Berghain

The Other Acknowledgements


A fairy-ring of mushrooms grew overnight on the lawn during the NEH Summer Institute at Wesleyan

During the preparation of the final, revised, post-defense version of my dissertation, I finally had to flesh out all of the “front matter” of my dissertation. The front matter usually includes things like an epigraph, a dedication, acknowledgements, a table of contents, lists of tables/figures/maps/etc., and an abstract of the dissertation. Writing the acknowledgements was surprisingly hard, and there were a lot of people, organizations, and things that I couldn’t acknowledge in a scholarly dissertation. But this is a blog, and I have considerably more freedom to shift between levels of formality and punch through layers of politics and politeness. So here are all the other things for which I am grateful, dissertation-wise. (more…)

Berghain Attacked By Cuteness


I Heart Berghain

I ❤ Berghain. Part of a "I ❤ Berlin" photo competition

Just look at this cuteness. LOOK AT IT, I SAY!! Don’t try to deny its overpowering adorability. Let it wash over you.

So, according to the folks at iHeartBerlin.de, this picture comes from a series of images they created for a photo competition, the rest of which you can find by starting here. The competition was put on by Mobile Sessions (which seems to be organized by Sony Ericsson).

You know, taking this picture along with that video for Minilogue‘s “Animals” track (see video below) and the graphic design for the Masomenos record label (also see below), I’m thinking that I could write a whole article on minimal techno and cuteness. Also, someone needs to write an article on pictures of the exterior of Berghain (since pictures of the interior are forbidden during party hours); I bet that there are some interesting patterns to those photos… (more…)

Sightings on the dancefloor


I have a bunch of stuff I want to write about from last weekend—and I’m not even sure I’ll be able to get to all of it—but I wanted to post this note on here before it slips my mind and the affective impact of all of it wears off.

I suspect that I underestimate the extent of my readership. Every once in a while, I meet someone who has been forwarded one of my blog posts through a mutual friend (when I arrived in Berlin for example, nearly all of Bob & Donna’s friends had read at least some of my writing or heard about it). Every time that happens, there’s a brief moment of scary-fun disorientation, where the pleasant surprise of being deemed worthy of reading (and forwarding) collides with the realization that the ever-important “first impression” happened without you—that is, it happened with your text / performance / product instead of with you. It’s sort of like getting caught with your pants down, but with an exhibitionist twist: you kinda like it, but you just wish you had thought to wear more fashionable underwear.

So recently, I’ve had a whole slew of these experiences, including one last night that really surprised me. (more…)

Getting in, getting friends in: Two nights at Berghain / Panorama Bar


At this point, those of you who’ve read my previous mini-profile of Berghain already know that getting in can be complicated; there’s severe selection at the door, and yet the door policy is never fully revealed or explained, and so any night out here is accompanied by a flurry of analysis and strategizing. As readers of my previous blog, Luis in Paris, will remember, I’m also interested in the rather fluid ethical component of this process (something I’ve called liquidarity in my work): who goes in with whom and who vouches for whom, based on differences in access, appearance, “coolness,” familiarity with the bouncers, and so on. Last Friday and Saturday comprised my “homecoming” to Berghain / Panorama Bar, and both evenings provided rich examples of how contingent and complex entry into a nightclub can be.

Friday, July 9th

I was joined this weekend by Bob and Donna, two French friends living in London, who come to Berlin nearly every three weeks to party. (more…)