Image taken from: http://www.aspirantsg.com/

Image taken from: http://www.aspirantsg.com/

Freelancers and independent professionals are a growing and vital part of the European workforce and economy. Politicians at all levels of government need to understand and address this important demographic. Ahead of the 2014 European Parliament elections, we, the freelancers of Europe, call on government and businesses to:

Recognise freelancers!
Give us official status at all levels of government and bureaucracy. Realize that we’re not the same as small and medium enterprises or other activity categories. Remember us when you create policy that affects us.

Give us access!
Make sure freelancers can access all government services, bid for official contracts, access training programs and qualify for funding.

Count us!
Include us in all official statistics, and study our demographic better. Don’t put us together with other small business categories.

Give us a voice!
Talk to our representative organizations, give us a seat at the table and appoint an EU freelancers’ envoy to champion our concerns.

Treat us fairly!
Pay us on time. Write contracts that treat us ethically.

Follow this link to sign up the petition: http://www.freelancers-europe.org.

Together we can make a difference! Freelancers deserve better work, health and pension conditions! 

Fight for your Rights!

Fight for your Rights!

Twin Peaks.

After 25 years from the last episode of Twin Peaks, the spirit still lives and the fan base is still growing. These Lynchian places where are they?

There are several Twin Peaks related bars in the World. There is The Black Lodge in Bulgaria, which is more for metal heads; there is The Black Lodge in Vancouverwith impressive well thought through design, there is Black Bear Lodge bar in Brisbane, Australia, “where stag heads, fir trees and Johnny Cash rule, the red velvet curtained stage still provides the back drop and ‘a cast of Blue Velvet characters hang out.” And there is a restaurant/sports bar chain called Twin Peaks  in DallasTexas, which did not impress me at all.

Inspired by the deeply strange Club Silencio in Mulholland Drive, the film director himself has opened a nightclub in the French capital. Everything from the toilet bowls – black on black – to the saltiness of the nuts on the bar was decided on by the master himself. He even created the 1950s-inspired furniture, the chairs designed to “induce and sustain a specific state of alertness and openness to the unknown”. (the Guardian) And here you can still smoke inside; and of course there is a small Blue Velvet stage.

Silencio. David Lynch club. Paris. Photo: Copyright Alexandre Guirkinger | Silencio

Silencio. Image taken from artinfo.com

Yet, there is another Lynnchian place on earth, and it’s in Berlin. It’s been here for a while, but it has just relocated (well a few months ago) to Kreuzkölln. It is also called The Black Lodge, and we are totally ok with it. The place is nicely hidden on Sanderstrasse 6, and there is no indication that this is the Twin Peaks bar; because the old huge signboard says something unrelated and the windows are masked. The first room is completely black except for the ceiling and radiators; it is also a bar which is pretty ritzy. On the walls there are two gold framed mirrors and the white candles on tables, typical. The bar has a great selection of strong dutch beers and a mix between cocktails and long drinks. The prices are standard. The 2nd room is more exciting if you want to get the real feel of the Black Lodge, as it has red heavy curtains and the stripy floor; however it is very narrow, suppose to the real spacious room in the TV series. The tables are tiny and you sit along the wall. There is a hidden door which leads you to the restrooms and.. yet another room, which is totally bizarre because it’s a smoking area and it looks like a typical Berlin bar, grey ragged walls authentic furniture, all in all totally not fitting the mood of the previous two rooms. I’d would paint it black and put an owl there or at least a framed Laura Palmer photo, like Madame Claude did. If there was no 2nd room, you’d never get a Twin Peaks feeling, other than that it’s a lovely stylish bar, which gets 4 stars from me, and we’ll ignore that 3rd room.

P.S. They make fantastic event posters; check their Facebook page.

The Black Lodge. Vancouver.

 

Berlin is changing, this change is unstoppable. The breathtaking Wilde Renate’s Labyrinth aka Peristal Singum will close forever on the 29th of March 2014. The homepage says: 

We welcome you to

collaborate! participate!

