Example for Stadtgarten's new corporate design by Christian Schäfer.

Redefining Stadtgarten's personality

European Center for Jazz and Contemporary Music
April 4th, 2018

Via Stadtgarten: "The Park-Restaurant Stadtgarten was first opened in 1898 and is located within Cologne's oldest inner-city park Stadtgarten. After a colourful history, in 1985 the city of Cologne agreed to a long term lease contract with the Initiative Kölner Jazz Haus e.V., both for the park grounds and its building. Initiative Kölner Jazz Haus is an association of Cologne musicians, founded in 1978. Also in 1985 Stadtgarten Restaurant Betriebs GmbH was founded, and reopened the restaurant after its renovation. [...]

On September 4th 1986, the concert hall was opened and in 1997 Studio 672 [former Schmuck-Kästchen] was reopened in its basement. Today the entire venue hosts up to 400 concerts per year.
In 2016, Stadtgarten received the Venue of the Year award by the German government as part of their the venue programming award Applaus. In 2018, the venue was transformed into the European Center for Jazz and Contemporary Music with support from the state of North-Rhine Westphalia and the City of Cologne."

Reiner Michalke, program director for the renowned Stadtgarten venue, hired me to support their executive team to reposition the Stadtgarten identity. Over the course of one year I led the team to reflect and brainstorm on the uniqueness of their concert hall, club, and restaurant. We also started a concentrated research into the different audiences to understand their values and interests.

This process finally resulted in a precise design briefing, which Reiner Michalke used to call a pitch for Stadtgarten's new corporate design. Cologne based designer Christian Schäfer won and created a striking visual identity, which is praised throughout the community and widely recognized.

The Stadtgarten team was one of the most engaged, and inspired clients I have ever had the pleasure to work with. And it is quite wonderful to see how they achieved a complete repositioning of this much loved venue. The endeavor of carefully refacing an identity is always quite a challenge, and achieving it in a group is even harder but if you succeed, you win on all levels.

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BASISLAGER

Series of lectures at Institute For Music And Media
2005-2017

In 2005 I initiated the BASECAMP lecture series at the Institute For Music And Media.  For the course of 12 years I curated, and produced this monthly event. I invited over 70 amazing speakers and perfomers. The name BASISLAGER was inspired by my professor Bazon Brock, who gave a lecture on BASECAMPS in January 2006.

For the first BASECAMP lecture on June 17th, 2005 I invited John Tilbury. He talked about the music of Morton Feldman, and played three piano pieces by Feldman. I still show Tilbury's talk every year in my Visualize Music seminar to introduce Morton Feldman's music to the freshman at the Institute For Music And Media.

The last BASECAMP lecture was held by Prof. Sylke Rene Meyer on Developing Content For Non-linear Storytelling. Sylke Rene Meyer is Professor and Associate Director, MFA Creative Writing at California State University-Los Angeles. In her talk she is pointing to the future of storytelling.

Choosing my favorite BASECAMP talk after so many years was no easy task, but Terre Thaemlitz On A Completely Fabricated Evolutionary Trajectory was mindblowing on so many levels. He chose to not allow publishing her lecture online because he has a very specific perspective on ownership. Consider her interview by Dubspot for more information.

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New master's degree program

Klang und Realität, Master of Music
March 3rd, 2017

In close collaboration with my inspired colleague Prof. Julian Rohrhuber we created the amazing Klang und Realität master's degree program at the Institute For Music And Media.

Via Institute For Music And Media: "Following the principle of the unity of research and teaching, the Klang und Realität master’s degree program combines aesthetic, technical and theoretical approaches. The program benefits from the unique academic situation at the Institute for Music and Media: the multiple facets of time-based art, such as composition, performance, and algorithmic art forms, have been established here for many years.


IMM students autonomously develop their own stance, and learn to integrate it with a range of artistic, technological, economic, scientific and cultural contexts. Graduates of the Klang und Realität master’s degree program are ideally prepared to shape, influence, advance and even anticipate developments in the 21st century.


Musicality is not attached to musical instruments exclusively – it includes many aspects of artistic and scholarly work. That is not least of all the reason why this degree program is generally open to graduates from all disciplines.
It is therefore particularly appropriate for those who are interested in the diversity of media forms, schools of thought and topics. The institution of a Musikhochschule is ideally suited for promoting exchange among interests and abilities in different domains.


Student projects play a vital part in this exchange. In the course of their studies, students learn to re-conceptualize their proposed project on the basis of critical and differentiated feedback and to bring it to fruition at a high level through collaboration with other students. They carry out their project in one of two areas of focus – Epistemic Media or Tiransmedia Forms – both of which open up completely new perspectives in the environment of a state conservatory."

The fabulous flyer was designed by Double Standards, Berlin.
Here are the PDF files: German version and English version.

