We found – 7 articles for 1980s

Urban Spree participates to Berlin’s first “Urban Art Week”

From 05 to 12 September 2018, Urban Spree will be part of the first URBAN ART WEEK, a new format for the Urban Art movement, which will be launched throughout Berlin. The Opening Night will happen at Urban Spree on the 05/09.

The Urban Art Week presents a comprehensive program and insights into the participating locations and projects under one roof. The format serves both to make Urban Art visible and to mediate, as well as to improve networking between local actors.

The URBAN ART WEEK provides insights into the locations and work of the participants, who present their own program for the URBAN ART WEEK. This gives visitors the opportunity to get to know Urban Art, Street art and Graffiti Writing within one week. The art program includes numerous exhibitions in galleries, project rooms, art spaces and institutions as well as performances, live painting and artistically designed walls.

A supporting program accompanies the URBAN ART WEEK: workshops by experts offer professional training and useful information for the daily work of artists and cultural workers. The two-day film program shows experimental films, portraits and documentaries about the French and German scene. Daily Street Art tours by local experts give visitors an insight into Urban Art in Berlin. Artists offer workshops for all ages to try out different techniques.

In Berlin, Urban Art has become an integral part of the cityscape, and large murals and surprising interventions in urban space can be found regularly. The city and its marketing is also adorned with the colourful paintings of its Urban Art artists, as is the local creative industry. But is there a dialogue between the scene and the city? Where is the line drawn between professional art and exploitation through increasingly fast-moving advertising purposes? Do we still have to ask the question whether Urban Art is art at all? The first URBAN ART WEEK pursues these thought-provoking impulses. In addition to discussions with representatives from city politics and local art institutions, the scene meets at workshops and symposia to discuss the concept of Urban Art and its own self- image. The week should leave something behind for the Berlin scene, it should convey a lasting value to the fast-moving Urban Art and create a basis for future communication.

Urban Art in Berlin has been around for decades and the media attention for it has increased. Berlin’s claim as an Urban Art Mecca is not only demonstrated by the last major exhibition projects with record attendance. The many small and independent art venues, project spaces and freelance artists who have been active in Berlin since the 1980s, have created the breeding ground for the subversive Berlin mix, that now makes the capital so attractive. URBAN ART WEEK is committed to their recognition and networking and ennobles the local scene with a gold medal – because Urban Art has actually earned this here for a long time. The program booklet with a city map, a website and a broad publicity campaign in German and English will accompany the week from 5 to 12 September 2018.

Further information under www.urbanartweek.de



“Berlin Calling” Book Launch Party and Discussion

The American, Berlin-based author Paul Hockenos will present his latest book Berlin Calling: A Story of Anarchy, Music, the Wall and the Birth of the New Berlin (The New Press) at Urban Spree Galerie on June 17, 2017.

An exhilarating journey through the subcultures, occupied squats, and late-night scenes in the anarchic first few years of Berlin after the fall of the wall Berlin Calling is a gripping account of the 1989 “peaceful revolution” in East Germany that upended communism and the tumultuous years of artistic ferment, political improvisation, and pirate utopias that followed. It’s the story of a newly undivided Berlin when protest and punk rock, bohemia and direct democracy, techno and free theater were the order of the day.

In a story stocked with fascinating characters from Berlin’s highly politicized undergrounds—including playwright Heiner Müller, cult figure Blixa Bargeld of the industrial band Einstürzende Neubauten, the internationally known French Wall artist Thierry Noir, the American multimedia artist Danielle de Picciotto (founder of Love Parade), and David Bowie during his Ziggy Stardust incarnation—Hockenos argues that the DIY energy and raw urban vibe of the early 1990s shaped the new Berlin and still pulses through the city today.

Just as Mike Davis captured Los Angeles in his City of Quartz, Berlin Calling is a unique account of how Berlin became hip, and of why it continues to attract creative types from the world over.

Paul Hockenos is an American journalist and author who writes for The Nation, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Foreign Policy, the New York Times, and many other media outlets. He has held prize fellowships with the American Academy in Berlin, the European Journalism College, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is the author of three books, including Joschka Fischer and the Making of the Berlin Republic, and lives in Berlin.

“Can unruly artists change the world? Or do they just provide the soundtrack to history? The Berlin of the 1980s is famous for two things: a wild counterculture and the surprising end of the Cold War. Paul Hockenos, who knows the city inside out, brings them together in a fast-paced, sometimes astonishing story of underground clubs, squatters, and dissidents.” Brian Ladd, author of The Ghosts of Berlin.



