PARTY IN THE HAUS
Last blog I was about the benefits of meeting and drinking with strangers and going to their apartments.
This time I’ll be covering the benefits of procrastination. And horticulture.
It was the last day for the Haus, on a Tuesday. The Haus was this art show that had a line that stretched for multiple blocks and took upwards of 4-5 hours to get in, that is, if you can make it in before their closing time. Luckily for me, I was in line with multiple people from Art Center and was able to briefly leave and return mit biers und currywürst to wolf down before putting my phone in a required sealed bag for entrance. Keine Fotos, bitte.
My first time was initially overwhelming, as the curated graffiti climbed the stairs with me and took off into the ceiling. Visual information overload had my brain scrambled.
As I proceeded through over 100 different worlds in this repurposed 5-story bank building, I encountered giants, mermaids and monkeys. I was taken from an acid trip through a Berlin forest into an Indian brothel room and back to the states, even through the mind of Donald Trump. Every room was a different artist; even the restrooms were embellished with illustration and sculpture.
Since the usage of cellphones was banned within the haus, books were sold with images of every room inside. And since the bank building was going to be demolished for future luxury apartments, I figured I’d get me a memory book.
When I realized that some of the tour guides themselves for the gallery were contributing artists, I decided to get the book signed by as many people I could find, which not only allowed me to further absorb and digest the art but also spark conversations with the artists. That led me to meet a guy named G who asked me to come to after-party that was apparently happening after the show at 12 am. He asked me to keep it low key, so then took a nap and showed up around 1 am.
I entered the building again from the back this time, and I was greeted by people who met me earlier that day in the Haus. Or technically the day before. Time works differently here in Berlin. There were autographs tagged on an outside wall, and they asked me to sign it as well — the specific destruction of that wall was going to be filmed for a future project.
When I entered the building, the bottom floor was converted into a dancehall with a bar to lube the bones of the celebrating artists. Fritz-kola was a sponsor, so there were endless crates of that. There was also Jäger on tap as they were a sponsor too. But most importantly, the event was sponsored by Berliner Kindl.
I mean I can just end the blog right here.
I figured since Berlin was gifting me all these wonderful things— I might as well bring a little LA into the building and spread a little California love (and yes, by that I mean I brought my portable foldable [supposedly] medical-grade silicon water pipe I bought from a random Sierra Leone guy on some street in Kreuzberg).
That was my little cheat code to really penetrate these creative minds and learn about their experiences, their perspectives, and to create future opportunities. From VR developers, to the curators of the Haus, to Berlin’s most notorious graffiti bombers, the Haus was on fire with passion (and other things). But there was another party happening the following Friday so I wasn’t going to pass on that— apparently about all of the artists were going to be there.
The vibes were similar on that Friday/Saturday:
- They played good old school hip hop at first but I realize that Berliners are the biggest biggie fans and it low high key got old after a few hours even at the second party. When the DJ left and the cell phone volunteer was out of data they asked me to play music so without data either I played the music on my phone which was 2014 and before, which were like new bangers to these guys)
- Only a select few could dance (the rest were Berliners), but the energy was enthusiastic no matter how few people were in the room
But somehow I met people who already had conversations with me, but I didn’t remember them. It was later revealed that there was another brown Asian guy with braids from LA who happened to be invited by one of the artists. And then I did that with the another Asian guy there as well because I greeted him like I knew him and he was confused, but revealed that it was his twin brother who was there on Tuesday/Wednesday whom I met.
There was also a ceremonial distribution of the custom Jägermeister name plaque bottles that were on display at the show, and by ceremonial I mean everyone gathered round as they unscrewed the hinges of the display box like dogs waiting for the owner to finish pouring the food.
Pretty soon I was “LA guy” to the Haus and I was getting numbers/giving my number for connections and requests whether it was because they wanted to work in the future, or even just to know someone for when they would go to LA in the future. I gained a lot from these artists from all over the world— Mexico, Spain, France, Poland, Sweden, Russia, etc… and I wouldn’t have if I didn’t go to the Haus on the last day.