Jakob Kudsk Steensen’s new commissioned work, ‘Berl Berl’ transforms the Halle am Berghain into a swamp, exploring the ecology and mythology of the city’s history.

Berl Berl is an immersive installation that takes patrons on a journey back in time to Berlin’s origins as a swamp formed by a glacial valley over 10,000 years old. The exhibition runs until Sept 26th in Halle am Berghain.

Jakob Kudsk Steensen’s impressive installation is a mutlifloored LED trip through the local wetlands. The ground floor shows the world beneath the swamp (roots, soil, and water) and the first floor has a huge monitor surrounded by smaller screens showing the world above (plants, insects, and the sky).

This week, Chapter Magazine published a video that goes behind the scenes and gives more information on the visual and audio technology behind bringing Berl Berl to life. The video interviews each artist and focuses mostly on the sound component including the sampling and spatial sound design. The video displays Berlin combining art, music and science in a creative capacity.

Halle am Berghain, a venue with significant cultural meaning to Berliners and dance music fans, has itself transformed immensely over the years. Its origins are as a place of industry, which later became a world-famous nightclub and most recently it’s transformed into an exhibition centre during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This transformative aspect of the building inspired the artist Jakob Kudsk Steensen’s to include generative audio and spatial sound components leading to his collaboration with sound composer Matt McCorkle and spatial sound designer Lugh O’Neil. Together along with Arca, whose voice you can hear intermittently throughout the space, they have created a multi-layered digital experience that takes us back to Berlin’s origins as a swamp.

‘Berl-Berl’, commissioned by LAS, is running at Halle at Berghain until September 26 2021. A virtual performance by Arca is taking place on BerlBerl.world in September 2021. For more information and to buy tickets visit the LAS website.

Photography: Jakob Kudsk Steensen, ‘Berl-Berl’ , Halle am Berghain, 2021. © Timo Ohler

14th August, 2021

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