“Berlin Calling” Book Launch Party and Discussion

The American, Berlin-based author Paul Hockenos will present his latest book Berlin Calling: A Story of Anarchy, Music, the Wall and the Birth of the New Berlin (The New Press) at Urban Spree Galerie on June 17, 2017.

An exhilarating journey through the subcultures, occupied squats, and late-night scenes in the anarchic first few years of Berlin after the fall of the wall Berlin Calling is a gripping account of the 1989 “peaceful revolution” in East Germany that upended communism and the tumultuous years of artistic ferment, political improvisation, and pirate utopias that followed. It’s the story of a newly undivided Berlin when protest and punk rock, bohemia and direct democracy, techno and free theater were the order of the day.

In a story stocked with fascinating characters from Berlin’s highly politicized undergrounds—including playwright Heiner Müller, cult figure Blixa Bargeld of the industrial band Einstürzende Neubauten, the internationally known French Wall artist Thierry Noir, the American multimedia artist Danielle de Picciotto (founder of Love Parade), and David Bowie during his Ziggy Stardust incarnation—Hockenos argues that the DIY energy and raw urban vibe of the early 1990s shaped the new Berlin and still pulses through the city today.

Just as Mike Davis captured Los Angeles in his City of Quartz, Berlin Calling is a unique account of how Berlin became hip, and of why it continues to attract creative types from the world over.

Paul Hockenos is an American journalist and author who writes for The Nation, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Foreign Policy, the New York Times, and many other media outlets. He has held prize fellowships with the American Academy in Berlin, the European Journalism College, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is the author of three books, including Joschka Fischer and the Making of the Berlin Republic, and lives in Berlin.

“Can unruly artists change the world? Or do they just provide the soundtrack to history? The Berlin of the 1980s is famous for two things: a wild counterculture and the surprising end of the Cold War. Paul Hockenos, who knows the city inside out, brings them together in a fast-paced, sometimes astonishing story of underground clubs, squatters, and dissidents.” Brian Ladd, author of The Ghosts of Berlin

 

18:00 Opening of Berlin photographer Stefan Schilling exhibition on Mitte 1990

18:30 Open discussion with Paul Hockenos led by Felix Denk of Dummy magazine

19:00 – Planet’s former DJ Disko Daniel Bier on the console

 

 



DYS FEST

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DYS 2015 festival

A Project Organized, Produced and Curated by
CORPO 6 art project space & Unknown Pleasures Factory.

 

DYS, that stands for Dionysus – the mediterranean deity of nature and ecstasy -, is a festival that through a multimedia approach – live music sets, performances, video installations, screenings – wants to activate a powerful and über expressive “ambiance”, focusing on the dionysiac efflorescent of the art form. Taken in its antinomic dynamic: organic- non organic; analog – digital; low fi – hi fi; performance – installation; informal – formal.

Its second underlying code of functioning, and thematic reference, is the vanguard creativeness represented by the cultural city hubs, along the decades in the past century: Rome in the fifties; New York in the seventies; Berlin in the eighties and so on.

Creating an alive discourse of interacting links between researches, codes and effectiveness along the time line of the global cultural resistance against desertification and cultural homologation.

The artists have been chosen for their work round the “limen” – the extreme edginess – of their research. In term of the research of the internal dynamic within their medium, the questioning of the mainstream cultural logic, the “physicality/liability” of genders involved. Describing a polisemantic and outrageous celebration of existence.

A dionysian hymn to unity and self empowerment.

DYS 2015

PERFORMANCES & LIVE SETS. h 21:00

Lydia Lunch (NYC) _ “Horribly True Confessions” spoken word
Jealousy Party (Berlin) _ abstract noise r&b
La Muerte Roja (Berlin) _ “Der Grund” drone tonal / atonal
Sound Quartet (Stockholm) _ “Vorthit” noisy electronics
L.A.Drones! (Madrid/LA) _ electro acid noise
VV & the Void (Berlin/LA/Melbourne) _ noir drone
Native Fauna (LA) _ esoteric electro pop
Melmann (Buenos Aires) _ audiovisual / electroacoustic

EXHIBITION h 21:00
Paul Zone “The New York Underground 1972-1978”