[ Projects ]

The John Tilbury Tribute

As soft as possible
November 22nd until 26th, 2016

With my longtime collaborator Marcus Schmickler I organized a festival to celebrate the year of John Tilbury's 80th birthday. It took more than half a year to prepare all events, but once John and his fabulous wife arrived all of that was forgotten. It was a profoundly inspiring week – we learned, experienced, and felt so much. Every single performance blew our minds. Little sparkling epiphanies, one after the other, strung like pearls next to eachother.

Thank you all, but above all: Thank you, John Tilbury !

Manu Burghart designed the poster.

[ Projects ]

Type as image in motion

Including an interview about my projects and research
December 2014

Via Hatje Cantz Verlag: "As in no other genre has type in films been set in motion: whether as art, feature and promotional film or music video the type motion film has become firmly established and extended to other areas since the pioneering days of film in the late 19th century. Schriftfilme – Schrift als Bild in Bewegung [Type Films – Type as image in motion] recently published by the publishing house Hatje Cantz Verlag particularly deals with the artistic type motion film and presents examples of analogue- or digital-based films, in which animated, graphically designed and voiced type becomes the protagonist and which exceeds by far what is expected from conventional type and type motion."

This volume also includes an extensive interview about my work with typography in motion and my subject of research, Visual Music.

[ Projects ]

Cooperation with Schlingensief's Opera Village

Learn from Africa
May 22nd, 2014

As a result of my enthusiasm and initiative and in collaboration with Christin Richter, Festspielhaus Afrika, the cooperation agreement between the African Opera Village and the Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf was signed by its president, Prof. Raimund Wippermann, its chancellor, Dr. Cathrin Müller-Brosch, as well as Christoph Schlingensief's wife and executive director of Festspielhaus Afrika gGmbH, Aino Laberenz.

Festspielhaus Afrika gGmbH, a non-profit public limited company, was founded in 2009 by Christoph Schlingensief with its headquarters in Berlin. Its aim is to strengthen the exchange of information between Europe and Africa incorporating artistic and scientific means, an exchange that has taken shape with the construction of an Opera Village in Burkina Faso. Festpielhaus Afrika gGmbH thereby follows a holistic concept, in which everyday life, art and science work together and open up new directions. It initiated the African Opera Village, runs construction contracts and coordinates the project progress.

As a first project under this cooperation agreement, Nico Neteler, Audio and Video student at the Institute For Music And Media, as part of his Bachelor thesis, is setting up the sound studio in the African Opera Village in Burkina Faso. For the project he will be living and working with his team members on location from October to December 2014.

[ Projects ]

Interview with Cometogether Projekt

On the Visual Music Archive
August 18th, 2012

Hermes Katharis Villena Silva from ComeTogether Projekt invited me to give an interview about my Visual Music Archive and my research residency at Center for Visual Music last year in Los Angeles. The interview was published in their Letter to L.A. pt. II and was released August 18th, on their open-air party to support L.A. based non-profit web radio collective dublab.

Thanks to Hermes Katharis Villena Silva, keep up the good work!

[ Projects ]
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Research residency in Los Angeles

More Visual Music for the archive
March 2nd until 23rd, 2011

As part of its Music residencies program the Goethe Institute is promoting the further expansion of my Visual Music Archive. By means of the music residencies, the Goethe Institute wishes to significantly increase the number of cooperations and co-productions as well as the intercultural exchange and international networking in the program work.

In March 2011, with the support of the Los Angeles Goethe Institute, I will research on location at the Center for Visual Music. The Center for Visual Music is a non-profit film archive that is involved in the fields of visual music, experimental animation and contemporary media art. It is committed to preservation, curation, education, scholarship, and dissemination of the film, performances and other media of this tradition, together with related historical documentation and artwork.

[ Projects ]

Interview presented by PAGE magazine

Discussions on Design – made by A5+
January 18th, 2011

Gave the sixth in the series of interviews [German] called Discussions on design – made by A5+ presented by PAGE magazine.

The A5 series considers itself to be a growing archive of the history of graphic design. While the A5 book series addresses past and present of graphic design, the research project A5+ initiated by Karen Weiland and Jens Müller attempts to answer questions on the future of the design profession. In discussions with designers, clients and academics, the changing requirements on communication designers in a media world that is becoming increasingly more complex as well as the role of designers as consultants and the closer linking of design with content are addressed. A5 is a collaboration of the labor visuell (visual lab) in the Design department of the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf and Lars Müller Publishers.

Here is the interview I gave Karen Weiland and Jens Müller in August 2009 on rhythm and production processes, mantras and drumming – and the communication between the customer and the designer.

[ Projects ]

Interview in KRAUT 01

Sammeln im Zeitalter der verlustfreien Reproduzierbarkeit
September 12th, 2010

Had a wonderful time conversing with Katharina Hauke last month. She is part of the team who just released the first issue of KRAUT – Magazine for Applied Culture.

We talked about the Visual Music Archive, Moon, Peter Saville, copyright and much more. The headline of the interview could be translated into Collecting in the Age of Loss-free Reproduction.
 

[ Projects ]