Automaten was a private club (2001-2004), conceived and initiated by a group of media-space artists with the aim of preserving automated culture and encouraging the artistic analysis of automation. The clubroom in Berlin-Mitte was a fully automated bar, where a remodelled and reprogrammed coffee automat controled the door, monitored the room and run an audio-video jukebox, which provided sounds and images by D/VJ's for free. Members let themselves in by swiping a magnetic card at the door. Inside the 35-square-metre space Euros could be exchanged for 'Automarken', the automaten currency, snacks and gadgets obtained from a variety of vending machines. Additionally the space featured highspeed wireless internet connectivity and a onsite terminal. Automaten was running a website available to its members.
Automaten had an ongoing program of guestautomats, exhibitions, lectures and screenings, which address, reflect and speculate on the use and implications of automation and technology in society. First guestautomats were a vintage ATARI video game machine from the 80's and an interactive, soundgenerating household ladder. Talks have included a lecture on 'Computer Interfaces and Design' or a presentation of 'digital shelters'etc. Live sets and narrowcastings of D/VJ's complement the program series. Members started to use the space for their own ideas: meetings, internet-workshops, birthday parties, etc.
The mobile version of Automaten is on tour since 2003. The interior elements are referring to the design of Berlin Automaten. The Audio-Video-Jukebox is a special faeture of this mobile room. You can find further information in the chapters Mobile and AV Jukebox.