Statement by Tomomi Adachi

I suppose my current situation is nothing special, the same as others in Berlin. Just a sequence of cancellations of gigs. I define myself as an artist. We cannot do anything for the crisis as an artist. Artists are not doctors. It is nothing wrong, but I am not happy to know, I have to suspend my life as an artist in this situation, like traveling, meeting unknown people and working together with people.
Social distancing and closing borders, these are essentially opposed to my artistic activities. Also, I am not optimistic for the near future after the crisis. I am afraid that closing borders, social distancing and the state of emergency policies will make nationalism and racism stronger at least for a short term. The current situation is difficult for all people, but will make the position of us, non-EU people, very insecure, though I guess still Berlin is better than other places.
I believe that foreign artists contribute a lot to the experimental music scene in Berlin. I am a bit worried whether I can extend my freelance visa for the next time, we don’t know when the occupation called »freelance artist« would exist again.
I think distancing/touching will be one of the key concepts of the post-corona art. Touching will not have the same meaning after this crisis. We have to find another meaning of distancing from the potential meaning by nationalism.
The internet is not a replacement of physical contact. I watched many live streamings, they have a quality and it is meaningful that artists show their presences and keep going with their creativities. But, I feel the form is not something I require to art. We have to invent another form.
Anyhow, we can continue what we can do now. For me, to be an artist is essentially independent of how society is. I know many artists don’t agree. This is rather my wish. Franz Kafka wrote in his diary, something like: »In the morning, the war was declared. I went swimming in the afternoon.« Though our situation is not a war at all, I like the attitude. I think it is an acceptance of the weakness of art, art is powerless, then still we can find a room for art.

Lastly, I add some of my ideas for musicians during this isolation period. I have put most of them on my Facebook page already.

  • Let's consider the possibilities of no audience, no streaming, no recording concerts (even with entrance fee).

  • Let's develop instruments which you can play without touching. I remind you that this year is the 100th anniversary of the invention of Theremin (also 15 years of my infrared sensor shirt).

  • Let's practise "Corona I" for pianists or "Corona II" for strings by TAKEMITSU Toru. Both are quite interesting graphic score pieces at the beginning of 1960s.

  • We, vocalists, spit always, unfortunately. Let's develop new technics to sing without opening mouth. Even no breathing if it is possible.

  • Let’s consider the possibility of a potential performance in a hospital.

  • Live streaming without players, only with audiences.

  • Live streaming of a performance which continues until the end of this crisis, no rest. This is a ritual.

  • Live streaming before the live performance.

  • Live streaming with telepathy.

Tomomi Adachi April 7th 2020, Berlin

Watch his video on YouTube: