I started working at Tresor in 1991 and was in and about the techno scene it’s beginnings – always with my camera at hand. There were no digital cameras and only 36 images on film. But, the small “point and shoot” cam was perfect to go unnoticed and to photograph directly. There were no social networks and therefore no fear of finding embarassing pictures of oneself on the web. Oh, of course the internet wasn’t invented xet either. Just like mobile phones and smartphones let alone HD cameras. Easygoing times for photographers.
1992 I started working at “Frontpage” as an the in-house photographer the techno magazine of the time. Usually it was forbidden to photograph in the clubs, but I had a special kind of permission – where that exactly came from, I cannot say. There were never any problems with the photography itself, I was always careful not to publish compromising pictures in the “Frontpage”. Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Paris, Tokyo, Las Vegas, Hong Kong, I was in all the techno clubs around the globe, my camera always at hand, while being a welcome guest who knew how to party. I literally made my hobby into a career. As a photographer of techno magazine Frontpage I was always up very close and being a photographer of the whole picture, but also directly being a part of the music scene and party culture. Right smack in the middle, instead on the periphery.
My archive includes about 10,000 analog photographs from the 90s, the times of techno. I have moved with this archive many times within Berlin, carrying the photo boxes up lots of stairs and down again, but I have never had the idea to part with away any of these images.
I had been waiting quite a while before I started to occupy myself with these images again, to view and scan them. Sometimes it takes a couple of years of time to be able to view things from a different angle. Today it is a treasure more valuable than I could have ever imagined. The pictures are like good wine, the longer it matures the better it gets. Viewing some of the photos today I suddenly become aware of the situation again, I can literally smell, hear and feel them.
Apart from the current retro trend, there are many people that can be seen in the photos, that have no pictures from that time otherwise. My photos are a kind of “visualized confirmation of existence“. The “I was there” effect sets in and the children or grandchildren can see what the “oldies” were up to. Nostalgia doesn’t come up, rather a kind of recognition it’s the same with childhood pictures, where you know exactly what color the wallpaper had or which toy did what. We have definitely lived through an important and irretrievable time and I do not want to miss a minute. It was our party and I’m happy about every comment on our digital class reunion on Zeitmaschine.
Thus, Zeitmaschine is a chronicle of this time, showcasing people bringing this time to life, exhibiting the fashion, the lifestyle and the artists. The complete different way of presentation compared to the new social networks makes it so special, because the focus is on the presentation of subculture and art without having the background of permanent availability and accessibility and the awareness that the image will be viewable in the worldwide web the very next day
“The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do.”