Making his way into the X-LAB space on Skalitzer Strasse where he is currently exhibiting, artist Plotbot Ken is riled. He has just come from Stattbad Wedding, the site of one of his former projects, to find that his work there has been vandalized, particularly frustrating given that he completed it in adverse weather conditions at -8 degrees. He jokes, “Maybe some of the locals want to take back their territory.”
Hailing from Frankfurt, “Ken” has lived in Berlin for the past three and a half years after escaping from his run-of-the-mill office job. He says, “I worked in a regular office job and did music in my ‘second life’ in the middle of the night. I was a bit unfocused; this went on for 7 or 8 years with both jobs and nothing happened, so I decided it was time for a change. I wasn’t sure what to do when I came to Berlin but knew it would be something creative.”
Abandoned Vs. Inhabited
As it happens Ken started to experiment with street art and painting, using the graffiti skills he had picked up previously. Instead of doing his work on the street, however, he chose to create it in various abandoned sites around the city, like so many other “urban explorers.”
X-LAB – an unusual aesthetic for an art space. Artist Plotbot Ken with his work. Photo: C Phillips
He explains that although people may assume that the street is the best place to reach an audience, there are many people also visiting abandoned sites. He goes on, “I’ve seen so many people in abandoned places, for example girls in high heels taking pictures, it’s a bit weird, or a really dressed up guy coming out of a Porsche checking out street art at abandoned factories!” A bizarre image indeed.
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