6 min read 🤓

Berlin: Zero Cohesion (1)

july 11, 2022

[ navigate among ø-coh uP episodes: ø-coh 1 | ø-coh 2 = © | ø-coh 3 ]


Parlons Berlin!
Ja so. Genau! Denn hier hören Sie gleich einige unserer 'unPublic' Berlin-Geschichten!

We went by train. Good for luggage-takings. Bad for weak backs. The first half was OK. The ICE left the Paris Gare de l'Est in the early evening of Thursday June 23rd with a mere ten to twenty minutes delay, and arrived in Frankfurt more or less on time. That was around eleven, 23h, that same evening. Where the waiting began. It must be a sign of the times that even German trains these days only very approximately stick to their intended timetable. Pretty much every single train was announced with a delay of some xxx minutes. Or so it seemed. These days. And if it's not a pricy hi-speed—ICE—one, you need a lot of luck or divine intervention (you will know and agree that both concepts are, unarguably, closely related) to find a seat.9euro Maybe 9 euro tickets for a full month's worth of German public transport are to blame. Maybe.


For that night's train to Berlin.
It was in Frankfurt that the waiting began.




Scheduled for about two hours after eleven, at one am, Friday June 24th. Announced with some 50 minutes of delay. A delay that then doubled, and brought us a train with pretty much all seats for Berlin already taken, and a platform full of sleepy voyagers pushing itself in. I was lucky enough to find myself a corner in a compartment with 5 young Swiss lads, that already had come all the way to Frankfurt from Lausanne.

We did arrive in Berlin. At Hbf (= Hauptbahnhof), that morning around 8. It was but a short underground hop from there to Frankfurter Tor. And Friedrichshain. Where in the Liebigstraße, Chester Hawkins opened up the door to number 12 for us. At zero cohesion.


'Zero cohesion'. That is the flag that Jeff Zeromoon Surak hoisted for his month-long residency in the small Liebig 12 art space, in a neighbourhood that, as a bastion in the fight against the gentrification that's been taking Berlin over even faster than it did and does other metropoles and urban areas world wide, is still saturated by the perfume of DIY, punk and left-wing activism. "It's like I'm here on a 'Beggar Julia's time trip', haha," is what I thought a bit later that day, when, walking down to the nearest small super market to buy my stay's worth volume of cheap instant coffee needed to wake me up daily and keep me alert, I suddenly remembered that title of a student-esque prog-rock concept album by Dutch keyboardist Rick van der Linden and his Ekseption from as long ago as 1970.


Maybe that memory was triggered by the fatigue of a nite-long of near-to-nil sleep, a volume that I tried to up a little by stretching out on the canapé lining one wall of the little and near-to-bare gallery space.

art history

I checked how a copy of Histoire de l'Art would fit in, and it did so amazingly, as the picture shows. Ten copies of this 44th release on the amazing Athens based Coherent States label—that in its early days, in 2016, also was the driving force behind one of the so rare official Diktat releases, our Tour de Force (Coherent States, CS-7)—arrived the very day before we took the Berlin train, and I was pretty happy indeed to be able to bring them with me to Liebig 12, as gifts for friends and fellow artists, a couple of weeks before the official release, on July 13th 14th. 🤓 . More details on this and that can be read here, in this SoundBlog's next episode...

So then, after this visual check, another couple of instant coffees and while a head-phoned Chester in the resulting near-to-tangible quiet continued his editing and sound experimenting work in the gallery space's back room, I laid myself down on that near-to-settee and closed my eyes to regain a bit of the sleep I'd lost.

That did not work.

sleep try

So I put on a near-to-never used eye mask that I found in a small handy on-flight toilet bag that I had kept from one of my, by now near-to-long ago, flights with Eva Air, to and fro Taipei.

That almost worked.

But then Rinus passed by, which was an obvious and an emtvv (= even more than very valid) reason to get up again and have Chester open the (one-key-only) front door. And then Rinus went again, but in the meantime then also Jeff (a little delayed by laundry tasks) had stepped in, and the three of us—Jeff, Chester & I— stepped out together, as at least two of us had expressed the wish to buy a couple of batteries needed to power some of our sound tools. With the little sleep and the lot of sun it felt like we were floating along the Frankfurter Allee. We witnessed how one among the punk girls that drifted around there as well almost had her doggy hit and run over by a car, and then chasing after it, cursing out loudly. Chasing after the doggy, I mean, not after the car.

It was a stop at the Spätkauf a little further that provided the maybe by then already much needed help to recover from these sudden Berlin pre-summ(er) adventures.


Berlin Beers

Towards the end of the afternoon Rébus re-joined us, back from checking in at the Berlin lodgings that he reserved on the other side of town for the duration of our 'zero cohesion' stay, and we went out for a meal. And this being Berlin, Friedrichshain, if not some döner kebab how could it be but a vegan meal in this city known as a 'hub of vegan activism and contemporary dining'? Haha, it is indeed as crazy as this: Berlin U-Bahn advertisements screaming: 'yes, yes! come to us, get here your vegan ice-creams!!' 😂😂😂

Thank you for your attention.

That was around 18h30. An hour later we were all set to go for the first of the 'zero cohesion' unPublics that were a main reason to come over. To Liebig 12.

This 82nd unPublic was a foursome, with Chester Hawkins playing with a number of home-built instruments found in the gallery space.


