The second part of my series on futuristic architecture is on Berlin’s Sony Center. Like a moth drawn to a bright light, I wanted to see this structure since Wikipediaing cyberpunk all those years ago.
The dome of the Sony Center glows bright and resembles a funnel, giving it the impression of a psychedelic tornado, frozen in time as it was tearing up Potsdamer Platz. The colours change every 30 seconds, causing people like me who love this stuff to tilt their necks skyward while enjoying a hot coffee in the center’s unheated square.
The Sony Center looks like a background from Blade Runner, or Johnny Mnemonic, and a dark, dystopian future has always interested me. I love Aliens, Terminator, those movies that validate the dark foreboding you feel about what is to come for us all.
Underneath the square there is a maze of tunnels and the U-Bahn isn’t far away. The whole center has the feel of a bunker, while it’s really an upscale shopping mall.
In honour of Sony Centre, I’ve created my first GIF. Watch while listening to trance music really loud to get the full effect.
Mediaspree is a massive redevelopment of a part of Berlin that for years has been the home and workspace of artists, tramps, squatters, and general non-conformists to a profit driven culture that has already occupied 99% of western Europe and is quickly infesting the former Eastern Bloc.
In response groups have formed opposing the redevelopment which threatens to destroy that rebellious aspect of Berlin that makes this city unique.
In good Berlin fashion they’ve taken their protest to the walls, drawing protest slogans whereever they can find the space.
My personal favourite is the giant “fuck off mediaspree” message on top of an abandoned building.
They say Berlin is bankrupt. It is in the financial sense, but there are other forms of bankruptcy. A city where the poor and eccentric have to feel ashamed to walk down the street suffers from a moral bankruptcy, one which Berlin must fight to avoid.
I´m usually very careful to choose the right white balence when taking photos. I tend to follow the rules too closely, like the Germans never cross a street if the red man is lit, even though there is no car for miles.
But when I took a photo of the Berlin cathedral I forgot to set the camera from sunlight to cloudy white balence, and the result was the photo below. It gave it a almost negative film photo look and taught me that sometimes you can create interesting images by using the “wrong” white balence for the environment.