Berlin Atonal

19 Aug 2015 – 23 Aug 2015

Save Event: Berlin Atonal1

I've seen this1

People who have saved this event:


Kraftwerk Berlin

Berlin, Germany

Event map

Festival for new methods in sight + sound


The legendary Berlin Atonal festival returns to the capital of innovative music after a 23 year hiatus. Its new home is a long-abandoned heating plant in Berlin Mitte, a mazy industrial complex that each day hosts world-class musical events and large scale audio-visual installations as well as streetfood and a full catalogue of seminars, lectures, master-classes and screenings. 

Berlin Atonal’s permanent home is an abandoned power plant in central Berlin which has been turned into a darkly majestic industrial complex for the duration of the festival. This multi-leveled, multi-staged cathedral is host to every performance, installation, screening and aftershow party in the Berlin Atonal program.


Pierre Bastien
‘Mecanology in 4 Rooms’ (2015), World Premiere
Kinetic sound producing sculptures, amplifiers

Pierre Bastien’s long-standing practice has involved transforming regular objects into dynamic rhythmic machines. In this site-specific formation he lets his percussive creations inhabit the labyrinthine basement of Kraftwerk.

Rainer Kohlberger
‘not even nothing can be free of ghosts’ (2015), World Premiere
‘moonblink’ (2015), Panorama Premiere
‘humming, fast and slow’ (2013), Berlin Premiere
Projections, stroboscopes

With these three pieces, presented at Berlin Atonal together for the first time, on a site-specific panoramic screen built specifically for this purpose, Kohlberger’s singular approach to an artistic practice living at the quivering border between the analogue and the digital gets its most comprehensive airing to date. Kohlberger’s work investigates the self-generating and self-destructive power of the automatic process at the same time as it confronts our own abilities for perception and misperception. Superimposition, phasing, fuzziness, noise and frequencies of sight and sound at the threshold of human sense, combine to to stimulate and irritate the perceptual field.


Pedro Maia
‘Wasteland’ (2015), World Premiere
5 x 16mm Loops, degraded film

Maia’s piece Wasteland refers to a place of ambiguity and indeterminacy between life and death in which narrative and temporal logic are suspended. Built from the waste material produced by an analogue film lab, this installation aims to re-materialize leftovers created by the film development process. This degraded film material contains within it the seeds of its own destruction.


Joanie Lemercier
‘Blueprint’ 2015, German Premiere
Projection, sound

The work examines the notion of blueprint as the intersection of ideation and architecture, a map that leads from formlessness to form. It explores the view of architecture as both the endless repetition of the cosmic order, and as a shelter from the infinite, a human construct that brings the capriciousness of nature into perspective. With Blueprint, Lemercier translates the immateriality of space, architecture, and causality into a choreography of structural elements. The installation is formed from a central monolithic tower that is flanked by two large screens and activated by light projection and sound. Together, these tell a story of the cosmos and architecture, climaxing in an anamorphosis. The audio component comprises contrabass materials recorded at EMS in Stockholm by Yair Elazar Glotman which have been processed, augmented and fused with electronics by James Ginzburg in his Bristol studio.

Commissioned by STRP Biennale, Eindhoven
Artist production – Juliette Bibasse

‘Susurrus Lights, Aggregate IV’ (2015), World Premiere
Sound responsive fluorescent tubes, microphones, amplifiers

In this site-specific installation conventional fluorescent tubes are repurposed to become the primary actors in a material self-generating system. Their own sounds are microphoned, amplified and fed back through analog circuitry to trigger over tubes who respond in real time to the pulses of their neighbours. What arises is a self-feeding machine that remains fragile and unpredictable as it interferes and interacts with the architecture of its surroundings.


‘Dark Flow’ (2015), World Premiere
Viscous liquid, pumps, projections

Transforma’s new site-specific work consists of a liquid portal in a constant movement. Playing with the idea of dimension(s) by discovering similarities in cosmic and microscopic motion, the work is as much an experiment in physics as it is a mystic shrine. To enhance the effect of scale, close up views of the installation will be filmed and projected throughout the festival on different screens in the exhibition space.



Thursday 20.08 

Industrial Soundtrack for the Urban Decay (2015)
dir. Amélie Ravalec and Travis Collins

Berlin Atonal welcomes the directors of this lively film to its German premiere. The vivid documentary traces the origins of industrial music, from the crumbling industrial cities of Europe to America’s thriving avant-garde scene, and features interviews with, among many others, Cabaret Voltaire, Clock DVA, Throbbing Gristle, Z’EV and Orphx.

Friday 21.08

Tony Conrad presents
Selected Films 1965 – 2015

Tony Conrad will be performing a historical performance of his Outside the Dream Syndicate project on the night of Saturday 22. August, but before that interested festival-goers will have a chance to explore another facet of his wide-ranging and varied artistic practice, namely, experimental film. A bone-fide pioneer of both structural filmmaking and expanded cinema Conrad will himself guide the audience on a retrospective of his path-breaking and immeasurably influential film oeuvre in a performative, instructive lecture.

Saturday 22.08

Crossroads (1976)
dir. Bruce Conner

Berlin Atonal is proud to present a rare screening of legendary experimental collagist, sculptor and filmmaker Bruce Conner’s 1976 masterwork “Crossroads”. Made using archival footage of the first tests of nuclear weapons conducted at Bikini Atoll in the summer of 1946, “Crossroads” is considered one of the most iconic works in the history of the moving image. Both the film’s score and sound effects are supplied by seminal minimalist composer Terry Riley and synthesizer pioneer Patrick Gleeson which, combined with the dark beauty of the devastating images, produces a profound meditation on humanity’s capacity for destruction and violence.

Exhibiting artistsToggle

Pierre Bastien

Joanie Lemercier



Pedro Maia

Rainer Kohlberger


Have you been to this event? Share your insights and give it a review below.