Last year’s mass transition towards the digital realm has undoubtedly prompted a greater openness to rethink the web as experiential — and ultimately human. But the virtually limitless power of top-down, performance-driven algorithms has somewhat hindered the explosive surge of creativity manifested by a wealth of new, mixed reality and AI-powered digital formats.
Seeking to merge community-building and creative experimentation, Telekom Electronic Beats has joined forces with Hamburg-based design studio WAF GMBH and brand publishing house Looping Group to celebrate its 20th anniversary. Together they have generated an interactive, user-piloted visual dive into the international music marketing program’s two-decade-long history of in-depth music journalism, successful podcasts, and video-driven social media series. The project was helped on its way with the involvement of industry heavyweights, including Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, GmbH, Trashymuse, Tomorrowland, Dixon, and Sherelle who all provided exclusive content for the digital exhibition.
Titled ‘The Cube,’ the project stemmed from a desire to upgrade and reboot the old-school, linear digital archive into a living, interactive space — one which users can inhabit, explore and learn from in non-linear ways. Revisiting the brand’s rich history of documenting and empowering Electronic music, the immersive experiment —built using technology previously reserved for gaming— enables user-activated deep-dives into all facets of the media platform’s archival treasures, from live concerts to fashion milestones.
A URL iteration of the 20th anniversary Telekom Electronic Beats book released earlier this year, The Cube consists of a 360° video collage covering the most memorable cornerstones of the last two decades, combined with a series of six films showcasing and celebrating the platform’s legacy in the fields of music, nightlife, fashion, innovation, culture, and community.
By accessing The Cube, each user can experience bespoke and exclusive content, including designs, photo exhibitions, films, and interviews. “We hope it's a way to get closer to topics that are often physical and haptic in nature — club culture, fashion, music production — make them literally touchable,” says the Electronic Beats team. “The goal is to create an experience that revolves around users.”
If the virtual is neither a substitute nor a compromise for the physical world, it creates social cohesion by democratizing culture, a mission The Cube seeks to honor by making the entry into a variety of cultural movements far more accessible. This enables a whole new set of IRL interactions.
“Ultimately, if The Cube makes even one isolated teenager come into contact with post-gender fashion or read up on the profound influence of Jamaican dub technology on Berlin techno – then we have done our job of telling these stories and finding an adequate form for it,” concludes the team on the project.
As club culture organically enters cyberspace, web formats and designers are stepping up to the task of surprising us. Discover The Cube here.