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Sunday, 30 December 2007

10 Best Things To Do In Berlin > Sean Patten > Gob Squad

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Welcome to the second edition of "My Favorite Things To Do". This time GOB SQUAD's Sean Patten tells us all about his favorite things to do in and around Berlin.

GOB SQUAD's new project is in production: At long last preparations are underway to save the world, or at least to make a performance/film event called "Saving The World". If you are passing through the streets of Berlin this winter and you see people setting fire to themselves, asking passers-by to step into the future, or doing abstract contemporary dance outside McDonalds, it's probably them. Buy them a Hot Chocolate.

Sean's Top Ten:

1. Warnitz campsite, north of Berlin. Throwing another log on an already monstrous bonfire, as I take a swig of Whiskey and watch the stars come out over the lake, surrounded by my nearest and dearest.

2. Midnight, New Year's Eve, anywhere in Berlin. It's all-out fireworks warfare as bangers, rockets and anything which explodes are launched into the air and across the street at the neighbors. It's sheer bloody-minded recklessness and it's brilliant.

3. Kaffee und Kuchen 200 meters above the earth, in the TV tower revolving restaurant, munching through a generous slice of black forest gateau as Berlin revolves once every 30 minutes below me.

4. Studio 21 at the Noisy Rooms rehearsal complex. The moment when 6 sweaty men, thrashing their instruments, all turned up to 11, improvise more than just another noise/art/nonsense rock song, they create something sublime, transcendent, something powerful and beautiful. Of course the moment never lasts, but that's what makes it so great.

5. Backstage at the Volksb├╝hne, 10 minutes before curtain up. Lights, sound, costume are all in place. It's the calm before the storm of live performance.

6. The Teufelsberg. A huge hill made of rubble from WW2, topped with the ominous white domes of a now derelict US spy station. This is the best place in the city for flying a kite, and the longest toboggan run for miles around.

7. Strolling the aisles of Hornbach DIY megastore, notebook in hand, buying all the bits for an ambitious home improvement project. They even have a drive-thru section, just like McDonalds.

8. Prater beer garden on a summer evening. This place embodies all the achievements of modern society - good beer, food and conversation shared with over a thousand people without a hint of the beered-up aggro you might expect.

9. Poland! They've got different food, different language, different money and a different sense of humor. It's a complete culture shock and it's just one hour away.

10. At the end of the day there's only one place to go: Jeff's Bar on Schwedter Strasse. It's like a local pub for today's urban nomads. If Jeff himself is in, he might buy you a beer and you can happily natter away till day breaks.

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Blessings From The Real German Pope

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May your new year be as sweet as a Peshwari naan bread.

Monday, 24 December 2007

Clip Art Clip

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787 by Oliver Laric



This is a great clip by Oliver Laric. A friend just told me about Oliver's new piece, a video installation where he created a music video for the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Under The Bridge by cutting together single notes from amateur renditions found on video-sharing websites. You can watch it here.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Blackadder's Christmas Carol

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Watch all Blackadder's Christmas Carol YouTube episodes here!

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


Part 4


Part 5


Blackadder's Christmas Carol

Friday, 21 December 2007

The Hard Sell

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I just found this great pic on All 5 Horizonts. I wish it was real and not some "funky art project". But my inner cynic whispers "Bums don't have this kind of humour! It's a fake that uses bums and makes idiots out of them." I always want to wear a sign reading "Free Golden Showers". Or "Silent Commiseration - $100 Per Minute". Or "My Girlfriend's Just Been Murdered - Need $100 For Sex & Drugs".

Thank You For The Music

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Sunday, 16 December 2007

My 10 Favorite Things To Do In Berlin > Miles Chalcraft

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This time new media art wizz Miles Chalcraft from Radiator / Trampoline Berlin tells us his 10 favorite things to do ..in Berlin.






1. Lying in late in my own bed on a Saturday morning reading a really good book with a cup of tea and X still asleep beside me

2. Sit in a cafe on a bright summers morning watching the world go by - the cafe changes - Friedrichshain Park Cafe would be good for this

3. Going for a trip to Liebnitz See on the bikes in early summer

4. Going to Mauerpark Flea Market on a bright autumn/spring Sunday morning to soak up the atmosphere

5. Going to meet the boys at Potsdamer Platz to see some crap film in the Sony Center

6. Going to Hamburger Bahnhof / Martin Gropius Bau / Kunst-Werke to see a new exhibition

7. Going to a Kunst-Werke opening where there are so many people that I am unlikely to meet anyone I know unless I arrange to

8. Working in Hau 2 and taking lunch breaks in the Wau cafe

9. Sitting in the window seat of KaDeWe cafe during christmas time

10. Walking / cycling round the streets and discovering new interesting bits

..cause EVERYBODY hates a TOURIST!

