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Lonesome in a crowd
NY artist Moby presents his book of photography in Berlin released jointly with his 10th record...

Published on Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

When one thinks of Moby’s visual world, a rich imagery of his videos, probably taken from his bestselling record, Play comes to mind. He has experimented with animation and collaborated with Moby’s favorite director, David Lynch. The Harlem born musician has always been interested in urban landscapes, de-contextualization of architectural themes, creating oneiric and melancholic atmospheres, and stylized characterization of human nature. A sensibility depicted with sincerity in his first photographic book Destroyed, released jointly with the last record and presented in Berlin at MADE Space, the interdisciplinary art gallery and design jewel of the Mitte neighborhood.

The evening features an exhibition of a sample of photographs from the book, and an acoustic live-set, where the tiny 45 years old NY geek puts the audience at ease with his experience as a entertainer. Has this tour machine turned into a photographer? An amateur since 9 years old, and a degree in Photography and Philosophy, Moby is definitely entitled to start this new chapter of his career.


The record, an elegant, more acoustic variation of his well known techno sound, together with his new book of photography, celebrate "the strangeness of touring." As Moby explains, the main themes revolve around "nomadic existence, anonymous spaces such as hotel rooms, backstage areas, and airports, and the feeling of isolation they evoke, juxtaposed with complete immersion in seas of people and personal perceptions of what it means to exist in artificial spaces constructed by others. Iʼm not complaining, but touring is weird and isolating".

Inspired by Andre Kertesz, one of the innovators of photographic composition and essay, the photographs were shot digitally on tour, initially without the intention of making a book, then edited with Lightroom (“a Photoshop for dummies” as he defines it). While Moby enjoys the ease of the digital tools, still he is proud of his analogical background: "Iʼm glad that I grew up shooting with a Nikon F, processing and developing my own film, as I feel it’s helped me to approach photography differently than if I had grown up shooting digitally".

The exhibition displays photographs of the crowd juxtaposed with images evoking a sense loneliness, as well as contrasting themes of personal and artificial. It asks: how lonely can you feel in a crowded room, or arena? While the photographs of the audience fail to add something new to the history of tour photography, empty spaces have been captured from an original perspective, reflecting back to previous video and photographic material in Moby’s music career. The album and book cover was shot at La Guardia Airport in New York, and features an electronic alarm for unclaimed baggage that consequently was “destroyed”. Seeming to promise a new dialogue between Moby’s music and photography, the book is a collection of visual elements previously mediated by other directors, photographers, and designers, to build a signature “Mobyesque” style. Nico Zeh from MADE stated that the overall theme suggests the “in-between spaces, contextless situations while traveling”, rather than a focus on individual experiences.


The event is loyal to MADE’s philosophy: to allow artists freedom to forge new paths, collaborating with work of varied disciplines, and in the organizers’ words, to compel them"out of their comfort zone". The spotlight is on the dynamic relationship between music and photography. Moby says, "The music from Destroyed and the photographs, work together, as they were both created at the same time, in roughly the same environment, and were inspired by the same daily touring experiences combining both the strange and sublime".
Enjoy the concept.
curated by marcello pisu

From May 22nd to June 4th
Moby, Destroyed
Made Gallery

9th Floor
Alexanderstrasse 7
Hours: Tuesdays to Saturdays 10.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m.
info: Tel. +49 (0) 30 24048235


Reserved Reproduction