I hardly need a reason to visit Berlin. But thanks to Art Spin, the city has been on the top of my checklist for over a year.
The union of bikes and art is the best idea since peanut butter met jam. The event that started in Toronto, has made its way across the Atlantic to the heart of Europe. The itinerary from the 2016 tour booklet, “The goal of art spin is to encourage you to see Berlin neighbourhoods in a new and interesting way by combining a community bike ride with curated art projects in public space.”
The evening began with participants gathering at Invalidenpark. Artists organized an orchestra where several hundred bicyclists rang their bells to the tune of Queen’s “Bicycle Race.” In short order, we began our 13 km pleasure ride through the neighbourhoods of Wedding and Moabit. The tour featured 11 projects at 6 locations within a perfect blend of urban and natural landscapes.
Among my personal highlights was riding into the urban settlement of PANKE and introduced to the ambient sounds of Andyvazul. While I had no idea what was going on with the the performance by hannsjana featuring toads, money tossed around and dry ice, it was curiously amusing to say the least. While I appreciated all the projects, the icing on the cake was simply being a part of a mass ride through Berlin with a beer in hand, while feeling the pulse of rhythmic grooves along the way.
Art Spin Berlin was a perfect antidote to nostalgic feelings of Toronto. But also refreshing to experience something new in a place that is totally unfamiliar. While I hardly needed a reason to visit this unique city, I now have plenty of reasons for a return visit.