Underground and Improvisation. Alternative Music and Art after 1968


The symposium focuses on central questions of alternative artistic strategies that arise from the juxtaposition of and the relationship between underground and improvisation, East and West: What is the term "underground" understood to mean in the West? How is it understood in the East? And who defines themselves how? In what way is improvisation political, and which political aspects of improvisation are relevant today? How were the dividing lines and the blurring of boundaries between the arts discussed in the East and in the West? What remained and what made history? How is the current drift of some representatives of the alternative art scene to the right to be interpreted?

6 pm
Trans Osteuropa Express Unearthing The Music Presents Notes from the Underground. A Compilation
Talk: David Crowley, Chris Bohn, Alexander Pehlemann
For the Berlin installation of the Notes from the Underground exhibition, a compilation was prepared with the Portuguese project Unearthing The Music, which makes the experimental music of real socialism available online. It is to be released as a double LP on Leipzig's Major label as part of its new Iron Curtain Radio series and offers sounds between the level of official art and deepest subculture, which were often hardly ever heard beyond the country's borders, especially not in this constellation. It provides a clue as to what is still to be discovered in those Eastern sound zones that were not (or only barely) caught up in any hype.

To launch the symposium, the compilation will be presented with Chris Bohn from the British magazine The Wire, who was the first Western music journalist to travel through parts of Eastern Europe at the beginning of the 1980s, in search of this region's Underground – which resulted in the Trans-Europe Express series of articles in NME.

7 pm
Gespräch und musikalische Intervention

Frank Bretschneider, Daniel Muzyczuk
Frank Bretschneider, one of the founders of the band AG Geige, speaks to curator Daniel Muzyczuk about punk in the East German underground and his personal evolution toward club culture electronic music since the 1990s. In a musical Intervention, Bretschneider provides an insight into his current work.


Programme on 20 Apr and 21 Apr 2018.

Thursday, 19 Apr 2018

6 pm



Symposium in English

Panels and discussion admission free