& transform!

Which means the guys are going to demolish it all and re-build it elsewhere and you can get involved.

About Peristal Singum

Within a 9 month period of continuous work, a small group of creative enthusiasts built  surrealistic and at the same time accessible installation spreading  on two floors.  This spontaneous creation was built from scrap metal, used timber piling, glass bottles, one car and different sorts of civilization waste.

Peristal Singum is a combination of Alice in Wonderland, a playground for grownups and a creepy cabinet with amusement factor.

By virtue of particular arts and materials, free organic interior design and extraordinary setting, people intuitively sharpen their senses and intensely  perceive entities around them, as well as the ones that reside inside of them.  The journey through this genuinely strange construction unveils secrets to ones who are willing to hark, question and take on challenges.  As a result, each person passes through one truthful, remarkable and authentic experience (http://karmanoia.org/peristal).

“It’s not for the faint of heart and it’s really hard to describe without giv­ing it away to some extent, but really, I urge you: go and check out what Peri­stal Singum is.

You will not regret it and you will never find some­thing like this again, ever, any­where, in and out­side of Ber­lin.”

http://www.findingberlin.com/peristal-singum/

This might be your last chance @ Wilde Ren­ate Salon, ALT-STRALAU 70 10245 Berlin

Wilde Renate Peristal Singum. Image taken from: http://samyroad.com/

David Bowie exhibition

David Bowie exhibition

The exhibition David Bowie is coming to the German capital. Berlin is the city where the exceptional artist has spent some of the most productive years of his career.

On 20 May 2014 the exhibition curated by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, opens its doors to the public. Exhibition venue is the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin. Be among the first to experience a spectacular show!

THE RETROSPECTIVE

David Bowie is the first international retrospective of the extraordinary career of David Bowie – one of the most pioneering and influential performers of modern times.

The exhibition demonstrates how Bowie’s work has both influenced and been influenced by wider movements in art, design, theatre and contemporary culture and focuses on his creative processes, shifting style and collaborative work with diverse designers in the fields of fashion, sound, graphics, theatre and film.

DAVID BOWIE IN BERLIN

The Berlin stop is one of the highlights of the international exhibition tour due to the intimate relationship between Bowie and the German capital. The exhibition sends the visitors on a time journey through the subculture of West Berlin during the 1970s, the time when Bowie and dazzling companions such as Iggy Pop influenced the Berlin nightlife.

The Berlin years 1976/78 were some of the most productive years of Bowie’s career; it was then when he wrote music history. He drew creative energy from the city and created a triptych of groundbreaking albums: Low, Lodger and the centrepiece Heroes. It was recorded within sight of the Berlin Wall at Hansa Studios. Here, he and his companions experimented with avantgardistic concepts of their personalities breaking boundaries between fashion, music and performance art – life and art merged to something radically new.

The exhibition in the Martin-Gropius-Bau shows those intensive relationships and presents objects which have been gathered up especially for the Berlin stop of the tour.

"In 1987, Bowie returned to the divided city to perform for a crowd of 70,000 fans, their sparklers and candles glittering around the Reichstag. Towards the end of the show he read aloud a message in German. “We send our best wishes to all our friends who are on the other side of the Wall.” Then he sang “Time will Crawl”. On the other side of the hateful divide, hundreds of young East Berliners strained to hear echoes of the concert. They caught sight of stage lights flashing off blank, bullet-marked walls. They heard Bowie greet them. They listened to his song. Their song. Berlin’s song. “We can be heroes, just for one day,” he sang in a daring, ironic elegy to both the divided world and his past life.  As “Time will Crawl” reached its climax some of the East German crowd pushed towards the Brandenburg Gate, whistling and chanting, “Down with the Wall”. They threw insults and bottles at the Volkspolizei, rising together in a rare moment of protest. On stage Bowie heard the cheers from the other side. He was in tears." Read full article: The Berlin landmarks that inspired David Bowie  http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/b20113b0-8753-11e3-9c5c-00144feab7de.html#axzz2s3ZrCQb6

