Jens Balzer

Jens Balzer, born in 1969, is an author and columnist, publishing, amongst others, in Die Zeit, Rolling Stone, Deutschlandfunk and the rbb station radioeins. Together with Tobi Müller he ministers the “Popsalon” at the Deutsches Theater. He teaches pop criticism at the Berlin University of the Arts and serves as artistic adviser to the Donaufestival Krems. His most recent book is “Pop. Ein Panorama der Gegenwart” (Rowohlt Berlin, 2016).
Photo by Sven Marquardt

Popsalon: “Where I am is where the top is, should I ever be at the bottom, then the bottom is the top”

Date: Day 1 – 20:00
Location: Nivre Studio, Weimar
Language: German

Where does one find the high and the low in popular music? Isn’t pop music necessarily lowbrow, because it originates in the context of commercial exploitation? But if pop is a low art, then it would have to be understood by everybody, because being low implies plainness of contents and direct accessibility. In fact, however, pop was never so difficult to understand as today, so fragmented, ambivalent, and baffling. If that, in turn, means that pop is today’s true high culture – why then is pop, regarding itself as high culture, always of the lowest level? These and other questions will be discussed in a cheerful session of cultural analysis, crossing different forms of expertise, dilettantism and autodidactic efforts. The panelists will watch old and new music videos, asking themselves, what they might mean and at what heights of aesthetic existence they might be positioned.

Under the patronage of

Deutsche UNESCO Kommission

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