Dear audience, dear friends,
“Autumn is always our best time.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said that. In times gone by that did not yet know a corona virus. At the moment, autumn means just one thing above all: a new lockdown!
Culture strengthens the immune system
The decision to close theaters and other cultural institutions again for a month, was called a catastrophe by Monika Grütters, German Minister of Culture, “not only for those affected in the cultural sector, but also for all of us in society”, and actor Lars Eidinger put it even more drastically, describing the lockdown as “actually the death sentence”. Only a few days before the announcement of the second lockdown, the German band “Die Ärzte” opened the news program “Tagesthemen” with a modified jingle in the style of punk rock, pointing out the danger of overlooking and insufficient support for cultural producers and the event industry.
New lockdown − many questions!
One of them will probably be the one about proportionality of the measures. Shopping centers and slaughterhouses are allowed to remain open, while the cultural and event industry is forced to a standstill.
The connecting element – and yet overlooked?
Looking back: During the first Corona lockdown, Igor Levit, the twittering pianist who stands like no other for a productive combination of (classical) music and digitality, streamed his Corona inhouse concerts from his living room every day − and received the German Federal Cross of Merit for it. With these “Corona Inhouse Concerts”, Levit “has created out of isolation a cooperation across all barriers,” said Federal President Steinmeier. A clear sign of how important art and culture are in times of crisis and how much they can act as a unifying element.
And that’s why digital-stage.org poses the question of how a condition of ‘togetherness’ can emerge from ‘separateness’ and how connections within this ‘togetherness’ can be even more successful. A stream is a stream is a stream is a stream − but how do you create democratic exchange? Ceci n’est pas une… one-way street!
How digital-stage.org wants to create a creative and democratic exchange:
- At digital-stage.org it is not the loudest voices that dominate the chorus, but rather all voices are transmitted equally, and no-one is automatically muted.
- Multiple audio and video devices per participant are possible: a singer may combine his own vocals, instruments and MP3; a dancer can work with 2 cameras.
- Virtual mixing console
- Free arrangement of video images, image mixing up to a virtual stage set and immersive rehearsals*
* = coming soon
It doesn’t work without art and culture, but how does art and culture work with Corona?
That is still a good question! digital-stage.org presents a way how art and culture can remain a protected area instead of becoming a source of infection. The band “Die Ärzte” hope that “crazy ideas born out of necessity” will make more things possible again that we today still regard as impossible. That’s why we continue to work hard on the digital stage in the browser window digital stage web. The internal beta phase will start shortly. The Digital Stage team will soon begin internal testing of the web version before it is made available to sponsors and associated partners for initial trials.
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The Rotterdam Metro, saved by public art.
A photo, taken on November 02, 2020, which should perhaps be viewed symbolically in these days.
We are very pleased that digital-stage.org is supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media as part of the “Neustart Kultur” program. In times that pose a particular challenge for artists and cultural workers, digital-stage.org wants to use the “Neustart Kultur” funding in order as to create opportunities for art, music and theater ensembles to continue their work despite the pandemic and lockdown.
One solution for many different requirements
digital-stage.org can accomplish a lot! Get a small impression of what we can do and read our micro stories about our user prototypes. A small appetizer here in our newsletter, the whole user story series on our social media channels!
This is Ute. Passionate choir singer and recently retired. She was happy to have more time for her hobby now that she is retired. And then came Corona …! Due to her medical history, it is too risky for Ute to attend the choir rehearsals in physical meetings. For several months now she hasn’t sung in a group and was forced to rehearse just for herself. She misses the sense of community when everyone breathes in… and then it gets started!
What fears and worries would digital-stage.org be able to relieve from Ute?
This is Semra. She studies “Arts in Context” and is an avid fan of post-internet art. She has long been asking herself what digitality does to art, to what extent digitalization processes have transformed art and continue to do so. She would like to continue researching, observing and reflecting about how digitality and art could be brought together even better. What new formats might emerge in this way?
What would Semra do with digital-stage.org?
That is Ibrahim. He is a professional dancer.
His long-time dance partner, with whom he has developed various performances, recently moved to London for an engagement. For him this provides a huge opportunity, for Ibrahim it raises many questions. How should their successful collaboration continue? Ibrahim doesn’t want to fly to London for every conceptual rehearsal. He is a very environmentally aware person and believes that such behavior is no longer justifiable in times of climate crisis. And of course, there is also the cost factor.
In which creative processes can digital-stage.org support Ibrahim?
Your digital-stage.org team
+++++ digital-stage.org-Ticker +++++ digital-stage.org on November 11 at #Ratschlag2020 “ON/OFF and in between – digitality in district culture in times of Corona“ +++ digital-stage.org on November 26 with „BACH TO THE FUTURE“ of the European Forum on Classical Music +++ „Connecting everybody“: Tobias Hegemann (head of line software development) presents digital-stage.org with Hub for Good by DigitalOcean vor +++