CTM – FESTIVAL
Festival for Adventurous Music and Arts
CTM is a prominent international festival dedicated to contemporary electronic, digital and experimental music, as well as the diverse range of artistic activities in the context of sound and club culture. Since 1999 it takes place concurrently and cooperatively with the transmediale
– international festival for art and digital culture, Berlin.
CTM’s aim is to present the most outstanding international productions in adventurous, experimental and electronic music and audiovisual performance, as well as to reflect recent artistic and technical developments in panels, screenings and presentations.
CTM presents projects that experiment with new aesthetic parameters and new forms of cooperation, develop possibilities for informational and economic self-determination, and reflect on the role of contemporary music against the backdrop of technological and social transformations. Now more than ever, music emerges as a laboratory for multiform experiments and as an active agent that allows for new cultural techniques to be tested and proffered to the wider world. CTM puts the focus on direct experience, risk-taking and personal interaction, and thereby emphasizes the situational potential of live performance, the interplay of various media – sound and image, in particular – and candid exchange between sub-cultural and academic initiatives.
CTM Festival is an independent project and organized by DISK Berlin
Next to the annual festival DISK produces and curates events and projects during the year, both in Berlin and abroad. DISK is a founding member of the ICAS/ECAS
network. DISK is the host organization of the Berlin based project space General Public
The first edition of CTM in 1999 (then named club transmediale), held at the old location of club Maria am Ostbahnhof, was conceived as a one-off special program for the transmediale, where it was intended to throw some light on the new and rapidly expanding spectrum of artistic projects that had emerged from the Techno movement and progressive digitalisation at the interface of media arts, electronic music and club culture. The idea fell on fertile ground – evidently CTM had struck a nerve at the right moment and correctly identified the needs of artists and the public.
In 2000 the festival took place in an empty office space with a superb view on Berlin's Alexander Platz on the 7th floor of the Haus des Lehrers
– the former GDR training (and indoctrination) centre for teachers.
2001 we couldn't realize the festival due to lack of funding. 2002 saw us re-appear on the surface, this time at E-Werk
, an abandoned, wrecked power station, which housed Berlin's legendary E-Werk club from 1993 to 1997. The 2002 edition was not only the most adventurous in terms of location, but with 13 days also the longest we ever did.
In 2003 the festival returned to Maria am Ostbahnhof
, at it's new and current location – and has stayed there till 2009, with a number of additional locations each year: Ballhaus Naunystrasse
, Kunstraum Kreuzberg Bethanien
, Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg Platz
, Carl Zeiss Grossplanetarium
, General Public
2005 saw an expansion of the program, featuring a larger variety of musical styles than ever and especially integrating more and more musical hybrids, shifting the foucus from strictly electronic and digital musics to the interplay of electronic and acoustic approaches. Consequentially, in 2006 we changed the festival's subline from festival of electronic music and related visual arts
to festival of adventurous music and related arts
, emphasizing our preference of specific contents, attitudes or methodologies over particular formats or genres and opening-up the festival to the full range of today's music production.
2010, the festival took place in the re-opened WMF
club at the heart of Berlin Alexanderplatz and at the nearby HBC
. WMF closed it doors again not much later, and so we had to reorganize our concept once more, this time deciding for a more distributed festival that takes place at up to ten venues, mostly located in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg – namely HAU
, Maria am Ostbahnhof
, Festsaal Kreuzberg
, West Germany
, Kunstquartier Bethanien
Today, 13 years after the first edition and with more than 22 000 visitors and 1500 professionals attending the 2012 edition, CTM has gained a unique profile and the reputation of being one of the most important international festivals both for state-of-the-art electronic and experimental music and for the manifold artistic activities that unfold in the context of sound and club culture.
Together, the two festivals CTM and transmediale comprise one of the most comprehensive and relevant occasions in the world for reflection on digital culture and, moreover, one with a more comprehensive scope than any usual festival remit. The two parallel festivals attract a broad and diverse public, yet at the same time offer artists, producers, agents and curators a lively platform for informed, thoughtful debate and opportunities to network across the globe. In doing so, they fathom and illuminate the minutely diversified grass-roots level of music and media arts production. Both festivals do much more than simply present new trends and developments however. In their role as partners to the artists, as participants in on-going contemporary discourse, as active network facilitators, information resources, research bodies and disseminators of innovative work, they also make a vital contribution to the further development of critical, innovative music and media cultures.