When Berlin was raw, unresolved and club culture ruled

90's Berlin

I am quite lucky to have visited Berlin in the 90’s. Ok it was at the very end of the 90’s but only 10 years after the Berlin wall had separating East and West Berlin (1999). It was quite a different place from now, but thats true of most of the cities in the world right?

I happened to have been in Berlin during the nineties.berlin exhibition last week and unlike Helsinki’s Amos Rex, actually got a ticket and visited.

It was quite something, the first room blew me away and taught me things I hadn’t really thought about but Carl (my East Berlin friend) had mentioned a few times. For example the impact of the clash of west and east on the police force and law. It was amazing to see and read about the world famous Tresor, which I never visited partly because I was somewhat musically intimated by such hard techno at the time.

90's Berlin

My dreams of visiting the Love Parade were lifted and then sunk as I read about the parade then heard about the commercial downfall of the parade. A lesson other parades should consider. When I actually planned to go in 2004 but it was cancelled. Always put Burning man and Love parade on my wish list but Love parade was actually do able. At least it was till it was shut down in the late zeros. Missed out on that one.

90's Berlin

I personally found the talking heads really interesting to hear, as there were a variety of them including a artists, swatters, police officer, hooligan, politician, djs, etc. I found Westbam and Danielle De Piccicotto really interesting as they mentioned Dr Motte, who I had heard of but completely forgot about. Also Westbam mentioned Eastbam, which makes sense there would be a Eastbam.

90's Berlin

My only issue I felt was the Berlin wall and the selling of parts of the wall. It felt really strange especially since the whole exhibit felt very critical of the whole gentrification of Berlin. I wasn’t the only one who felt this too.

90's Berlin

As a whole the exhibit is mind blowing and well worth the money to go visit. I would like to spend more time there next time as I got rushed through the last part due to the exhibit closing. The bot info system worked good and beats downloading some app or relying on QR codes.

It certainly captured some of the rawness of Berlin in the 90’s and made me realise how unresolved everything was back then. Still love Berlin.

A recent write up about Object based media while in Babelsberg, Germany

Feeding the giants panel at Changing the Picture

I have recently been talking in quite a few places to get the word out about the great work BBC R&D are doing around the future of media. One of those places was at the Changing the Picture conference in Babelsberg (near Potsdam and Berlin).

They did a quick review of the conference and the panel I took part in was featured. I have to say it was one of the most lively panels which was perfect for the after lunch slot. Oh and theres a few mistakes like me being from London UK, but I’ll over look them.

Ian Forrester, Senior Firestarter Producer at the BBC (London, UK), and journalist Jan Lerch addressed in the Fireside Chat “Feeding the Giants: Storytelling for Social Media Broadcasters” the controversial question whether and to what extent large corporations in the technology sector and social media can establish themselves as new, major actors in the entertainment industry and how content producers can cooperate with them. Forrester introduced BBC’s innovative new strategy of  “Perceptive Media,” to be tested in 2017, which allows content to be reshaped based on information about the viewer, creating a unique and profoundly affecting viewing experience.  Lerch gave insight into the way technology platforms set requirements for creatives. Nevertherless creatives can push the limits of  existing platforms of social media giants in new and exciting ways.

Going a little dark and disturbing on Berlin’s U Bahn

U Bhan Berlin
I did a few mixes while in Berlin recently. One while taking the ring anti-clockwise around Berlin (think circle line). The other while out one night walking back from around Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz to U Möckernbrücke and other places. I’ll upload the Berlin Ring one in the near future but this one is dark and certainly disturbing with lots of horrible tunes to bring down your joyful day.

Another journey with pacemaker

  1. Mentasm – Joey Beltram
  2. Nackling (tomcraft mix) – Duse
  3. One for you – Oliver klien
  4. Energy Flash – Joey Beltram
  5. Shnorkel – Mikl Litvak & Ido Ophir
  6. One night in New York city (chris liebing mix) – The Horrorist
  7. My Beat (Ambassador remix) – Blaze
  8. Intruder – Armin vs Mike
  9. Interstate Emperors – Jeffed
  10. Higher state of Consciousness (Original Tweekin’ mix) – Josh Wink
  11. Grasshopper (raw version) – Sander Van Doorn
  12. Massive Motion – M.I.K.E
  13. My Beat (Jan Driver mix) – Blaze
  14. Dj culture – Joey beltram
  15. Jelly Tracks (Rippin and Drippin) – Oliver Klein
  16. Energy Flash (Rennie Pilgrem Breakz mix) – Joey Beltram
  17. Blood Angels (chris liebing mix) – John Startlight

Busy in November…

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Everybody is busy on the run up to the Holidays but I didn’t expect to be out of the country so much in November. I had planned to be busy September, then October be about Mozfest (feeling guilty I still haven’t written about how Mozfest 2016 went). Then I’d focus on writing the TVX 2017 paper with Anna.

