ARRIVING IN EAST BERLIN

9 Oct

HOCHSCHULE BERLINIT WAS PRETTY CLEAR FROM THE START, THAT THERE WAS TOO MUCH GOING ON IN BERLIN IN 2001 TO STAY IN LONDON, IT HAD ALWAYS BEEN ON THE BACK BURNER TO JUMP SHIP AND HEAD TO BERLIN, BUT WHEN WE WON THE COVETED BERLIN SCHOLARSHIP TO STUDY AT THE HOCHSCHULE DER KUSNTE. WE BOUNCED.  THERE WASN’T AS MUCH OF A CULTURE SHOCK, AS THERE WAS A CLIMATE SHOCK.  BEING IN THE STATES ENJOYING 85 DEGREE WEATHER IN SEPTEMBER WAS GREAT.  LANDING IN LONDON TO 60 DEGREE WEATHER A FEW DAYS LATER WAS MANAGEABLE,  SHAVING OFF THAT NEXT TEN DEGREES AT SCHöNEFELD WAS THE EYE OPENER.  LOOKING FORWARD, OUR MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES WOULD BE IN THE COLD BERLIN NIGHTS.BERLIN HOT SPOTGOING FROM A UNIVERSITY THAT WAS  RAPIDLY COMMODIFYINGLONDON CREATIVITY” BY THE MINUTE, BERLIN WAS A BLANK CANVAS WITH A DISTINCTLY EXPERIMENTAL ETHOS AND DIY ENERGY. UDK WAS NEAR BANKRUPTCY,  BUT TO BE HONEST, THE BEST ARTWORK COMES FROM BIG IDEAS AND LIMITED RESOURCES, SO IT WAS FITTING WE WOULD HAVE TO FIND OUR OWN CREATIVE PATH IN THE CITY.  ARRIVING FOR ORIENTATION, ALL THE INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS WERE INTRODUCED, AND QUITE QUICKLY WE NOTICED AN INTERESTING DYNAMIC.  EVERYONE WAS GOING TO CAFE MOSKAU THAT EVENING, WE WERE NOTICING OFF THE BAT WAS AN EAGERNESS IN THE AIR,  WHICH WAS QUITE THE OPPOSITE OF LONDONS NOTORIOUS STAND-OFFISH NATURE, WHERE ENTHUSIASM HAS TO BE PULLED WITH PLIERS.  THIS WAS A DISTINCTLY NEW TYPE OF ENERGY FLOWING THROUGH THE ETHER. EAST BERLINS SCENE WAS ON FIREBERLIN MASSCAFE MOSKAU IS A BERLIN INSTITUTION.  THE TOP TWO FLOORS WERE HOUSING AN ART EXHIBITION, AND THE DOWNSTAIRS THEATER HELD THE CLUB.  WHERE LONDON THERE ARE ALWAYS ABOUT 20 DJS TO EVERY 1 DJ SPOT.  IN BERLIN FOR EVERY 1 DJ THERE WERE 2 OR 3 VJS WORKING SIMULTANEOUSLY, CREATING AWE INSPIRING VISUALS USING DIGITAL AND ANALOG, WHERE THE MOVING IMAGE WAS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS THE SOUNDTRACK, AND NOT SECONDARY.  THE BASEMENT WAS GETTING HOT, IT WAS AROUND MIDNIGHT, AND THE DANCE FLOOR WAS SURROUNDED,  THE DJS WERE REALLY FUCKING WITH US, BECAUSE EVERYONE WAS AT A POINT OF OVERFLOW, AND WHEN THE DJS DROPPED A RE-EDIT OF TRUE STEPPERS- OUT OF YOUR MIND.  THE PLACE EXPLODED, THE DANCE FLOOR DISAPPEARED, AND AN OUTFLOW OF UNIQUE ENERGY ERUPTED LATE INTO THE NIGHTBERLIN LIGHT

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