The Zodiak Free Arts Lab was a new-fangled venue for experimentation at the interface of music, art and performance, run between 1967 and early 1969 by Conrad Schnitzler, Hans-Joachim Roedelius, Boris Schaak and others on the ground floor of the present HAU 2 building in Berlin. An open lab in which anyone and everyone was free to take part, and where filters such as »education«, »skill« and »virtuosity« had been eliminated, the Zodiak provided one of the most crucial incubators for upcoming artists of the day, among whom numbered Kluster, Ash-Ra Tempel, Tangerine Dream, Human Being, Agitation Free, Klaus Schulze and other projects of the »Berlin School« so inadequately described by references only to krautrock and cosmic music. In particular Conrad Schnitzler – who shortly afterwards opted for a hermit existence until the end of his days and (although no less productive), to radically turn his back on the commercial art world – laid the foundations at the Zodiak for an unorthodox, free form of electronic music.
The lab as a production hub and a space for experimentation has become a centre of operations or switchpoint. Not only do solitary researchers conduct test trials here; things also get done. The emphasis is therefore less on measuring objects or rendering them functional, and more on generating relationships that allow objects to articulate their own language, to speak. Thus conditions are created under which (new) ideas and (new) forms of failure can emerge. The laboratory assistant embarks on a new mode of communication with objects. He enters into a dialogue. Such conditions must be repeatedly subjected to new trials, as language itself also alters over time. This is why the archive is not really important in this context (even though the question remains as to why no archive was constituted at the time). Zodiak Revisited will not only pay tribute to a lab that held its own in the past, but will also seek to transpose its underlying – and, at the time, ground-breaking – concept to the present day. In addition to the conversations and films presented here, Zodiak Revisited encompasses a range of performances, improvisations, sound environments and musical recitals.
TUE 31.01. › 15:00 › HAU 2
ZODIAK REVISITED II – CON TALK
Wolfgang Seidel (DE), Jens Strüver (DE), Thomas Fehlmann (DE), Moderator: Geeta Dayal (US)
Hosted by The Wire
WED 01.02. › 15:00 › HAU 2
ZODIAK REVISITED IV
Hans-Joachim Roedelius (DE), Sven-Åke Johansson (SE/DE), Borngräber & Strüver (DE), Moderator: Paul Paulun (DE)