Birthday or NYE parties rarely live up to the expectations, you’re expected to have fun, it’s expected to be a special moment which is exactly what turns it into a mostly underwhelming experience. Growing up I never had a lot of friends and most of my birthdays would not be very enjoyable. Birthdays can also be very sad because they are a special moment to reflect on one’s own mortality. I was looking for a solution to this problem and after years of underwhelming birthdays I vowed to do each year a small art exhibition right at the junction between August and September for a few days as an experiment to fully replace my birthday with a different type of celebration that would move the light away from the anticipated increment. The idea stems from my rather modest side art practice and the bustling new media creative scene that attracted me to the city of Berlin. There are a lot of DIY exhibitions and pop-up spaces which gave me the impression that this could be done. I also knew friends whose work I wanted to showcase and this piled up as additional motivation. The initial emphasis was laid on art made with the assistance of technology which coincides with the bulk of my practice but as time passed I became interested in also exploring mediums and formats that I was less familiar with. In doing so I explored the positive sides and the negative sides of such an endeavour which I will try to subsequently highlight.

Highlight time as the medium of my practice

Time anguish somehow lead me to instigate time at the core of my practice. It’s the reason I started and the reason I still work on it daily since 2017. Everyday the bot relentlessly tracks my personal data and recycles external data into new content that gets archived, analyzed, published and self-referenced. It somehow gives consistency to the passing of time and emulates a sense of compound morale “benefits” for the practice itself. It allows me to find comfort in things that are regularly spaced in time and repetitive : I enjoy the archival aspect of it, it enables me to put down my thoughts, to witness the evolution of my psyche throughout the years but also to track the current state-of-the-art of image manipulation techniques as I implement new filters every year, it represents a very subjective POV on the evolution of the digital world and by extension the real world. As a bonus this way I have new material to exhibit every year because I (we) keep making new ones all year round no matter what. The only remaining challenge becomes good curation and mediation.

A recurring deadline

The ability for me to focus on things is something I practice everyday. By showcasing some of my art each year it also creates a hard deadline to have something to show which has proven great to overcome creator’s block. Using my birthday date as an anchor makes it both personally significant and absolutely immutable, it has to be around that time which turns out to be a great time for showcasing new works because it’s right at the end of the summer madness and everyone is metaphorically or literally going back to school. There is a soothing zen or stoïc aspect to things that cannot change, they don’t require you to think about them at all because they cannot be modified anyways but only appreciated, feared or even celebrated.

Replace a seemingly meaningless event by something more personal and savory

I hate birthdays, birthdays are always stressful to me and subjectively rather pointless. To me age increments seem like the most shallow reason to gather your friends. It feels bland and impersonal. With no clear enthusiasm about the process I have always struggled to enjoy those moments. On the other hand sharing a yearly creative produce with close friends is much more satisfying and creates a more interesting dialogue, the focus shifts away from Time to Space : the place, the venue becomes a second home for a few days, a secluded island of experimentation with no expectations.

Connect with the local “scene” and exchange ideas

So as to not exhibit alone and seem even more vain/narcissistic than I am each year I try to invite and showcase one or two artists in the creative scene that I really admire. It is for me the opportunity to connect and interact with people I admire and understand a bit better how they work and maybe even become friends. I also really want to showcase people that I think deserve more attention and more appreciation for their work. There is so much talent in Berlin that goes unnoticed that doing my small part to change that feels right.

Increase odds to meet up with the people you like and people you don’t even know yet

When a person offers to meet up for a birthday it usually involves one ponctual timeslot: you send out an invite with a date and a time. On the contrary if you organize a week long exhibition (which is a typical format for a group show for instance) you offer your friends/acquaintances the opportunity to pick a time that suits them best which dramatically increases the odds of actually catching up with them. Friends can just come and go whenever they want and whenever they are available: some people will hang out there the entire time and some will just pass by 5 minutes and it makes total sense, no constraints, no pressure, liberty of format.

Furthermore by making the event public you add a tiny drop of serendipity because the event can attract random people from different backgrounds or just people walking by in the neighborhood. This can turn into great opportunities to build connection in the city. Overall it’s usually the most amount of fun I get throughout the year, a week of absolute pure productive(sometimes a bit chaotic) bliss. And the absolute cherry on top is when visitors have a good time and discover new artists they love.

Serendipity is at the core of my art practice: I try to leverage mass productions methods (“creative” bots) and randomness to increase odds to find gems. This also works with people and for life in general: the more people you meet the higher the chances are to meet interesting people.

Try out things

I’m interested in way too many things and I have very little attention to dive fully into anything in general. I’m a jack of all trades and master of none and this as always been a thing I’ve had to accept. These exhibitions are also fun for me because they allow to play pretend at different activities from what I usually do. Here is a small list of things I have to do for the event that I know nothing about:

  • Graphic design
  • Event planning
  • Curation, writing
  • Online marketing
  • Budget planning
  • Applications

Ikigai or Skin in the Game

Rather obvious but non-neglectable downsides

There are, of course, numerous downsides to such an undertaking.

  • Firstly it is a financial burden: organizing an event will most likely result in a loss of money so I have to budget the event very tightly to not go overboard. It’s possible to apply for grant money for these things but so far I’ve been unsuccesful.
  • It’s a complete timesink. Organizing the whole event takes an incredible amount of time and requires help and planning from all sides. I usually start working on it at the beginning of Spring.
  • It can obviously be interpreted as reinforced narcissism which is not a good look but being honest about the reasons for its existence feels honest. Grappling with existential issues with a open heart and transparency is the most genuine thing I can do about it.
  • Organizing such an event on your birthday can be a double edge sword: for some people it could be experienced as a favor and for some other it could be seen as malignant/exploitative
  • Lastly it is sometimes hard to stay focused on enjoying the event and have quality conversations with attendees because you always have to take care or anticipate some detail of organization and those can get pretty gnarly depending on the venue and the type of artworks.


Having a recurring deadline based on a chronological marker has been of the most productive and satisfying changes I have ever implemented in my own life. I think more people could benefit from approaching the issue in the same way with sports, cooking, dancing or DJing.

If you are interested in participating in those events or just want to send me feedback shoot me an email at hello[at]