“In 1987, Bowie returned to the divided city to perform for a crowd of 70,000 fans, their sparklers and candles glittering around the Reichstag. Towards the end of the show he read aloud a message in German. “We send our best wishes to all our friends who are on the other side of the Wall.”
Then he sang “Time will Crawl”.
On the other side of the hateful divide, hundreds of young East Berliners strained to hear echoes of the concert. They caught sight of stage lights flashing off blank, bullet-marked walls. They heard Bowie greet them. They listened to his song. Their song. Berlin’s song. “We can be heroes, just for one day,” he sang in a daring, ironic elegy to both the divided world and his past life.
As “Time will Crawl” reached its climax some of the East German crowd pushed towards the Brandenburg Gate, whistling and chanting, “Down with the Wall”. They threw insults and bottles at the Volkspolizei, rising together in a rare moment of protest. On stage Bowie heard the cheers from the other side. He was in tears.”
Read full article: The Berlin landmarks that inspired David Bowie
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/b20113b0-8753-11e3-9c5c-00144feab7de.html#axzz2s3ZrCQb6

Pink Flamingos, 1972.

As epic as it can get, the Pope of Trash is in town!

“In the 60s the bad reviews helped me, but that wouldn’t happen today. Now all film critics are hip; there are no square film critics anymore…or at least very few.”

John Waters

Growing up in Baltimore in the 1950s, John Waters was not like other children; he was obsessed by violence and gore, both real and on the screen. With his weird counter-culture friends as his cast, he began making silent 8mm and 16mm films in the mid-’60s; he screened these in rented Baltimore church halls to underground audiences drawn by word of mouth and street leafleting campaigns.

By the early 1970s he was making features, which he managed to get shown in midnight screenings in art cinemas by sheer perseverance. Success came when Pink Flamingos (1972) – a deliberate exercise in ultra-bad taste – took off in 1973, helped no doubt by lead actor Divine‘s infamous dog-crap eating scene. (imdb.com)

First time in Germany!

Prices: from 30,60 €

When: Sun, 09.02.2014, 20:00 clock
Tickets: Order by phone

Pied Piper by Vivek Budakoti

Because it’s a freak house, the place where everything is possible. Where you forget who you are, dissolving in the filmic nonsense. And every stranger in the room is the dearest alien to you. The childhood, the adolescence and the old age come together and generate the best viewer.

6-16 February

No admission till 8 pm

Film, Music, Art

programme

Facebook Event

1. The first reason why I like Directors Lounge, is its team. They’re all true characters. Once you see them, you never forget, and even more you won’t confuse them with anyone else! Greet them when you meet them.

2. The second reason, of course, is the film selection. This is where I lose myself. I stop even blinking, breathing and thinking. It’s just not necessary. Directors Lounge always has a crazy selection, for every taste: funny, ugly, surreal, disturbing, queer, touching and everything else what cannot be categorized. See the programme. 11 days of a video quirk is a great way to overdoze. You will look at the world with the different eyes.

Gilivanka Kedzior and Barbara Friedman

3. And the third reason, is the place. It’s the boring Alexanderplatz area, but Naherholung Sternchen is a real underground explosive. They have entirely rebuilt it within the last year, expanded and made even more freaky (A Twin Peaks party took a place there in December 2013; and I met Bob). On a regular DL night the aliens smoke cigarettes, drink beer and dance. It’s all good. And yes, there are plenty couches to share with directors.

These all three reasons create a very bizarre atmosphere, where I never know if I am who I am.

Some acts I am looking forward to seeing:

- World Premier: Nonconformity by Igor Parfenov 13.02. 

Nonconformity is a multilayered epos based on the works by Leо Tolstoy. The action is shifted to our reality. The spotlight of the story is a withdrawn existence of mountain village inhabitants.

Nonconformity.

- LIVE: Steve Morell 16.02. 10:30 pm

is a  remixer, DJ, producer, musician, founder of the record label “Pale Music Int.” and the German underground festival Berlin Insane.

