Dear dear friends of the arts,
for 21 years already, you may have been used to the fact that in June the 48 Stunden Neukölln bring art to the district and many people to the streets. This year is different due to the restrictions imposed to protect against Covid19. This time we have to ask you to stay at home and visit us here on this website.
48 Stunden Neukölln, a festival that from the very beginning has based its success on exchange, personal conversations, exploration of unusual places and surprising encounters with art, leaves the known terrain. This year, forced by circumstances (but also curious about the effects of the changes), we are taking the path of technical innovation together with you. Digitalisation and digital experiments have already become increasingly important in artistic projects in previous years.
This year, the festival with all its events will take place online, even though loosening up of restrictions has been going on for some weeks now. However, these do not affect big events like ours, they are forbidden until the end of August. And certainly rightly so, because the situation remains unforseeable and due to the continuing danger of possibly becoming a superspreader event, the city's largest free art festival cannot be responsibly organized. And yet we do not want to break off the contact between the artists* and you, our audience.
Instead, we invite you to a great experiment. Together with the artists* we have set up a big digital event. On our interactive festival platform, over 200 art projects await you for 48 hours in a completely new way. You can experience concerts and performances as live streams for a limited period of time, exhibitions as filmed documentaries or even in virtual space, discourses as conference calls, encounters and studio visits as digital formats and much more. To a very limited extent we also bring art to the streets. Three "Signals" in public places give residents the opportunity to encounter real positions of contemporary art in passing. And the Neukölln project spaces also present themselves to their neighbors with inspiring window displays. And in this issue, 75 advertising spaces at bus stops in the districts of Neukölln and Tempelhof are transformed into a gallery in the urban space.
We would like to thank the many artists* who originally applied for a completely different kind of festival for participating in our digital edition and/or for making it possible for you to experience art. We are curious to see whether together we will be able to simulate a festival experience in digital space and togetherness using the various formats.
Our festival edition continues to carry the theme of boom, which feels ominously appropriate at the moment. It plays with both sides of the word, the positive development and at the same time with the big bang. A powerful outburst and the signs of an abrupt change, we have all just experienced. The theme is openly interpreted by the artists* in many directions. It is about the big and small explosions, but also about getting up again or the big breakthrough. Boom is also a bass that drives the music or the formal visualisation with strong colours. And, of course, the critical reflection on the economic shot-down and the "limits of growth" in relation to economic and ecological issues. Also the eruptive destruction and new emergence are the manifestations of the boom. We have added #system relevant to the topic. On the one hand out of respect for the achievements of the many people who have done so much in the past months of crisis, but also to raise the question of the systemic relevance of art and culture in our society.
We are all painfully aware that our "48 hours online" cannot replace the immediate viewing and experience of art. But they will enable you to continue to gain insights into the creation of works of art, to deal with social issues and to get to know new projects in a diverse and above all new way. We hope that you will also use this digital mediation of art with interest. We hope even more that the general situation will calm down again and that we will then be able to enjoy the qualities of a "normal", i.e. innovative and above all accessible art festival 48 Stunden Neukölln with you all the more in 2021.
We wish you much pleasure and stimulating insights into the artistic processes.
Please stay well-behaved and above all healthy,
Thorsten Schlenger and Martin Steffens