities, fosters what appears to be a paradisical flowering of fully realized creative potential: The Golden Age. Its hallmark is a kind of ubiquitous eclecticism or syncretism, that equally characterizes contemporary art music, pop-cultural niches and remnants of the mainstream, and brushes aside tired differentiation between high and low.

But when self-expression, once a heavily-contested strategy for emancipation, becomes the norm within digital capitalism’s gift economy, that which at first glance appears to be the manifestation of long-fought-for creative freedom quickly reveals its shadow side: the dire economic situation of many artists, the constraints imposed by major technology and communication providers’ own agendas, the breathless pressure of real-time media, arbitrariness, competition for the limelight, narcissism, redundancy, and the justifiable fear of going under in the current mass of fast-track productions, if ever one fails to constantly feed new output into the sheer endless channels through which music must make its mark today. are just some of the buzzwords up for discussion. Consequently, not all artists optimistically welcome the explosion of aesthetic diversity on the digital matrix, or the opportunities for recombination it affords them. By radically restricting themselves to a limited range of source material and strictly defined methods, or by stubbornly working through meticulous variations on long since established styles, such artists swim against the current, even when their work thereby turns out no less eclectic than anyone else’s.

Eclecticism has been a base credo for the CTM Festival since the get-go, and 2013 was no different. Under the consciously polemic and glistening, ambivalent theme The Golden Age, the festival investigated artistic approaches to the contemporary cornucopia and the yawning chasms it hides.



Working Period III