- The exhibition: Digital Storytelling | arts and informatics 9-16.2. daily 6-9pm

Digital storytelling presents an installation of books that trigger interaction through the flipping of pages next to selected works from the Directors Lounge open call and video installations from the FKI, the research center of arts and informatics. All at the gallery space next to the Naherholung Sternchen

- Film Performance: Reynold Reynolds 11.02. 9pm

The live construction of the image destroys the illusion of film, revealing the whole studio process as art.

This guy does brainshaking stuff.

Secret Life from Artstudio Reynolds on Vimeo.

- LIVE: DIETER RITA SCHOLL with Martina Colli, piano 12.02. 10:30pm

Dieter Rita Scholl

A very special guest performing live, accompanied by Italian import pianist Martina Colli, straying from the classical repertoire of her recent album into the world of the offbeat.

- Live Performance: Still und Dunkel (silent and dark)

An audiovisual performance by Christoph Brünggel and Benny Jaberg.

Our interest lies in the aura of disused factories, abandoned civil defense facilities and similar supposed utopian, non-places‘. The temporality of such locations and their potential to evoke the feeling of loneliness in the spectator inspires us. We examine abandoned places towards its capacity to store and capture time in itself with artistic means.

While Nick Cave said he’ll pop in to Berlinale on the 10th of February, I really think he should come for the afterparty at Directors Lounge.

Nick Cave & PJ Harvey

Berlin, Kreuzberg. Image taken from: happyjourney.co.uk

I’ve been in Berlin long enough to explore most of the search engines and now I am able to tell which are worth spending your time on. I ignore Craigslist in 99 cases out 100. I found my 1st job there, which lasted only 2 months, and never ever found anything decent again. Most of the time you do not even get a reply, because of the extreme expat overload.

After 2,5 years my search expanded up to 10-15 pages, which I will happily share with you. While to find a regular, 40h arts/culture related job with a contract in Berlin is almost impossible (especially if you’re just like me B2, or around that level); I still managed to get some really nice projects. And I am talking here about the jobs where you come with a certain level of professionalism and competence, I’d like to leave behind jobs like waitressing and bar tending; those you find just by popping in every bar/cafe you like and leaving your CV.

Job hierarchy. Image taken from: http://venturevillage.eu/

Job hierarchy. Image taken from: http://venturevillage.eu/

My first advice, use LinkedIn! Especially if you’re an IT specialist/ business expert/graduate.

http://www.thelocal.de/ (for English speakers)

http://www.jobisjob.de/ (a mix of jobs)

http://venturevillage.eu/jobs/ (tech jobs)

http://www.onstartupjobs.com/?job_listing_region=berlin (jobs at startups, a great a list!)

http://marsjobs.net// (jobs at startups)

http://itsinberlin.com/jobs-in-berlin-startups/ (jobs at startups)

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/279887/1000jobs.html (jobs at startups)

http://www.designmadeingermany.de/jobs/ (a mix of creative jobs)

http://www.gruenderluft.de/ (a mix of jobs)

http://jobs.meinestadt.de/berlin/ (a mix of jobs)

http://somewhere.com/ (create your work portfolio and let the employers find you! At first I found this as a really great alternative to all the boring online application websites; they would connect you to all sort of interesting employers; which ask you random, but work related questions online, and depending on your answers could schedule an interview or just add you to their archive of “good candidates”. I was extremely excited about this, because I’ve probably filled in at least a thousand work applications and wrote a bit less than that cover letters in my life; and here you did not need ANY of this. Oh, what a relief!  And the most importantly I got job interviews!

