Putting Berlin Atonal's Metabolic Rift festival into mere words is no easy feat. As the Karl Marx reference in the title alludes, it's an unapologetically high-brow affair that combines music, exhibitions, and performance. Think collaboration on a nuclear scale, or Disney Land for a student of the arts.

Taking shape in Kraftwerk Berlin — a former power plant just a stone's throw from the heart of the capital — the sprawling exhibition space has been punctuated with specially curated concerts over the course of the last month. The organizers say the walk-through experience is a bit like climbing aboard the world's coolest ghost train; a boundless world where artworks appear and disappear in choreographed succession. 20 site-specific works from large-scale audio-visual pieces are featured, unfolding over the course of 120 minutes.

If you're still a bit lost, check out the video below.

To support the project, Berlin Atonal has teamed up with Perks And Mini (P.A.M.) for a limited-edition co-branded T-shirt. Printed on a Carhartt blank, it drops November 1 on places such as P.A.M, Slam Jam and the festival website.

Metabolic Rift has just over two weeks left to run. To find out more before its close, I caught up with some of the artists involved in this year's edition.

Actress

What do you like the most about Atonal’s Metabolic Rift?

It was just great to be around the Atonal team again. It was my first Live show post-Covid, and so we decided to keep the presentation simple, having Kraftwerk in complete darkness and selecting a single photographic media asset that was generated by my Ai Production Company Unseen__Werk™ as the visual.

What does interdisciplinary mean to you and what role does it play in your production?

Interdisciplinary to me means simply to be disciplined in the creation and execution of Art. It's an endless evolving process of mastering your craft, but also constantly searching to find intersections that can debase or confront reality head-on.

As the homeland of interdisciplinary and experimentation, what do you love the most about Berlin?

Berlin has a commitment to the aesthetics of art, technology, film and culture which I think is unrivaled.

Space Afrika

What do you like the most about Atonal’s Metabolic Rift?

Metabolic Rift is a great platform continuing in the ethos of Berlin Atonal’s experimental resume. Specifically, this year’s edition has had a focus on collaborative projects to enable innovation in performance. For us, this is an opportunity to bring our album energy and collaborative spirit and ideas to fruition on a larger scale which gives the ability to transcend one disciplinary approach and arrive at fully-formed sound, visual, and performative experience.

What does interdisciplinary mean to you and what role does it play in your production?

It means drawing inspiration and par-taking in different branches of expression and not to move past singular logic or ideas. interdisciplinary is at the heart of the project and continues to evolve with new experiences and surroundings. It means working towards a vision without perceiving any limit of how to do so, and working without a rule book and a freedom to create in an honest and consistent educative manner.

As the homeland of interdisciplinary and experimentation, what do you love the most about Berlin?

The significance of the Berlin Wall falling and this idea of the east meeting west coming together is significant in the understanding of interdisciplinary and experimentation. It’s still felt in the city. It’s become home for a lot of artists arriving from different backgrounds, cultures and there are spaces that allow for people to co-exists I think this is one of the best things about Berlin. There’s a DIY attitude with support mechanisms in place for artists to experiment, collaborate.

Lyra Pramuk

What do you like the most about new Atonal’s Metabolic Rift?

I believe it's a really unique use of the space that many visitors are not used to - the pandemic made a creative challenge that has turned into something beautiful, exciting and unique for the festival and the venue.

What does interdisciplinary mean to you and what role does it play in your production?

Interdisciplinary can mean the combination of different forms of specialized practice to create a more complex or unified whole experience. It can also mean simply involving multiple mediums and senses regardless of specialization - to create a totality of sensual experience regardless of "training" or "profession." I think we live in a post-specialized, digital world where many different inputs and can connect to many different outputs, and the full range of virtual potential can be explored. For me, the spaces between disciplines, particularly music and sound, sound and language, language and poetry, dance and music are constant ongoing dialogues. Everything can be an inspiration for everything else.

What do you love the most about Berlin?

I love that there are so many inspiring interdisciplinary creators around me here. I love that Berlin offers a space for so many artists to mix, explore, discover, pivot, crash, unearth, and combine. It's an intense, fluid, packed, and sometimes untenable environment, but one that is richly fertile and uncompromising.

Caterina Barbieri

What do you like the most about new Atonal’s Metabolic Rift?

I like how Metabolic Rift pushes the boundaries between music, visual art and performance by presenting a very unique sensorial experience where everything is there at once. You’re not prepared for it, you don’t know what to expect, and this state of open question reinforces a sense of presence and intimacy that I find really vital in these days. The show we’re presenting with Bendik Giske, Nkisi and MFO at Metabolic Rift is similar in the sense that it offers a unique space-time where different things happen with no linearity. It’s a hybrid show presented by my newly formed label platform light-years, where different artists appear and disappear in different constellations, alternating between solo and collaborative moments. I like to think of it as an enchanted, enigmatic garden there to explore with no specific direction or expectation.

What does interdisciplinary mean to you and what role does it play in your production?

Interdisciplinary means a conversation between different areas of human perception and expression. In my musical worlds, I’ve always tried to build connections with different areas of meaning in dialogue with video, light-design, technology, dance, fashion. Still, I find that music is the highest medium and its disruptive power goes way beyond the visual language.

What do you love the most about Berlin?

I love the deep value that Berlin gives to music, art and its creators. I love the cultural resistance and criticism of Berlin. It’s invaluable and probably not comparable to any other city in Europe.

Vladislav Delay

What do you like the most about Berlin Atonal’s Metabolic Rift?

I really like the space they use, a lot. Also the people are kind and respectful. I did an installation and will do an AV set as well.

What does interdisciplinary mean to you and what role does it play in your production?

I'd turn that into micro and zoom into my own music and life, and within there exists plenty of interdisciplinary action, from practice to inspiration and private life. In the bigger picture I can't say I incorporate interdisciplinary aspects in my practice much. I like it a lot but am not able to use it, lets put it that way.

What do you love the most about Berlin?

That it is the city my daughter was born. Grateful forever.

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