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..priceless ; )

Friday, 14 December 2007

The Longer I look At This, The More It Disturbs Me

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Creepy Crawlers

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What do you get if you cross-breed Jeff Koons with The Addams Family? A three-headed horror lamb by Elizabeth McGrath. Great stuff on her website ..maybe you are still short of a Christmas present?
Last exhibition was in the Strychnin Gallery in Berlin. Hush, hush ..maybe it's still on.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Dancing Queens & Belly Kings

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Germany in the 80s. Not exactly Sex & Drugs & Rocknroll. More like Schnaps, Moustache & Michael Jackson. The photographer Reinhard Krause captured the drabness and humour of the Ruhrpott, a region up to it's neck in the muddy waters of Germany's first industrial crisis. I love these pics, as they remind me of my teenage years: torn between "Beat It" and "Highway to Hell", trying to make sense of the boring madness that surrounded me.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Mat Hand presents: Zen & The Art Of Breaking World Records

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These are my friends Leif Alexis and Mat Hand playing Ping Pong (tischtennis). For more than 5 hours. Non-Stop. Without letting the ball drop. Once.

The performance took place over 2 days and the existing world record was broken on the 16th attempt. Mat is an Artistic Serial World Record Breaker. Or.. let's say, that's what I would call him. He holds the following world records:

LONGEST TABLE TENNIS RALLY
TALLEST SUGAR CUBE TOWER
MOST SWEETCORN KERNELS EATEN IN 3 MINUTES WITH A COCKTAIL STICK
MOST PEAS EATEN WITH A COCKTAIL STICK IN 3 MINUTES
MOST GRAPES EATEN WITH A PLASTIC SPOON IN 3 MINUTES
MOST BEER MATS FLIPPED & CAUGHT

His shows allow the audience to investigate the lengthy processes, the rules and strict guidelines that are stipulated by Guinness World Records© as well as offering the chance to experience World Record breaking in a controlled and stylised environment. In trying to find a place for non-theatrical actions within a performative space he presents these unpredictable live moments which ebb and flow with repeated failure and fleeting success.










World Record Breaking Performances encourage debate regarding the importance of the live experience and the role of Live Art documentation. Witnessing and evidence play an integral and dual role insofar as they are required by Guinness World Records© and therefore must be adhered to strictly during the performances. It is through these events that Mat Hand aims to explore his own relationship with the compulsion to make a mark, the cultural position and function of World Records and the possibilities for their artistic re-representation/interpretation through Live Art and installation.

Matt also attempted the following World Records - but failed. You can't win if you don't try.

BIGGEST BUBBLE GUM BUBBLE BLOWN
MOST CREAM CRACKERS EATEN IN 3 MINUTES
MOST SWEETCORN KERNELS EATEN IN 3 MINUTES WITH A COCKTAIL STICK

These are his future performances:
Longest Karaoke
Coin Spinning
Motionlessness
Loudest Scream
Longest Non-Stop
Peanut Throwing
Clapping Marathon
Loudest Clap


Sunday, 9 December 2007

When there's no more room on the water..

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..surfers will walk the earth. M*therf*cking ZOMBIE SURFERS!! AAAAAAARRGH!!!!

The rotten stinking bald bloke on the right is my man Rich from Surfers Against Sewage. If you care about the sea and nature in general, you should give him much respect (or better some of your money!), as he works his arse off for OUR environment. Check out SAS ..especially if you live in Cornwall.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Star Wars Tattoos - Feel the pain, nerds!

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What would be better than showing up to the Christmas dinner table at your grandparents with a hot new Rancor tattoo on your skull? Just in time for the holidays theforceintheflesh.com put together a list of the top ten craziest Star Wars Tattoos. Fett sacrilege, Holiday Special madness, a Stormtrooper boldly goes where he shouldn't and of course the Jar Jar smack down. My favorite by miles are the finger lightsabers. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzz..

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

A man with a HUGE cock

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The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth by Anton Szandor LaVey

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1. Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked. (That's a good one)

2. Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure they want to hear them. (Yes please)

3. When in another’s lair, show him respect or else do not go there. (Yep!)

4. If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy. (OK)

5. Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal. (mmmhm.. The Mating Signal!)

6. Do not take that which does not belong to you unless it is a burden to the other person and he cries out to be relieved. (..please take this annoying money from me!!!)

7. Acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained. (OK)

8. Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself. (Yes, shut up winger)

9. Do not harm little children. (only little?)

10. Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food. (Yeah, fuck off you bloody animal-for-enjoyment -killers!)

11. When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him.

..not so sure about destroying people. If someone bothers you and doesn't stop: Just walk away. But if he follows you and continues to bother you after you walk away: Kick his balls. Hard. And walk away.

Last man standing

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Just found this odd picture of me. It was taken shortly before we had to give up the German embassy in Baghdad in 2004. I don't seem to mind..

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Pencil Bench

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Boex 3D Creative Solutions designed this award winning, quirky bench from a single conversation to see if they could incorporate an everyday office object into a piece of furniture.

The seat is made up of 1600 pencils which are individually sprung. Each pencil can be removed and used.