The Zodiak Free Arts Lab, sometimes known as the “Zodiak Club” or “Zodiac Club”, was a short-lived but highly influential experimental live music venue, founded in the then West Berlin in spring 1968 by German artists/musicians Conrad Schnitzler (1937–2011) and Hans-Joachim Roedelius (born 1934), together with Boris Schaak (1942–2012). This September they will host a special Zodiak festival at HAU in Kreuzberg, featuring a wealth of local talents.
With Hans-Joachim Roedelius, Manuel Göttsching, Günter Schickert, Wolfgang Seidel, Taste Tribes (Alfred Harth, Hans-Joachim Irmler, Günter Müller), Nika Son, Galina Ozeran, Etkin Çekin, Sebastian Lee Philipp, Monika Werkstatt, The Notwist, Die Angel (Schneider TM & Ilpo Väisänen), Christoph Dallach & Andreas Dorau, Valentina Magaletti, Andrea Belfi, Katharina Ernst, Marta Salogni, Air Cushion Finish, Niklas Kraft, Sven-Åke Johansson, Jan Jelinek, Contagious, Datashock, Kulku
In the winter of 1967, at the invitation of the landlord Paul Glaser, musician and artist Conrad Schnitzler began to create the programme in two rooms under the Schaubühne’s former location at Hallesches Ufer, which is now HAU2. For over a year, he ran the Zodiak Free Arts Lab as a hierarchy-free venue for musical experimentation and interdisciplinary exchange. Until 1969, the Zodiak served as an artistic and social meeting point. Despite its short existence, it was a notable starting point for numerous musical developments – especially for the “Berliner Schule” that emerged shortly thereafter, whose sound is often referred to as dubbed “Krautrock” and which continues to echo in various musical developments decades later.
“Bildet Nischen! Rückkopplungen aus dem Zodiak Free Arts Lab” (“Build niches! Feedback from the Zodiak Free Arts Lab”) examines the club’s historical influence, illuminating the connections among the political, social and cultural conditions that shaped the scene that emerged. Which conflicts release creative energy that continue to manifest in (pop) cultural developments today? How does counterculture form, and what kinds of spaces are needed for that to happen? Can Zodiak’s traces and connections be found in the cultural practice of later subcultural developments in the Berlin underground? To this day, these questions remain relevant to the development of artistic positions that HAU is exploring with a festival programme of concerts, collaborations, installations, talks and a lecture performance.
The festival was originally planned in HAU2, but unfortunately the renovations there take more time and we can’t yet use that stage or our restaurant WAU.
Tuesday 21st – Sunday 26th September 2021
Hebbel am Ufer | Stresemannstraße 29 | 10963 Berlin
Image credit: © Detlef Krenz