volume 1, issue 1
Interview with A-Clip
Christina Ulke: You launched A-clip during the campaign?
Klaus Weber: Yes. We decided to make the first series parallel to the campaign to work synergistically. The first A-clips had at the end the logo A-clip for inner city action. We had a very immediate and broad distribution to all the cities, which were involved with the campaign.
Katja Eydel: We had the films in the cinemas on the first week of the inner city action in June 97.
Klaus Weber: In Berlin the people who produced A-clips also organized the campaign. We had an open studio situation, a space where we worked, slept, discussed. People came to hang around and talk, to listen, to look at the films, participate, the whole process was very open, some people had never done any video work before.
Christina Ulke: So you facilitated the production?
Katja Eydel: Yes, this was part of the project, it was not about producing "art work" but very much about the production of an infrastructure. The goal was to maintain the space and the social communication base.
Klaus Weber: Looking back I think if you look too strongly at infrastructure you can lose on aesthetical or conceptual levels.
Katja Eydel: This was a conceptual level, to maintain the infrastructure.
Christina Ulke: It seems to be a conceptual strategy.
Katja Eydel: I would say so . In the end things would never have happened if we didnt have the infrastructure, like the Tuesday Bar. We had a bar and a club within the studio, a way to get everyone together. Of course one can say it was a waste of time, it certainly was, but at the same time it was an amazing catalyst.
Christina Ulke: You said that A-clip was part of a unique moment; do you think the same energy could be generated again?
Klaus Weber:No. You cant separate this event from its historical context. I think there is no way to create something similar nowadays in Berlin or elsewhere in Germany.
Christina Ulke: Why couldnt it be repeated?
Katja Eydel: I think so because there was a moment of change, people had the feeling it could make a difference if they did something. Now the development of the city is complete, and you cant imagine change like you could before. It wouldnt make a difference anymore. Now you are confronted with other questions like " How do I get my rent?", which is at least twice as much as before, or "How do I get the money to get into the bars?". Things are very different now. The concrete living circumstances have changed very much. We are older and have other existential needs, back then we just had graduated. The younger people, the newcomers in Berlin, see themselves as part of the art context. Even if they are politically engaged, they work in a very different way. They have just another understanding of this context. They have energy, which they invest but the results are different. Our generation, this might sound silly - we are not the same anymore.
Klaus Weber: In this time period, in the middle of the 90s there was a strong belief that every level of your life is political. Thats how it was discussed. It was quite interesting, in a specific area of the art scene, everyone had a political consciousness. So when people opened a new space for example, they really thought about gentrification. They were conscious about the consequences. The new groups who are there right now dont deal with these issues.
Katja Eydel: And of course Berlins reputation has changed. When we came into the city in 91, it wasnt interesting. Berlin was a very "boring" city with boring people. Now the image of the city is more attractive, it attracts other people.
Klaus Weber: Really? Puh, I really thought it the other way around. I found it fucking amazing, people, new clubs - everything was invented.
Christina Ulke: So you did inner city action again in 98 .
Klaus Weber: Yes. I dont think it was a good idea to try to do the same thing again. I barely had the energy. The event was a good construction of a collective social imaginary but it was synthetic. And it was less busy, less visited; it wasnt as good as the first one.
Katja Eydel: And the urban theme wasnt special anymore.