Here’s the lineup of places I’m due to be soon.

I’ll be talking about object based media and the big advantages of pursuing a internet first/driven stratergy and experiences in storytelling. I would be much more on the ball if I didn’t finally get the cold which I seemd to avoid all the way from May.

Firestarting Oreilly’s Tools of change

I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at Oreilly’s Tools of Change conference in Frankfurt last week.

Tools of change or TOC for me has become the place for interesting innovations centred around publishing. Of course it makes sense because Oreilly themselves are mainly a publisher and are leading the field.

The sessions I mainly attended were around innovation in the publishing space. However a bulk of the talks centred around DRM (restrictions and rights) and moving digital workflow through-out. There was a feeling that something wasn’t being talked about and that thing was Amazon. In the same way Apple came into the music market with the savour, there was a feeling the same might be coming true.

I attended quite a few sessions but I didn’t speak up till I attended a session titled… Innovators Track: Innovative Business Models. I started tweeting some things which I thought were fair. And then I thought, well I’m going to make my feelings known rather than stay silent. The crux of my complaint was I felt like we were at a sales pitch and I wasn’t the only one who felt it. A guy I was standing next to turned to me and said, “never send your sales staff to a conference…” And you know what he was darn right… Anyway I asked my question, which was something like “Ummmmm, wheres the innovation and creativity in what you guys are doing?” That didn’t go down too well but Sophie Rochester who was due to chair the panel I would be on later, skillfully asked the question and also make it clear this wasn’t really about creativity and innovations and our session later would be the place for that. She also suggested that from a outsiders perspective it may not look like much but it was. I say nothing more, but people at lunch kept saying agreeing with me…

After lunch I went to the Outsmarting Piracy session with Ruediger Wischenbart; Jens Klingelhöfer; Sergey Anuriev; Richard Mollet; Joe Wikert. It was very interesting… At one point I was shaking my head thinking goodness this is more head in the sand stuff but then they spoke to Sergey who was russian and gave a good talk about the fact 90% of all ebooks are traded over the dark/under net. They actually work with the pirates to advertise and learn more about there audience.

Some people scoffed, but its the best they can/could do… This was followed up with Joe Wikert from Oreilly who gave the non-DRM rational. Richard Mollet piped up and said how he was advising the UK government against relaxing DRM and the like. Some lady asked the question of the panel, are any of you guys pirates? Everyone was a little startled. Then one by one, they said yes I have done something in the past which could be classed as piracy. Everyone except Richard Mollet. He refused the notion that he may have engaged in any level of piracy. I think that was when I lost it and asked/told the question saying.

“I am ashamed to be British and have you and people like you advising the UK government without any knowledge or understanding of the hardship and pain the average person has to endure with the likes of DRM!!!”

He used the crappy excuse that he’s never killed anyone but can still have a view on the punishment.

Anyway this DRM discussion carried on in the main hall as the DRM Debate with Joe Wikert and Bill McCoy.
Clearly the Book/Publishing industry is trying to grapple with DRM and those who get rid earlier will thrive at the expense of those who are too late to change.

The reason why I was speaking is because my panel session was centred around the concept of Perceptive Media or more specifically Perceptive publishing. Slides are of course on Slideshare. I shared the panel which was titled Innovations in Storytelling with Dan Franklin from Random House; Justin Keenan and Jennifer Lee from Plympton. It was moderated by Sophie Rochester again.

Sophie Rochester gathers together an incredibly talented group of creators in a panel devoted to innovations in storytelling! From the futuristic personalization taking place at the BBC’s Perceptive Media, to the masterfully interactive work of RH’s Dan Franklin, to the engagingly addictive genre fiction serialization of Plympton – this session will give you a glimpse at how some of our best technologists and storytellers are working together to craft ever richer “reading” experiences.

The session was genuinely full of interesting ideas and innovations from all around. I think I tweeted I would really like to work with the rest of panel one day.

Oreilly conferences are so well put together and I felt well looked after but not smothered. Oh have I missed them… Look forward to attending another one with more innovation from BBC R&D.