VIDEO SCREENING h 21:00
Fabio Campagna _ “Limen” lyrical music docu-fiction 45’’ min, Berlin
Void Pictures _ “Back to the ashes” video poetry, LA

AFTER PARTY DJ SET h 2:00
Kiss Me Deadly (Berlin/LA) _ post punk/no wave/minimal wave
C6C (Rome/Berlin) _ krautrock/avantgarde/garage punk/blues punk

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DYS 2015 Artists:

Paul Zone (NYC/LA)
Paul Zone spent his early teenage years photographing his friends at Max’s Kansas City, Mercer Arts Center, Club 82, and CBGB during New York’s Glam Rock era and the early days of Punk. He became the resident DJ at Max’s and, with his brothers Miki and Mandy, was in a band called The Fast. In the 1980s, Paul and Miki formed the electronic duo Man 2 Man, recording the international pop hit “Male Stripper.” Paul’s photography has been exhibited in Berlin, Rome, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Canada, and the United States. Paul Zone’s new book “PLAYGROUND: Growing Up in the New York Underground” features photographs of Blondie, Ramones, New York Dolls, Iggy and the Stooges, Lou Reed, Dead Boys, Suicide, T. Rex, The Fast, Patti Smith, Kiss, Mumps, Planets, Milk n Cookies and more, as well as musicians, artists and scensters Richard Hell, Johnny Thunders, Wayne County, Alice Cooper, Eric Emerson, Lance Loud, Stephen Sprouse, Christopher Makos, Anya Phillips, Cherry Vanilla, Arturo Vega, Anna Sui, Sable Starr, James Chance, Lydia Lunch, and even more.
www.paulzone.com/

Lydia Lunch (NYC)
Lydia Lunch (born Lydia Anne Koch, June 2, 1959, Rochester, New York) is an American singer, poet, writer, actress and self-empowerment speaker whose career was spawned by the New York No Wave scene. The Boston Phoenix named Lunch “one of the 10 most influential performers of the 1980s.
Her work typically features provocative and confrontational noise music delivery and has maintained an anti-commercial ethic operating independently of major labels and distributors. Lunch’s moniker was given to her by the rock band Willy DeVille because she stole food for her friends.
She appeared in two films by directors Scott B and Beth B. In the Black Box (1978) she played a dominatrix, and in Vortex (1983) she played a private detective named Angel Powers. During this time, she also appeared in a number of films by Vivienne Dick, including She Had Her Gun All Ready (1978) and Beauty Becomes The Beast (1979), co-starring with Pat Place.[29] In 2011, Lunch appeared in Mutantes: punk, porn, feminism, a film directed by Virginie Despentes, also featuring Kaylee Sprinkle and Catherine Breillat She also wrote, directed and acted in underground films, sometimes collaborating with underground filmmaker and photographer Richard Kern.
Lunch has recorded and performed as a spoken word artist, collaborating with artists such as Exene Cervenka,[30] Henry Rollins, Don Bajema and Hubert Selby Jr. as well as hosting spoken-word performance night “The Unhappy Hour” at the Parlour Club.
www.lydia-lunch-official.com/

Jealousy Party (Berlin)
Jealousy Party is a Berlin based abstract r&b band blending noise and improvisation with free funk, avant rock, error music, earthquake dub-hop and idiosyncratic electronic collages in a personal way they call punca.
Founded in Florence, Italy, in 1995 they built a personal and recognizable style even keeping their personnel constantly open to variations and flexible for specific explorations.
On this concert, Utku Tavil, with whom they toured in Europe in February/March, will be joining JP on drums.
http://www.burpenterprise.com/burp/units/jealousy-party/jealousy-party-info/
http://utkutavil.com/

Sound Quartet (Stockholm)
SQ (Sound Quartet) explores electronic art which circumvent learning and amplify responses to the moment, a sortie into uncertainty, with assiduous unpremeditation and susceptibility as guides. One of SQ founder is Thomas Bjelkeborn who is a composer, musician and sound artist. He is one of the initiators of IDKA, PUSH Festival Gävle and Club Lamour Fylkingen Stockholm. He often collaborates with international institutions and internationally active composer / musician at residences in UK, Spain, France and other countries, and tours frequently in Europe with live electronic ensemble SQ / Sound Quartet.Thomas Bjelkeborn är tonsättare, musiker och ljudkonstnär uppvuxen i Gävle och sedan 1984 bosatt i Stockholm. Han är en av initiativtagarna till IDKA och verksam som Producent/Curator för PUSH Festivalen Gävle och Club Lamour Stockholm. Han samarbetar ofta med internationella institutioner och internationellt verksamma tonsättare/musiker vid residens i Storbritannien, Spanien, Frankrike och andra länder, och turnerar ofta i Europa med live elektronik ensemblen SQ.
www.bjelkeborn.se

