“Machina Recordatio” is a street art project that is meant to be an answering machine for all sorts of questions one can think of. The answers are given by the recorded voices of old people – 100 men and women over 80 years – from Berlin, Dresden and Hamburg.
Once in the machine you feel like in a time capsule. The relaxed voices are taking you away from the chaos and stress in the street and earth you quickly with their serenity.
You can ask your own questions here or simply listen in: www.machina-recordatio.de
For my job I regularly travel to Berlin. Usually I’m spending the night there rather than giving me the stress of going in and out in one day. I tend not to consider it a waste of time but instead make best use of it. So I usually try and explore some new areas in Berlin where I have not been before (and take my camera with me).
This time the meeting I was going to attend was in the vicinity of Oranienburger Straße. Since I had heard that it is supposed to be a very lively area I decided to book myself into a hotel in the very heart of this street. I quickly checked in at the hotel and then took my camera and went out for a walk and dinner.
Immediately when I came out of the hotel I noticed a huge building right next to my hotel that looked as if it was never rebuilt since its destruction in World War II. And it was all covered in graffiti. There were also some very old signs of supposedly a movie theater from 2011 as if time had been frozen.
I later found out that the building was called “Tacheles” (German for “straight talking”) and had been occupied since the breakdown of East Germany in 1989 by artists and other young people who just wanted to withstand mainstream and express their own ways of living and culture. The movie theater that still shows the sign of the movie “Anatomie Titus” was an integral part of this community called “High End 54”.
In 2013, however, the City of Berlin decided to finally and completely evict all the premises. As it stands today neither the City of Berlin nor any private investor has funds or interest to rebuild the “Tachales” and make good use of it. So the former stronghold of culture and expression of freedom continues to rotten but at least provides a nice backdrop for photography.