Rooting for the optimists and pessimists: Brian Eno’s Empty Formalism opens Berlin’s ISM Hexadome

todayMarch 31, 2018

  • play_arrow

    Rooting for the optimists and pessimists: Brian Eno’s Empty Formalism opens Berlin’s ISM Hexadome Dina Elsayed


Composer and visual artist Brian Eno returned to Berlin this week for the opening of his audio-visual installation, “Empty Formalism,” at the Martin Gropius Bau. The work is the first in a series of performances and installations created by artists for the newly created ISM Hexadome, a hexagonal structure featuring six large screens and over 50 speakers in a 3D sound stage, creating a spatial sensation coupling music with shifting visuals. 

“One of the reasons for using music in a place like this is to say: treat your sense of sight in the same way as you treat your sense of hearing,'” says Eno. He describes his piece as featuring “color combinations that are so seductively beautiful that you can’t resist them, and then the idea of them disappearing and you knowing that you will never see them again.”

The piece was specifically composed for the new sound technology utilized by the ISM Hexadome and developed by The Institute of Sound and Music in partnership with Pfadfinderei and ZKM | Center for Art and Media with support from the Kultur Bundesstiftung. Over the coming month at Martin-Gropius-Bau, the ISM Hexadome will host an impressive range of established and emerging artists including CAO and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke.


Written by: Dina Elsayed

Previous post


Artistic director of MaerzMusik: The politics of listening are ‘pulsating in the core of the festival’

  For 10 days, MaerzMusik will present its program of unusual musical experiences at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele and other locations around the city. This year's edition is titled "Time Wars," and explores our relationships with time through various artistic media and a conference, "Thinking Together." The festival's program is a reflection of current pressing issues – climate change, digitalization, migration – and opened on Friday with a German […]

todayMarch 17, 2018


Common Ground Berlin is a podcast and funded solely through grants and listener support. It belongs to the non-profit organization Common Ground Berlin e.V.