Friendship Collectivewhere art and music are combined in single events.

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How did ‘Friendship Collective’ come to life and what is the ideology behind it?
The idea for Friendship actually came up one night when we were organizing the logistics of an event and were drawing a little sketch about how to arrange the set-up. While drawing the sketch we had the idea to extend our techno nights a little and work with other artists too. Through our bookings and collaborations, we communicate our vision of music and art, and we’re especially focused on techno artists that have their own personal concept and characteristic sound. We hope that both DJs, artists, and guests can feel our passion for the project when they attend our events and we want to co-create an open-minded and friendly environment where everyone is welcome. Everything is connected really.

A good party is not only made by a good DJ, a good crowd, etc. – it’s like a puzzle and everything has to match. If there’s a missing piece you will obviously not complete the puzzle.

How did the collaborative event with Celestial come about and what do you hope to deliver at your Kyiv event?
The main aim of the collective, other than the creative part, is to promote our vision of electronic music, primarily techno. We’ve been following Celestial’s events and artists for a long time, so we decided to get in touch with Kostya, the owner of the collective, and present our project to him. We had a great connection from the beginning and chose to organize the event together. What we want to deliver at the event is basically a really good time for everyone that is part of it. Whether you are into art, techno or both, we want everyone to enjoy themselves and feel at home for the night.

Why the urge to combine electronic music with the arts?
We don’t believe in the thinking that ‘if you do one thing you can not do the other’. As music is also art, it makes perfect sense to us to combine different art forms and experiment with how they work together. It is also a social experiment that brings together different cultures, combines different ways of working, etc. towards the same objective, being the event. It’s really nice to get an insight into the local scenes where we go and create something together. To see the reaction and the result is really interesting and definitely worth it.

What are some of the best and unique memories you’ve had so far?
At our first event in Budapest, we were quite nervous about the reaction of people and if anyone would even come to be honest. It was our first event ever, we were an unknown project in an unknown to us city. In this particular case, we were collaborating with a local crew called Distant Objects. On the night of the party, we were looking out of the windows of this amazing renovated old factory outside of the city center and we saw the steady flow of people coming, thinking of ‘ant parade’ by Stanislav Tolkachev. We couldn’t stop smiling and we still feel a special love for the Budapest crowd that night, giving us the best debut we could have wished for. Our second event in South Italy was in a secret and illegal location out in the countryside and even in this case, people traveled up to 200km from other cities to be a part of it. We are really thankful for having this kind of support for a new project.

You’ve stated that the focus of the event will revolve around the concept of “mixing reality with the digital future”. Do you see the role of the digital as an immersive way used as escapism, or, is it the contrary – the next stage of human evolution?
It certainly goes both ways, but it also depends on how you want to relate yourself with the digital in your life. Obviously, without the digital evolution, we wouldn’t have reached what the world looks like today. And it will bring us even further. How we deal with evolution is the question and what to make of the possibilities that come with it, good and bad. But focusing on the digital’s effect on art, we think that it helps you develop your creativity and is a tool to bring your creative ideas to life. We can go into the creative worlds of other people and share ideas, connect with people on the other side of the world. As ‘Carbon’, our art partner for the event says: “Art defines our future and is the basis for individual development as well as the development of entire countries.”

Speaking of technology, what technology do you anticipate the most and how far do you want it to evolve?
There are so many, but basically all technologies that make our world a better place. We are all waiting for that moment when teleportation would become a real thing.

Friendship Collective has a strong focus on the arts, yet do you think that art may hurt society in any way?
On the contrary. Art ’rescues’ society and individuals in so many ways. What the world looks like without art… Art is a way to express ideas and celebrate the beauty of things as much as a way of reflecting on what has happened, is happening and will happen in our society.

What is the most striking art piece you’ve ever seen or experienced?
Simone: I’ve experienced many beautiful art projects recently, but, without being biased, I followed the creation of a 3D mixed reality video made by my best friend and resident of Friendship Collective Giusy Amoroso, and visually and conceptually it made me so happy watching the final result. I’m talking about the music video for ‘Camera’ by Nava:

Gabriele: Difficult to think of a single piece that has impressed me and remained with me given all the talented artists out there. Certainly, one that has impressed me the most and also reflects the way I am is an installation entitled “Me Somewhere Else” by the Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota, exhibited in various European museums including the Mercator Höfe in Berlin. Also by being part of Friendship Collective I can find inspiration and capture the feelings that visual art gives and turn it into music.
Julia: It’s impossible for me to choose one, especially because art comes in so many forms. But to give an example I really like when different art forms come together in one bigger piece, like in movies, music videos, performances, concerts etc., and you can see that all the people that were part of making it are extremely talented at what they do. Björk’s Cornucopia show that I saw last year, for example.

What is the best gig you’ve recently attended as part of an audience and how would you describe the experience?
Atonal – wow. Kraftwerk is an impressive venue and the vibrations in the air and the feeling of something special. The crowd is really in focus on the show and the amazing performances and installations that they propose. Everything is really well organized. All in all, it’s the perfect place to go if you like electronic music and visual art.

What recent trend annoys you the most, either on a global or minor scale (or both)?
We believe in ‘not minding other people’s business’ and letting people be the way they are and do what they want as long as it’s not harming anyone. But even if there is a trend we don’t like too much – trends come and go, so…

Could you share some bizarre or fucked up stories from running Friendship Collective?
Being involved in the art/music world brings bizarre and fucked up stories every day, that’s why we love it so much.

What’s the wisest thing you’ve ever heard?
In Italy, we say that even through asphalt a flower can grow.

What’s coming for you in 2020?
In spite of being a young collective, we are developing fast and are working with some really great people. Our next visits are in Ukraine, Russia, Spain, Hungary, Italy, Denmark, Montenegro and obviously the city we call our home – Berlin. And even more places are in planning. Other than that we will launch our own Friendship label.

The event in collaboration with Celestial, the Kyiv-based agency for electronic artists, will take place on the 1st of February in Otel’. Follow the link for more info.