As part of its long-term project ‘The New Alphabet,’ Haus der Kulturen der Welt is hosting a four-day discursive music festival entitled ‘Find the File.’ The Opening Days of The New Alphabet took place in early January, offering an introduction to the program, which aims to be both a diagnosis and provocation that addresses the fact that “vernacular, opaque or marginalized ways of knowing are increasingly subsumed into abstract universalizing structures.”
Music and its evolution are centered in ‘Find the File,’ which will take place from March 21st–24th, with a series of concerts and talks. The program poses questions about how music is currently collected, preserved, selected and reactivated, what collections and archives represent, and what can be found within them. As we all know, the methods of production, of storage and of listening to music have dramatically changed in recent decades. From vinyls and cassettes to CDs and MP3s, from mixtapes (in the literal sense) to remixes. Now, every second multiple pieces of data enter the archive of the internet, so who is listening to the new MP3s, who collects them, where are they stored for generations to come?
In addition to performances by DJ Raph, Aérea Negrot, Tellavision & Derya Yıldırım and Alan Bishop, and talks with DJ Jace Clayton, music ethnologist Diane Thram and artist Cornelia Sollfrank, there will also be two video installations. One piece will be the first-ever screening of archival footage of saxophone virtuoso Fela Kuti at concerts, in family portraits and even his funeral in 1997. Filmmaker Armin Linke reactivated the original films, captured by director Michele Avantario in the 80s and 90s. The second, Artistic Shadow Libraries by Cornelia Sollfrank, depicts artists who create web archives, like UbuWeb and Aaaarg, as a practice of collaborative, unauthorized and precarious contributions for unlimited access to the arts.