Typomuzak – Berlinistanbulhongkongshanghaibeijing
4th Typojanchi (타이포잔치) Biennale, Seoul 2015
Listen to the music while looking at this page!
In November 2015, the 4th Typojanchi Biennale was opened at the Cultural Station 284 in Seoul, bearing the title “C ( ) T ( )”. My artistic contribution Typomuzak – Berlinistanbulhongkongshanghaibeijing was planned in the theme-based context of type and Urbanity. The project is based on a visual research of two streets in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district, a streetscape where German and Turkish shop signs balance each other. Starting with the concept of Muzak, referring to the commercial background music that increasingly accompanies us on our way through streets, shopping malls or cafés, I started to speak of Typomuzak as its visual side. If you define typomuzak as an image-track to the noisy urban symphony, then how may its score look like?
To make visual matters more complex, it is also more difficult than ever to clearly assign all of that written information to certain cultural backgrounds. Berlin? Istanbul? No-one knows.
A junk shop in Oranienstraße named “Hong Kong Shop” can kickstart a process I call “typographic entanglement”, that, by means of visual stimuli, semiotic connotations and personal experience, incubates a conception of culturally supercharged. In my case, this environment was christened Berlinistanbulhongkongshanghaibeijing.
A small room shows the diverse elements of this city, painstakingly catalogued in five categories on wall posters. A visual score leads the viewer through the visual symphony and the real soundtrack consisting of five musical pieces and songs, which were composed, using “sculptural” methods, from a basis of sound recordings done in the respective cities. The first piece of the Berlin part was produced as an unofficial, uncommissioned title theme to the 4th Typojanchi Biennale.
Tracklist: I. Berlin (1. What Type… 2. The Lone Whistler) II. Berlinistanbul (3. Simit 4. Oh wie wohl…) III. Berlinhongkong (5. Shopping 鳩嗚 6. The Subway – Valentine’s Day) IV. Shanghai (7. When a Traveller Arrives in Shanghai To-Day – F.L. Hawks Pott, D.D.) V. Beijing (8. Laowai Hello 9. The Park)