La Muerte Roja (Berlin)
La Muerte Roja is purity. Purity of sound. Purity of intentions. La Muerte Roja, adopting different approaches – tonal, atonal, improv, noise – defines, ritualistically, in a high saturated media context – performance, installation, video installation – , a sacred area of being. La Muerte Roja is an oxymoron. Death in life. And vice versa. And it means rebirth. A Circularity of simplicity. La Muerte Roja is a project by Fabio Campagna. Founded in 2011, Berlin. An open collective with which they have been played and performed, in the independent art galleries scene and off-clubs, in Berlin: Fabio Campagna, (semi acoustic guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals, feedback, harmonica), Emanuela Lioy (electric violin, delay, vocals), Alberto Maria Spezzaferro (op synthesizer, electric guitar, percussion), Adolfo Spezzaferro (drums), Bao Vu (electric guitar), Aunin Cervera (synthesizer, liuto), Marco Giani (saxophone), Alejandro Moncada (drums, drum machine), Jordan De Maio (semi acoustic guitar, vocals), Yusuke Yamasaki (performer), Jessica Harris (performer).f
www.facebook.com/lamuerterojacorpo6
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggz6hOj6KDM
https://soundcloud.com/corpo-6-recordings/nachtgedanken-la-muerte-roja

VV & The Void (Berlin/LA/Melbourne)
VV & the Void is a music project by Valentina Veil, a musician, producer artist and curator living between Berlin, LA and Melbourne.
The choice of the name plays on the repetition of the letter V and the logo stands for a visual vortex/spiral of void, a primal force or destructive energy or a triangle, ambiguous symbol of Holy trinity and occult summoning figure. VV’s lyrics often refer to occult and mysticism and unknown forces and energies.
The colors Gold and Black represent much of VV&V’s work often on stage.
Going back to the ancient Egyptians, Mayans, Aztecs, the color Gold symbolizes spiritual illumination, wisdom, beauty, splendor, awareness, alchemy; the opposite of black, expression of mysterious, veiled, esoteric, destructive, abyssal forces..
Her music, often described as shoegaze, drone, noir, atmospheric, goth, neo-psychedelic, experimental is a celebration of opposites energies: grace and disproportion, feminine and masculine, moon and sun, birth and death, angel and devil, light and dark, conscious and unconscious.

L.A.Drones! (Spain/LA)
L.A.DRONES! is a sonic experiment that, without abandoning strong electronic rhythm, joins styles such as Electro, KrautRock, Dub, Acid, Space, Noise, never forgetting melody, through the interaction of loops and drones, with the manipulation of these playing live, and effects being squeezed to the extreme. Voices, two synthetizers, effects modules, plus pedals and two mixers combine in order to generate a unique experience, with improvisation as an essential part of the performance”.
Vice: noisey.vice.com/es_mx/blog/la-drones—neutrinox-spooky-action
https://soundcloud.com/l-a-drones
https://ladrones2.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/LADrones/231907966986264?sk=timeline
vimeo.com/90298781

Native Fauna (LA)
“local shape-shifters Native Fauna… like a tripped-out Cleopatra, lead singer Cameron Murray conjures entrancing spells that range from dramatic Siouxsie Sioux–style grandeur to a candied Kate Bush melodicism, as her band pumps out music that’s simultaneously propulsive, arty and airily magical” —Falling James L.A. WeeklyReclaiming RARE and forgotten items & technologies long buried in PAWN SHOPS and PYRAMIDS, Native Fauna’s sound is a fearless FLIGHT through all the ages.
https://soundcloud.com/nativefauna
https://www.facebook.com/nativefauna

