‘Travelling is easy, writing is hard...'
Ever thought of turning those travel journals into cash? Hopeful local writers should not miss the ICD's international Travel Writing Workshop, here for the first time in Berlin: experienced globetrotters Dea Birkett (of The Guardian and Serpent in Paradise fame) and expat Goethe Institut blogger Rory McClean (his bestsellers include "Stalin's Nose" and "Under the Dragon") will be instructing budding travel writers on their art and, perhaps more importantly, on how to pitch and how to get published. The workshop can serve as a kick up the backside for any lazy writer - a place to network, to try out new ideas and hear those of the eclectic gathering. It even offers the chance to pitch to a real-life travel editor: the guest this time is The Guardian's Berlin correspondent Kate Connolly. Past guests – editors from major British newspapers, magazines like Real Travel, websites like www.takethefamily.com and books like the Rough Guides – have discovered new talent at ICD (Institute for Cultural Diplomacy) workshops, and workshop graduates have written for all manner of media outlets around the globe. Both beginners and wizened wanderers can attend - go with your ideas and be prepared for a friendly, fascinating day. It'll be worth every cent of the (somewhat daunting) €145 entry fee!/JB
TRAVEL WRITING WORKSHOP, Oct 10, 10:30 | ICD House for Arts & Culture, Kurfürstendamm 207-208, Charlottenburg, U-Bhf Kurfürstendamm, Tel 2360 768, www.travelworkshops.co.uk
A Killer Music app made in Berlin
Berlin nightlife has shown that anyone with at least five fingers can be a DJ, and anyone with at least one of those fingers and an iPhone will buy apps to banish boredom. So there's logic to longtime Berlin expat DJ Jason "Donna Summer" Forrest's new Star6 iPhone app (developed with Agile Partners), which he claims is the world's first fully-functional sample-manipulation instrument controlled by an iPhone. As Forrest told us: "You can sound like Daft Punk while you're riding the U-Bahn." Beats buying a copy of Motz to keep yourself occupied. The app is based on a diverse set of audio processes that can change the pitch, speed, gate, size and randomness of your samples (all independently from each other), plus a few effects like delay and distortion. Now, if only it could be used to hijack the sets of iTunes DJs... Forrest is posting scads of promotion videos: seek and ye shall find./DS
STAR6 | www.star6app.com
Art for shelter
The idea is as old as humankind – give some, take some and we'll all be happy bunnies peacefully minding our own business. While the name's a bit misleading, Hotel Marienbad's collaborative concept Art & Shelter is an intriguingly multi-disciplinary, non-profit approach to creativity. Since its launch early last year, a series of artists have been offered accommodation at a two-room suite near the KunstWerke in exchange for their imaginative output. Depending on who's doing the thinking, the resulting science fiction readings, electropunk gigs, screenings and conceptual installations can last for an evening or several weeks. The poetic atmosphere and flexibility of the project space has so far pulled in a mix of unconventional creatives and avant-garde aficionados.
Francophiles with a sense of humour should enjoy the current exhibition by Sarah Ortmeyer: in "Homage to the Eiffel Tower." She has decorated the suite with mundane objects that mirror her personal obsession. From triangular salt and pepper shakers to toilet-paper-roll pyramids and a chocolate souvenir, the place is packed with references to the Gallic landmark. If you happen to be in the area, pop round for a free peek./JK
Art & shelter | Hotel Marienbad/Kunst-Werke, Auguststr. 69, Mitte, U-Bhf Oranienburger Tor, Tel 2434 590, www.kw-berlin.de
When it's not busy feeding a baby, a nipple can be awfully sexy. Throw some cute nippies (a.k.a. pasties) on them and you'll be sure to impress on a first date. Nippies are those cute, colourful and occasionally sequined saucer-shaped nipple covers used onstage by strippers the world over. As French performer/Nippie designer Clarisse helpfully points out: “They uncover the whole body without actually showing it all. It's a fun way to tease the audience.” And now they're taking over Berlin: straight from the burlesque scene to a Sunday Flohmarkt stall near you. Clarissa sells her personally-designed nippies at select locations across the city, too; when she is not here, you will find her knocking ‘em dead in Paris with her unique amalgam of cabaret, rockabilly and tattooed flesh. Her products, she says, have mass market appeal. “Pretty girls and even clean-cut boys buy the nippies: they make an ideal gift, even if just for the nice packaging!” You heard that, ladies (and clean-cut gents): it's time you dressed to impress./DH
Nippies are available at: Mauerpark Flea market (Bernauer Str. 63, Mitte, U-Bhf Eberswalder Str.); Savage Store (Grünberger Str. 16, Friedrichshain, U-Bhf Frankfurter Tor); and online www.myspace.com/dirtyprettynippies