What to do when all we’re left with is our (bleak) future? The second year of 3hd festival invited artists, musicians, and academics to elaborate on the abstract question.
Up the staircase, all the way along the balcony, and right into the packed, office-like room which held the opening reception of this year’s 3hd festival. The night of performances, speeches, and video artworks on loop kicked off the second edition of the festival, put together by the Creamcake organizers Daniela Seitz and Anja Weigl, which employed a rather peculiar, philosophical theme: “There is nothing but the future?”. Over the course of five days, online world was inspected and dissected in an offline environment, and those curious enough were encouraged to explore, revolt, and recreate. Diverse yet interrelated topics as identity, body in context, protest and revolt, healing, memes, racism, sexism, and class oppression were discussed and portrayed in the various lectures, debates, and performances.
The festival had a clear identity made up of witty event names, channeling the lengthy main message, and of pastel-coloured visuals featuring 3D digital art. The choice of venues, however, was not as concise. The parties were held at OHM, and had quite the usual ‘party at OHM’ vibe, perhaps only spiced up by a light installation right next to the DJ booth. Nevertheless, the party we attended, “Speculative Futurism”, with Wilted Woman, coucou chloé, and 食品まつり a.k.a Foodman playing, turned into a great work day rave.
‘Music Today, Tomorrow’s Joys and Horrors’ Lecture by Adam Harper
‘Opening: Heal the World: A Better Now’
The lectures and debates were held at Vierte Welt, an almost-hidden multidisciplinary space overlooking Kottbusser Tor. Each day brought an incredibly diverse program to the venue, and you could attend an ASMR workshop right after a collaborative music-producing session in the form of a tea ceremony, or learn about mainstream musicians using memes to promote their music—this lecture by Michael Waugh was our favorite—, be a part of a discussion about and/or embrace fat, black, femme bodies, and top it off by a live radio transmission, which was, in fact, never broadcasted.
Easter presents Her Own
‘Body in Context’ Discussion Panel
HAU 2, a rather prestigious theatre, which hosted the music performances, seemed to be quite an odd choice. Once you made your way to an empty spot by jumping over (and occasionally stepping on) other visitors’ bags, drinks, and limbs in the dimmed room, rather than live concerts, the performances felt like watching a Boiler Room stream irl, as if, instead of being there in person, you were only experiencing the spectacle from a second-hand source. The performers almost seemed to disappear behind the couple of metres long DJ booth placed on stage, which, with a large-scale projection screen behind it, dominated the whole room. The visitors were expected to sit on a staircase-like space, which was quite a shame as many of the performers (most notably Aïsha Devi) delivered very intense, explosive, and, mostly, danceable sets. On the last day, Easter presented their pro-choice project Her Own, for which a fundraiser in collaboration with Abortion Support Network was set up, with all funds backing those who need to undergo an abortion in Ireland but cannot afford it. The Berlin-based duo, all dressed in black with bold, shining white “REPEAL” spelled on their jumpers, split their usual set into parts which were interrupted by short clips presenting the work of Abortion Support Network, often accompanied by a piano player.
Even though five days might not seem enough—and it surely is not—to come to a definite conclusion on all of the ambitious, abstract subjects the festival’s program touched upon, through the various events, essays, and artworks, a great and dynamic discussion, which brought together the performers and the audience, was sparked on many occasions. Perhaps thanks to events like this, our future, the only thing we’re left with, might be brighter than we expected.
Photos + text: Anna Wim
Edit: Padla Nemeckova
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