Melmann (Buenos Aires)
Mel mann is the solo project of Nicolas Melmann.
A musician from Buenos Aires (Argentina), Melmann combines different musical dimensions, from electronics / electro, through children’s music, producing music for television, film, theater and installations, to its latest foray as a singer, always innovating from the composition, making test formats, exploring different sounds, resources and instruments.
Recently elected as a participant of the Red bull Music Academy 2013 on New York , celebrated during the month of May and June, The program has master classes from Phillip Glass, Van Dyke Parks, Ryuichi Sakamoto between others, He released a subsequent US tour including a first concert at MET – Metropolitan Art Museum as opening act for Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto, continuing the tour in Boston, New orleans, Austin, Washington DC, Baltimore, New Jersey, Chicago, San Francisco and Oakland making a total of 14 concerts, across the country.
http://www.melmann.com.ar/index.php?%2Finfo%2Fcv–bio%2F
https://soundcloud.com/melmann/melmann-live-in-chicago

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DYS 2015

WHAT.
DYS fest is a aperiodic art festival with live sets, art exhibitions, performances and screenings. And it produces 3 levels of output: live music sets in the main stage; performances, video installations ; exhibitions in exhibit rooms. The outrageous quality and the cutting edge attitudes of the artists selected is its first mission.

ARTISTS DYS _ 2015

Live set and Performances_ h 21:00:
Lydia Lunch (NYC); Jealousy Party (Berlin); La Muerte Roja (Berlin); VV & The Void (Berlin/LA/Melbourne); L.A.Drones! (Spain/LA); Native Fauna (LA); Sound Quartet (Stockholm); Melmann (Buenos Aires);

Video Screening_ h 21:00: :
Fabio Campagna, “LIMEN” lyrical music docu-fiction 45’’ min, Berlin 2014/2015; Void Picture, “Back to the ashes” video poetry, 2015.

Exhibtion _ h 21:00:
Paul Zone (US) “The New York Underground 1972-1978”.

After party _ h 2:00:
Dj sets: Kiss Me Deadly (Berlin/LA): post punk / no wave / minimal wave; C6C (Berlin): krautrock / avantgarde / garage punk / blues punk.

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The first edition of DYS has been held in CORPO 6 GALERIE, Lichtenberg, Berlin the 8Th november 2013 with the following line up: Marialuisa Capurso (IT/Berlin); La Muerte Roja (Berlin); Reverse Bullets (Berlin/USA); Sean Derrick Cooper Marquardt (Berlin/USA); Scanner Unit(Berlin); DR. NEXUS (Berlin); Herr Schmitd Hat Krach (Berlin).
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.671384172886389.1073741840.112158268808985&type=3

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DYS CURATORS:

Fabio Campagna (Foggia, Italy, 1972) is art historian, art critic, independent curator, artist and musician. He lives and works in Berlin since 2009. His numerous projects aim to raise a discussion about the possibility of activating different modes of living in response to the urban environment. Designing site-specific situations in collaboration with other artists and curators. Conceptual practice that is implemented by his visual outputs and music research. Where the archetypal configuration of his personal -– cultural, political and symbolic– identity defines his semiotic analysis on postmodern society. Fabio Campagna has been working as project developer and curator with several contemporary art institutions, foundations, theaters, galleries, independent cultural centres and festivals in Rome and in Berlin. Founder and director of CORPO 6 art project, he has coodirected also 91 art project space and cofounded LA54 art association, in Berlin.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/CORPO-6/112158268808985?ref=hl
www.corpo6.com
www.fabiocampagna.com

Valentina Veil is a producer, singer-songwriter, musician, curator, DJ and owner of Unknown Pleasures Factory. She lives between Berlin, Melbourne and LA where she has developed numerous art and music projects mixing up different languages and media. Among them: Cut Up Noir, Unknown Pleasures, Stardust, Wire. She has worked developing events with several clubs and galleries in Berlin, Rome, LA, Portland, Melbourne as well as being active in the music scene in Europe, US and Australia since the 90’s.www.unknownplesauresfactory.com

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HERZSCHLAG: Das Ding (NL), Afghan Dance (DE), The Hollow Man (DE) + Herzschlag 1 year anniversary