Jeff hooked up his set of dictaphones and custom-and-other bits of small electronics, as well as his home-built 'box of springs'.



And then there was Rébus in the upper-left, using small electronics and his dictaphones, as did I.

K7-inventory (approximate)

Here is a glance at the selection from my K7-library, that I brought along for these three days of zero cohesion.

hars tapes

(I'll talk a bit more about the things on these tapes here a little later; check back!)

We performed that evening in two continuous sessions, both recorded on my Zoom, and the second one partly also by Chester on his iPhone.



The slightly edited recordings, divided into six individual 'zero cohesion chapters', together make up the 82nd documentary unPublic album at Bandcamp's. Here it is, embedded and linked. Enjoy!

Read about unPublic on the SoundBlog:

(2023, november 3-..) - Ethereal Reverberations. A Decade of unPublic (« Dix ans qu'on fait la musique sans public ») (uP#100)
(2023, august 20) - Three days of residency at Les Ateliers Claus, Brussels (uP#65, uP#93, up #94)
(2022, september 2) - Three Musketeers Musicking Maastricht & La Générale (uP#86, up #87)
(2022, august 4) - Berlin: Zero Cohesion (3) (uP#84)
(2022, july 24) - Berlin: Zero Cohesion (2) (uP#83)
(2022, july 11) - Berlin: Zero Cohesion (1) (uP#82)
(2022, july 2) - X-unPub (uP#81)
(2022, march 13) - "Manifeste" (uP#80)
(2021, june 13) - Die Stillgestandenen (The Stillstands / Standstills / Stillstanders) (uP#67)
(2021, may 02) - Playing Apart Together: Chuncheon↯Paris (uP#73)
(2018, november 02) - "Five years stuck on my eyes" (Lustrum Non Publicum) (uP#56)
(2018, september 01) - t'Obsolete or not t'Obsolete ... [iv] (uP#54)
(2018, august 13) - Rage, rafts & refugees (uP#49, uP#50)
(2018, august 10) - t'Obsolete or not t'Obsolete ... [iii] (uP#45)
(2017, june 11) - Moving out, of, on ... [ii] (uP#42)
(2016, june 10) - unPublic #18 - 대부도 (Daebu-Do), 14 June 2015 (uP#18)
(2016, may 07) - In Praise of Slowness (uP#21)
(2015, july 15) - Bridges, troubles, water (uP#19)
(2015, april 14) - Mal-là--colisé dans l'espace et dans le temps (uP#16)
(2014, august 02) - Appearance and Reality (uP#8)
(2014, march 08) - "12 - 11 - 9 - 10 - 3 - 6 - 7 - 1 - 2 - 8 - 4 - 5" (uP#5)
(2013, december 31) - Candles, Cassettes & Champagne (uP#4)
(2013, november 23) - unPublic 1, 2 (sauf riverains) (uP#1, uP#2)

Read about unPublic on Medium:

April 16, 2022 - Playing Apart Together (uP#66-#69)
March 17, 2022 - All delusion is expansive (uP#80)
November 10, 2021 - The Future always was Yesterday

Read about unPublic in Gonzo (Circus) [Dutch]:

Gonzo #143, januari/februari 2018 - Met kop noch staart: muzhakdag! (uP#48)
Gonzo #139, mei/juni 2017 - De waan, de wil, de weg

Read about unPublic elsewhere:

Plus-X-Creative, january 2022 - Playing Apart Together
Electronic Cottage, november 2018 - unPublic - 'Five Years stuck on my eyes' -sketch as a memoire

To listen, download & support, visit unPublic @ Bandcamp.


Read about Berlin on the SoundBlog:

(august 4, 2022) - Berlin: Zero Cohesion (3)
(july 24, 2022) - Berlin: Zero Cohesion (2 = ©)
(july 11, 2022) - Berlin: Zero Cohesion (1)
(november 11, 2021) - A Berlin Reader
(august 05, 2011) - (I can't get no) Immediate Satisfaction (Diktat in Berlin_iii)
(july 31, 2011) - 'Kommt raussi!' (Diktat in Berlin_ii)
(july 29, 2011) - 'Where ist Ausland?' (Diktat in Berlin_i)
(february 07, 2009) - « Mok mok jaha für das kleine in Berlin (Tuned City, Berlin_vi)
(december 23, 2008) - « das kleine, Intiem » (Tuned City, Berlin_v)
(december 08, 2008) - un-Tuned City (foundtaping in Neukölln) (Tuned City, Berlin_iv)
(november 12, 2008) - Neurosen der Präzision (Tuned City, Berlin_iii)
(november 07, 2008) - Cake & Coffee (Tuned City, Berlin_ii)
(october 29, 2008) - Light budget, heavy thinking (Tuned City, Berlin_i)
(october 12, 2008) - Hanna's Sirens (Tuned City, Berlin_o)
(july 01, 2007) - dinges (Back to Berlin, iii_3)
(april 25, 2007) - Fluxissage
(april 12, 2007) - reek or (Back to Berlin, iii_2)
(april 08, 2007) - i feelt (Back to Berlin, iii_1)
(march 07, 2007) - found tapes (Back to Berlin, ii)
(february 27, 2007) - "Bo tuny te..." (Back to Berlin, i)

tags: unPublic, Berlin, Liebig12, zero-cohesion

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