Later they have changed their policy, to exactly what I said above “create your work portfolio and let the employers find you” – does not work. The workers of Somewhere try really hard to show their interest in you, yet NO real employers approach you. But I keep on returning to this page time to time, in case there is a good change. They’re young and growing, and they will see themselves eventually what really works for the job seekers, as employers won’t come to you, it’s THEIR time, you have to come to THEM.

http://www.creative-city-berlin.de/en/ (A very useful source for any creative in Berlin, bookmark this and check regularly. Not only they have art/culture related job positions, but as well as they help you with your own projects and fund raising)

http://www.dasauge.de/ (Another extremely good website for the creatives)

http://www.creativeset.net/ (a mix of creative jobs)

http://www.designerdock.de/ (highly professional design jobs)

http://www.12designer.com/en/about.html ( a mix of design jobs)

http://www.xing.com (German LinkedIn, they like it!)

http://www.gruenderszene.de/ (a mix of jobs, one of my favorite search engines)

http://www.berliner-jobmarkt.de/Search (good for the young people, offers a lot of internships)

http://www.kreativjob.com/ (speaks for itself)

http://www.jobsinberlin.eu/ (a mix of jobs)

http://www.crew-united.com/ (everything film related)

http://artconnectberlin.com (art jobs, internships, events and more)

Warner Brothers

I’ve done tons of free work in Berlin: photography, editing/reviews, PR etc. That gives you new experience, accreditation to the best festivals or concerts in Berlin, yet does not pay your rent. If you want to get paid, forget about any film festivals or even events like Transmediale. I was offered to be a runner for Warner Brothers, who had 2 day shooting in Berlin. My task would be – responsible for thousands euro worth equipment (ARRI) and serve the director, making sure he’s all happy in his chair, he can see the preview of the shot material and his coffee is always warm. 12h at least on a set each day, for €55,- ! When I pulled off, they were, to put it mildly, very disappointed. They would say later via e-mail, that with such attitude I will not get far in the film industry. Oh, what a shame, now I don’t have Warner Brothers on my CV, and I did not get €55. Besides, they called IT an INTERNSHIP, and never mentioned THE name of the company until I saw them in person. Two weeks later I’d be an extra in a student film, drinking beer in a bar, that’s all I had to do. 2h of shooting – €20. Found via Crew-United.

Speaking of extras, if you want to be an extra, and you’re desperate for money, register at:

http://agentur-filmgesichter.de/ – they really send e-mails with offers. But be ready for 10h sitting and waiting and be in front of the camera for an hour max. Bring a book. You get free food and they also pay €55 (sometimes a bit more), but at least you’re not doing anything highly responsible; and it’s barely a job, if you read for 9h, it’s just boring to death, but I’ve done it. There are many more websites which look for extras, but I never really got any calls from them. Just make sure you do free photos in their photo studio; and then you’re in the active list.

The problem of Berlin – there are too many freelancers. Not that they want to be independent, they’re forced to, because the company would not sign a contract. And you end up paying your health insurance yourself, with up to €600/m and you have no pension scheme, or do you? Very cheeky. But even if you do some freelance work, make sure you sign some sort of freelance contract; otherwise you might not get paid.

Transmediale - the largest digital art festival in Europe, exploits theirs interns like slaves for €135/m.

Transmediale – the largest digital art festival in Europe, exploits theirs interns for €135/m.

viel Glück!

No Pants Day. London. Image taken from http://i.huffpost.com/

The No Pants Subway Ride, an annual event organized by New York City prank collective Improv Everywhere.

The first No Pants Subway Ride took place in 2002 with seven riders and has grown since then. The event has expanded considerably over the years. In 2013 over 4,000 people participated in New York and tens of thousands more participated in 60 other cities in 25 countries around the world.

Hornet – Gay Social Network supports a lot of events and causes.

Read More

KaterHolzig. Image taken from germany.travel

One of the best Berlin clubs, Katerholzig, has held its last party on January the 5th, 2014.

First there was the Bar 25, it was an internationally recognized techno wonderland on the river Spree, which was opened in 2004 and closed in the year 2010 after a 5 day-long party. Gentrification. Bar 25 itself was a symbol against gentrification (see the image on the bottom), every summer it was closing for a winter break without knowing for sure if it will get reopen next spring.

