Sunday, February 1, 2009

Berlin Report: Berghain, Cathedral of Techno

Reputed to be the best club in Europe, with the strictest door policy. I went alone at midnight (opening time), spoke to no one in lineup, and kept my eyes down. I estimated one in ten were turned away. It was the Saturday after New Year's, so I imagine the night was comparitively mellow, but to me it was hype. As I walked past the fearsom bouncer I heard, "shtop!" I kept moving forward and avoided eye contact. I was in.

Inside was magical. I spent the night smoking hash with a fellow who made his living producing holograms, a field with which Im familiar from a special project I conducted in ninth grade. We discussed the philosophical ramifications of the hologram as a metaphor:

A hologram, unlike a photograph, contains no actual image, only the interference pattern produced by a split laser beam reflecting off an object. In this way it contains the entirety of an object's spatial information. You can look at a hologram from different angles, and see around the object. It can also be divided to create two holograms. The entirety of the information is contained in the parts.

I told my friend about a paper I'd read in philosophy class that employed the hologram as a metaphor to analyze the concepts of Vidya and Avidya (truth and illusion) in Advaita Vedanta philosophy. It is titled:
Vidya and Avidya: Simultaneous and Coterminous? A holographic model... by Stephen Kaplan, Department of Religious Studies, Manhattan College

Still with me? Here are some photos from the club:















Epilogue:
At six AM I stumbled through the winter twilight to my single cell in a DDR-themed hostel, two blocks from the club.
I awoke with a start at ten, realizing I'd left my new duffle at coat check. There was still a lineup at the door when I arrived. I entered with my stamp and found the party still in swing. I danced until noon, when I finally retired. As I walked through the streets the city's church bells were echoes of the sounds in Berghain.

-- Post From My iPhone, while waiting for a fare at the airport.

1 comment:

Veronicahhh said...

this post makes me wish I were in Berlin.