MusicMakers Hacklab

Adaptation. In collaboration with CDM, Nusasonic, and SHAPE.

MusicMakers Hacklab Finale Performance at Nusasonic Festival in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. October 2018. Photo by Swandi Ranadila.

The MusicMakers Hacklab is a performance laboratory that aims to invent tools and strategies for improvised play. This year, we traveled to Indonesia to explore play ecology and models for ensemble; now we return to Berlin to create a space for performance-making. If Persistence suggests survival, then adaptation is the mechanism by which we can deal with adversity, become resourceful, and make something new by responding to the conditions around us.

We invite artists to work together to make new and unplanned collaborative performances on this theme of adaptation. How can we work together to generate rather than compete for resources? How can music be a speculative medium for sustainability at a time when we face now-inevitable shifts in the world's politics and climate? Can we imagine interactions with one another that propagate rather than consume?

The Hacklab is a place for collaboration and skill sharing. Singers and carpenters, poets and programmers, dancers and electrical engineers, architects and conductors – and anyone interested in attempting together what is inconceivable alone – are welcome to apply.

In a spirit of sharing and community, the Hacklab will be open to walk-ins from both hackers and the general public. A series of Hacklab Input talks will also be held within CTM 2019’s talk programme, providing inspiration for Hacklab fellows and the public. We’ll have a week together to explore and invent, culminating in a live performance at HAU Hebbel am Ufer (HAU2) on Sunday 3 February.

Call for Participants

We invite participants to invent collaborative performances that embrace improvisation, teamwork, flexibility, and multiple voices, all surrounding the Adaptive Ecology theme. Interested visual artists, singers, dancers, musicians, improvisers, technologists, scientists, instrument builders, performers, developers, and anyone wishing to musically collaborate are encouraged to submit music project ideas to become Hacklab Fellows, where they will have the opportunity to learn and collaborate with master artists/technologists.

Previous experience in electronics is not required; we seek a range of artists to make and play forms of music we will improvise on the spot.The Hacklab is a rich, immersive experience. We do therefore require that participants be available for the whole week, and we strictly limit participation. We’re primarily looking not for existing work, but for new ideas to be created on the spot. The Hacklab emphasizes collaboration above solo ideas or projects.

Submission Deadline: 02.12.2018
Hacklab Runs: 28.1 – 3.2.2018 in Berlin

Participant Info

Selected participants will be named official Hacklab Fellows and be provided with:

  • A free CTM Festival Pass
  • The chance to show your finished work at the live showcase as part of the CTM 2019 programme

Participation is free, but participants are responsible for travel and lodging for the week.

How to Apply

Please fill in the following google form, or send an → email with the same information. Selected Hacklab fellows will be announced before the end of December.

Application Form


Peter Kirn

Peter Kirn is an audiovisual artist, technologist, and journalist. He is the editor of CDM (, and co-creator of the open source MeeBlip hardware synthesizer. His work ranges from teaching creative coding with open tools to making experimental live techno, and as a writer has been a hub of discussion of trends in live and interactive visuals, and the design of new music technologies.

The 2019 Hacklab co-facilitator will be announced in the coming weeks.



Presented with CDM, Nusasonic, and the SHAPE platform, which is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. Funded by the Senate Department of Culture and Europe, and Initiative Musik.


Runs: Mon 28.01 – Sun 03.02.2019

Venue: TBA

Times: daily 12 – 18:00

Final Presentation: Sun 03.02.2019 at HAU2 | 16:00