People who have experienced the Bar 25 say it was the best of the best. “It has changed Berlin’s party landscape, supported and even made the careers of many now famous DJs”. The legend which is now immortalized on film by Britta Mischer and Nana Yuriko.

See the trailer below, and watch the full film HERE.

Not long after the Bar 25 closure, the owners have opened KaterHolzig, a night club with a similar concept in the same area by the river Spree. The yard was also made out of wood with several DIY constructions and little lamps hiding under the stairs. From the outside it looked like a squat, reminding me of KØPI, half-demolished 5 floor building, all in graffiti and posters. On Saturdays they had a market with people selling organic food and self made clothing. This was the only time you could do some snaps of this place, during the night you could have been easily thrown out for just photographing your buddies.

Katerholz just like Barghain and many other clubs in Berlin had a strict and unexplainable face control. “No” meant you are not getting in tonight. People who went to the Bar 25 concluded that KaterHolzig was a hipster version, but I personally don’t like labels. And for someone from Latvia, this was still a pretty damn unique place. Of course, the stories about the famous Bar 25 brought tons of tourists to KaterHolzig, and the atmosphere changed. But it was voted as the 3rd best Berlin nightclub by 10best.com

The rumors about Katerholzig closure were going around for a long time, until December 2013, when it became clear this Silvester will be the last one for this place.

“I stumbled across this place on a Monday evening after I rode my bike past it and heard the thumping beats and faint flashing lights from the street.  I was drawn in and since I had no idea what this place was, it felt like a night out at Burning Man coming across a party.  There were people out front chatting and smoking and the little shack was ensconced in smoke with beat flowing out and the silhouette of people dancing inside. 

I ended up going in and there was a really good vibe.  Turns out most of the people there were dancing still from Sunday night so a bit cracked out of a crowd, but hey that still reminded me of Burning Man.  Anyhow, I met some awesome fun folks and even got added to the guest list for later in the week when I returned.  That’s when I realized that I was only in the “Kiosk” front shack and that there’s a big old club behind it too.”

Gene X, CA.

“This place is crazy, one room is with techno music the other with a theater show and then you find yourself in the middle of a hot jazzy berlin jam session, it’s exciting!”

Contrabass O., AL

What’s next?  There are rumors about Bar 25 reunification. The time will show, yet you and me who have been there, are a part of a history, and this is pretty good feeling.

Edited Jan 9: “They’ve already started to realise a new project on the other side of the river where bar25 used to be. these people don’t give up that easily. good on them.” – Liyona

Edited Jan 10: “Dirty Doering on air last night, one of the main protagonists behind the now closed Katerholzig and the manager of Katermukke. It doesn’t get more Berlin techno. Enjoy! Tracklist & more here: http://bit.ly/DirtyDoering ” Electronic Beats

Kater Holzig. All rights reserved by Katja Avant-Hard

Kater Holzig. All rights reserved by Katja Avant-Hard

Image taken from http://finn-johannsen.de/

Kater Holzig. Image taken from http://www.luciundcoma.de/

Mogwai: Rave Tapes

The new Mogwai album Rave Tapes will be released January 20th 2014 via Rock Action/Sub Pop. They are on tour in Germany, and in Berlin February the 6th. They have chosen a very special location, called Tempordrom – it’s a white round building with spiky roof ends. I can see this building from my window. And it is one of those times when the support band is almost as exciting as the main act – Forest Swords. It is one producer, Matthew Barnes, from The Wirral/Liverpool, UK. His latest album is a true forest chaos. Get lost in those sounds!

For those who did not know Barry Burns from Mogwai runs a pub in Neukoelln, called Das Gift, it is always the best music in town and a nice drink selection! I suggest to try Andechs beer, my favorite! Just beware the doppelbock.

After this post-rock show Berlin will have another chance to see  a post-punk/shoegaze band The Soft Moon, who are playing on February the 11th in Berghain, often called the best club in Europe. I have been to a gig there before, it’s great acoustics and the beton echo blends with the cold punky waves very well.

See you there!

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