Day 12 of my Berlin diary. Day 1 is here.

The Konzerthaus Berlin has “Espresso Concerts” at 2 o’clock. You get an Espresso and a concert for just 8 Euros.

The concert hall. (No photos allowed during performance)

Today a wind quintet plays several pieces on 5 different wind instruments. The players are really good!

My favorite piece is the first one. I don’t know it, but guess it is from the 20th century, very likely a Nordic composer. Maybe Sibelius?
Wrong (again). It was this piece from Barber:

My goal on this trip is to explore contemporary art. It looks like the Design Panoptikum in the pretty Nikolaiviertel is the last museum on my list, but this one is an eye opener.

The collector, curator and owner of this “SURREAL MUSEUM of INDUSTRIAL OBJECTS” greets you. He gives a verbal explanation of the purpose of his museum. Which is, if I understood correctly, to show the art in everyday objects and to discover, that industrial objects can be at least as exciting as regular art.

We all know who Harry Potter and his friends are, he says. We know the “Avengers”.  And so on. Pretty useless knowledge.

At the same time there are fascinating stories in industrial objects that no one knows about. Like in this iron lung here.

He asks me what I think is the longest time that someone lived in such a machine, being paralyzed from the neck down, unable to move.

“One month?” I sheepishly guess. Nope: “2009, June Middleton of Melbourne, Australia, died aged 83, having spent more than 60 years in her iron lung.” (Wikipedia)

She even studied while being in this thing and later supported people in suicide prevention, I learn.

So there ARE interesting stories in objects, he says.

Or look at this early washing machine. It could be an object in a museum of modern art (Yep, at least for Duchamp, I think) but at the same time has a function: it cleans your clothes.

Sometimes modern art is overrated in its importance, he says. If Picasso drew a line slightly different that would not matter much. If an engineer makes a mistake, hundreds may die.

Afterwards I have a coffee near the museum. The Dutch waitress and I have a pleasant conversation (me being the only customer) about her life in Berlin, drugs* and her favorite Techno clubs.

(* We both support the legalization of cannabis. The reasons why it is prohibited – but alcohol is not – are purely commercial and idiotic. I have not heard a single logical argument yet against legalization, but many for it.)

I cannot find anything interesting to do at night but the IPSE is not far. Travis and I walk there, the place and the outdoor area are interesting but they play something Electro. So we leave soon.