10830540_1091536167529126_1663521370043498423_o   01.05.2015 HERZSCHLAG: Live: Das Ding (NL) Das Ding is Danny Bosten, who was active in the early 1980s releasing his music and friends music via his own cassette label called Tear Apart Tapes. While studying graphic design in art school, he designed all the tape covers himself. Meanwhile, he recorded his own music as Das Ding. Powerful dark electro, some tracks are quite addictive and danceable while others are more for at home listening enjoyment. At the time, it seemed that everyone was making music, or noises of some sort. This scene seemed to warrant the establishment of a full-blown cassette-label, and so Bosten, together with Johan de Koeyer, who was operating as ‘Les Yeux Interdits’, set up ‘Tear Apart Tapes’. Their first release was a split C-20 cassette featuring ‘Das Ding’ and ‘Les Yeux Interdits’. In 2007, 433rpm, of the exhaustive music blog ‘No Longer Forgotten Music’, posted some of his old Das Ding tapes, and Veronica Vasicka- who runs the New York based ‘Minimal Wave’ label and specializes in reissues of 80s synth-wave- contacted Danny, now living in Rotterdam, to propose the release of a Das Ding album. Old tapes were uncovered, and Minimal Wave released a remastered version of ‘HSTA’ and other tracks, in 2010. A wave of renewed interest followed the record’s release and soon people were in touch to propose live shows. Twenty years later, and after some deliberation, Das Ding was reincarnated under its old moniker but now with a revised line-up and a working set-up that reflected inevitable technological change. Suddenly, Das Ding was a ‘Dutch electro-pioneer’ and the apparent pinnacle of ‘Minimal Wave’. Afghan Dance (DE) www.afghandance.bandcamp.com/releases Like an abrasive perception, Afghan dance blend low-frequencies, acid drum machines and a beating bass guitar to create his obscure-enveloping sound. It’s the project of the Berlin based Alessandro Nieri (SATO SATO / ex M!R!M), joined by Jaakko Saarilahti at the synthesisers and machines. He released the first single ‘’Eyes’’ at the end of 2014, followed by ‘’Sea shepherd’’ and a handful of shows in Germany. The Hollow Man (DE) Regressive Electronika www.thehollowman.net https://soundcloud.com/thehollowman The instrumental music of «The Hollow Man» is a mixture of dark atmospheric soundtracks, bittersweet melodies and mean unexpected musical ambushes. Over the years he played live shows with acts like «Venetian Snares», «The Young Gods» and «Sole & The Skyrider Band», recorded several solo-albums, worked with many other artists and did some remix work as well as soundtracks for short movies. After a long break he will be releasing his new and final album «Walking Ghost Phase» at the end of May 2015. At the «Herzschlag»-Event he will present a collection of songs from his 2009 album «Mabuse» as well as some tracks from his new album, played live for the first time. DJs: Jaakko Hanzel Anaesthesija + Guest DJ Pre OpTrans +++ Herzschlag 1 year anniversary +++ First Herzschlag party was held in The Chelsea Bar 29.05.2014 and till so far we had 11 partys in different locations. Bands that played in Herzschlag during this year were 77 TM, Afghan Dance, Alles, Ben Bloodygrave, Cosmetics, Die Selection, Monowelt, Sato Sato, Transfigure, Qual and Winter Severity Index. We hope you have enjoyed and hope to see you in coming parties also  Thank you for your support.

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Berlin Premiere of the 'Sign Painter' Movie + Workshop

SignPainterMoviePosterMake! Skilled Hands and Urban Spree invite you to the Berlin Premiere of ‘Sign Painters‘, a documentary movie about the art of hand-sign painting. The screening will be enhanced by a special brush lettering workshop with veteran Mike Meyer, also featured in the movie and exceptionally present in Berlin.

The screening will be followed by a party with Urban Spree good buddies Diskorobot (Klub7) and Efalive of the Jazoburbs, and you can always count on their immense vinyl skills to make it funky, groovy, disko and full of good vibes.

There was a time, as recently as the 1980s, when storefronts, murals, banners, barn signs, billboards, and even street signs were all hand-lettered with brush and paint. But, like many skilled trades, the sign industry has been overrun by the techno-fueled promise of quicker and cheaper. The resulting proliferation of computer-designed, die-cut vinyl lettering and inkjet printers has ushered a creeping sameness into our landscape. Fortunately, there is a growing trend to seek out traditional sign painters and a renaissance in the trade.

In 2010 filmmakers Faythe Levine and Sam Macon began documenting these dedicated practitioners, their time-honored methods, and their appreciation for quality and craftsmanship. Sign Painters, the first anecdotal history of the craft, features the stories of more than two dozen sign painters working in cities throughout the United States. The documentary and book profiles sign painters young and old, from the new vanguard working solo to collaborative shops such as San Francisco’s New Bohemia Signs and New York’s Colossal Media’s Sky High Murals.