The week before last was filled with theater, a full 9 hours of it which should last me for the rest of the year. I wrote the one negative review you will find of ‘Krieg und Frieden’ as a result of it.
I also spent quite a bit of time struggling with German bureaucracy to be able to request a new Dutch passport. It’s always a fun thing to do.
I dropped by the Git-Merge event in Berlin which besides hosting the Berlin git community seems to draw out a group of interesting developers. The party they hosted the next day was a great opportunity for me to catchup wit old friend Cristiano Betta who is now an evangelist at Paypal.
via Alper.nl » English http://bit.ly/1145Sec
The turn above from Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße into Schönhauser Allee yesterday around 19:15 is where I almost got hit by a woman driving a black car with license plates LDS HS 179. Shaken but not too shaken I pursued them up the street to demonstrate my discontent and to write down the plate number.
I should have seen that they weren’t going to stop though they usually do but this was rather unexpected during a leisurely evening ride where absolutely nothing should have gone wrong.
Police will be contacted on Monday and then we’ll see how far this can be pursued.
via Alper.nl » English http://bit.ly/10YYyRd
So that cat is out of the bag: I’ve taken up residency at KANT, the Kreuzberg Academy for Nerdery and Tinkering. Peter who you may have read before on The Waving Cat just wrote the inaugural post on our freshly pressed Tumblr (tweets are still forthcoming).
I’m in the process of moving over, getting my things in order and doing all of my other work, but I do believe that we have struck upon a mix here that has all of the right kinds of volatile creativity with a solid dash of make.
I don’t know what will come out of it yet, but that is the nature of a lab like this. There has been talk about all kinds of ideas already, so the challenge will be to narrow things down and figure what we want to do. I do think that we are heading into the right direction. Onwards and upwards.
via Alper.nl » English http://bit.ly/10mcAdy
The week before last started out with me still in Paris sampling the local coffee scene which has been improving massively over the past year or so.
Most of these places seem to be run by English speaking expatriates and they are also mostly frequented by the same. This was something I also noticed at my coworking space in La Cantine. It seems that foreigners are a necessary mediator to introduce new things —digital or coffee— into French culture.
That Wednesday I did a quick ignite for UIKonf on Beestenbende’s design aspects and the next day I was at Heimathafen Neukölln at 06:00 to help them with setup and registration. I managed to catch a bit of the conference and based on the content on stage and reactions in the room, it looks like it was a resounding success.
The next day I spent working at the office for most of the day, but in the evening I dropped by the UIKode hackathon to show the iOS project I had picked up again that week. More on that to be announced here soon.
via Alper.nl » English http://bit.ly/13dNPy6
I’ve learned my lessons: I will not go to traditional German theater anymore and I will never again book a play without first checking its duration.
Yesterday night I went to the Volksbühne to see Krieg und Frieden, five hours of 19th century Russian war drama, by the Centraltheater Leipzig as part of the Theatertreffen. I had been listening to its soundtrack by Apparat for the past months. It used to be freely available on Soundcloud and is out now on Spotify.
The excellent music and the fact that the intendant of Leipzig, Sebastian Hartmann, had made some interesting statements about the state of German theater heightened my anticipation for this play.
Turns out I wasn’t the only one drawn in by the presence of a world renowned electronic musician. The room was noticeably younger than for instance the Haus der Berliner Festspiele the day before but unfortunately it didn’t stay that way. As soon as people around me figured out that this wasn’t going to be an Apparat concert, that in fact the bits of music were going to be interrupted by long and boring German theater, many of them left.
The music was good. So good in fact that the play suffered by comparison.
What was wrong with the play? I would give it an A for effort because that had gone into it. But still all of that effort could not improve the poor writing and dramaturgy. We got subjected to literal hours of exposition. Actors enter, they declaim happenings in the 19th century, they expect this to have an affective effect on us and then they leave. Repeat. Sometimes they do this in chorus form which makes it even worse.
The absence of gripping monologues or almost any sharp dialogue did not help the energy level of the play. I felt like I was being beat into drowsiness that was occasionally relieved by the music.
Qualitatively there were lots of good things in this bad play. The acting when it was allowed was actually really good. There were a couple of scenes that managed to be evocative and memorable. The tilting platform was used brilliantly and added interesting dynamic variations to the scenes. It looks like there are two hours of very solid theater hidden away in these five. If only the director’s creativity had been restrained a bit and his darlings been massacred by somebody.
After the main play, a third part was tacked on which should have been scrapped. The actors go into a meta-treatment and engage in extensive amateur-philosophizing. This was the part where I got my much needed bit of sleep (the room was a third empty by then). The electronic lighting and animation at the very end were added in a way that didn’t match anything in the piece. One wonders at the deliberation that went into that if any.
German theater need not be stuck in the past as proven by Ostermeier. Russian classics need not be enacted in a boring fashion as proven by van Hove. That makes the creation of this mix with its good music, quality acting, terrible indulgence and dramaturgical chaos a choice. A choice that should have been made differently.
via Alper.nl » English http://bit.ly/17P9iBV
This week was the week where we were in full sprint for the pilot launch of KAIGARA. Besides that we had a dinner off NEXT with some people involved and some speakers. What I managed to catch from NEXT’s program while working was nothing short of splendid. Bruce Sterling’s talk has been shared widely and I’m eagerly awaiting Anab Jain’s to be published as a video (the slides are already there).
On Thursday I managed to set aside a bit of time to go to the local multiplayer picknick at Amaze. The Amaze Indie Connect is the most fun event of the Berlin game scene and it always gets lots of very cool people to come out. Just sitting at the same table as Terry Cavanagh and Michael Brough left me a bit star-struck:
— Thorsten S Wiedemann (@ST0RN0) April 28, 2013
It was also nice to see lots of old friends who I manage to see a couple of times a year. My highlight of Amaze was to be able to play Samurai Gunn. This game isn’t available yet and the video I’m going to post below does not nearly do it justice. It is one of the most gripping multiplayer combat games I’ve played to date.
via Alper.nl » English http://bit.ly/16jL6d3
Unbelievable how many weeks behind I am on these. That’s not wholly intended, but the last couple of weeks have been a bit busier than usual. This was the week of April 15th which I spent mostly in Amsterdam.
I spent a full day with the team on Tuesday working on KAIGARA:
I drank very awesome coffee that Angelo had brought back from his road trip along the west coast of the USA:
We celebrated shipping some projects that night with Kars and Simon and the next day I was back at Hubbub for another day of work. That night it was off to the Open State offices in Amsterdam for a bit of envisioning with our new managing director. A very solid and constructive session, well catered by our in-house team of Bite Me:
My work setup at the brilliant Koko:
Friday I took the train back to Berlin and it was confirmed to me again that train companies are stupid. If I take a different train to Berlin I need to pay the difference in distance even if I start and end in the same place:
And Saturday I also managed squeeze out a long overdue Recess!.
So lots of stuff and more to follow.
via Alper.nl » English http://bit.ly/12dFo85
Cyclists themselves also have charming communication norms. (via Kati Krause)