BERLIN – VIENNA – ISTANBUL. A media lab conducting cliché research

video / still by alexandra reill; kids of yppenplatz, 2004

concept alexandra reill
production kanonmedia | vienna 2007

For the Winter Academy 2007/2008 of Theater an der Parkaue in Berlin in cooperation with Dschungel Wien and Garajistanbul in Istanbul, kanonmedia proposed the staging of a media lab for young people forming the framework for a culture-trans-lating cliché research on the three metropolises.

Talks by young guest lecturers about their everyday life in the city from which they come serve as introductory phase of the lab. Accompanied by coaches from the three cultures, young people formulate their impressions from and ideas about the three cities and discuss them together and with the young guest speakers. The starting point for the discussion is the question of the quality of life in a city for the young people engaging in this research process: “What do I like and what I don’t like about my life? What can I live well in a city and what not? “

In exchange with the other participants and the culture coaches and by collecting adult ideas through interviews in public space, the young people develop a catalog of “short imagery”. From the collection of distilled ideas –more, less or fully free from prejudices, unencumbered “clichés” they develop reflected ideas about quality of life in metropolises in a communication process.

New substrates are generated and again serve as graphically prepared slogans and imagery, trans-lated reflections, viewed from the linguistic point of view of different cultures – cliché research as a starting point for intercultural dialogue and bridge building between Berlin – Vienna – Istanbul.

The media lab offers five to ten computers with audio and image processing software as well as a VJing and a DJing station. After the first two lab days of collecting visual material – for example by collaging magazine material, by bringing photos and postcards from the family and from vacations, by selecting favorite songs from Austria, Germany and Turkey – and by designing the content, where the thought of the word and the trans-lation of terms into another language as well as into another worlds of thought is the topic, the two days are spent on digital image and audio processing.

Favorite sounds from the three cultures are selected by the young people, translated together, re-expressed, and rapped to a beat machine. Slogans are processed as graphics, transformed into spoken-sung-out words, sounds become texts, texts become pictures, pictures become sounds. Clichés re-constellate.

Im VJing- und DJing formieren die Jugendlichen ihre Clips, die nach einer Haupt- und einer Generalprobe als audiovisuelle Performance vorgeführt werden. Die Jugendlichen präsentieren ihre Ergebnisse einer Klischeeforschung einem Publikum aus ihrer Welt, einer erwachsenen Welt, einer lokalen Welt. Nach Abschluss des Labors steht das produzierte Material allen anderen Laboren zur weiteren Verfügung.

By VJing and DJing, the young people form their clips, which are shown as an audiovisual performance after two rehearsals. The young people present their results of a cliché research to an audience from their world, an adult world, a local world. After completion of the laboratory, the material produced is available to the other labs in the cooperating cities.