What is cocoon?
Cocoon is a bold new project for Berlin’s creative scene.
The post-covid landscape will see a dramatic change in business climate, and a re-think in models for all businesses. The creative industries will undoubtedly be at the forefront in providing leading thought spaces in new models for success, with Cocoon acting as a house for these ideas and new thinking. This space will pioneer a new model for how a venue & creative space can operate, advance the careers of the many artists contributing to the creative environment, and enrich the lives of the local community in a myriad of creative ways.
The space will be home to a music venue, a theatre, a bar and cafe, a galley space, a photo / creative studio as well as having community at its heart with workshops and engagement with local charities and community groups.
Cocoon will act as a Berlin home for IXCHEL.
Founded by Charlie Jungle in 2018 IXCHEL is a new breed of creative house and an assembly of creatives at the cutting edge of their respective scenes.
The house comprises a record label & management company run by a team who have worked with artists with a combined 7 mercury music prize nominations, Jazz FM Artist & Album of the year wins, the Ivor Novello award for innovation and a UNESCO crossing borders album of the decade. Developing artists including Yazz Ahmed, Sons of Kemet, Ash Walker & Ebi Soda.
There is also the IXCHEL Collective, a rapidly emerging creative outfit who have had work featured across Rolling Stone, The Guardian, The Times, The New York Times, Financial Times, The Evening Standard, The Metro, DJ Mag, Clash Magazine and more.
IXCHEL have pioneered a new financial model for the creative industries ensuring a fair and equal split for all creatives who contribute to a project.
"Take the IXCHEL family. Linking with key ensembles in London and beyond, they've been able to support and encourage a poly-genre approach to making and releasing music." - Clash Magazine
Cocoon will translate the values and vibe of IXCHEL into a physical space, utilising the creative talents of the Collective and trailblazing a new vision for how a physical space can advance the creative industries.
At the heart of Cocoon will be a membership programme, this will be rolled out by invitation to the leading Berlin creatives, creative industry professionals and the local community. Cocoon will not charge for these memberships as we want to encourage an atmosphere of collaboration and accessibility. We see these memberships as a vehicle to encourage the leading creatives to utilise Cocoon as an extended living room for Berlin, giving birth to new ideas / projects
These memberships will allow for the advance, and discounted, booking of events, a reduced cost across the bar and cafe. Discounts on products sold within Cocoon - including artwork, records, prints, and clothing. In parallel we aim to provide memberships to allow us to engage with local residents, businesses and community groups, positioning Cocoon firmly as a space for the area as a whole and keystone of the local scene.
We aim to use a system like MightyNetworks to power these memberships. This will allow Cocoon to also exist in a virtual space and these conversations to continue to develop outside when the doors are closed. While Cocoon is a physical location, utlising the cutting edge in technological advancements will always be at the core of our business model.
Locations have always been at the core of new scenes and movements. Be it the Cotton Club at the birth of Jazz, Studio 54, The Four Aces in London and beyond.
In a digital age we feel this focus on community and connection has been unnecessarily lost. The past year has provided an extreme example of what the world looks like without the physical connection of people and a shared artistic experience. Cocoon aims to fill this void and expand on what came before, remaining fiercely loyal to the independent scene.
Cocoon will be a vibe. The space will be relaxed, unpretentious, colourful and vibrant, reflecting the creative atmosphere we aim to instigate. The interior design will be lead by Camilla Lonbirk, who has previously headed set design for the acclaimed theatre group SIGNA, with these productions winning European theatre awards.
Cocoon will house a flexible space for music with an emphasis on live music and DJ programming. IXCHEL has already developed a serious reputation in the emerging Jazz and Neo-soul scene, and Cocoon will act as a permanent location to develop this standing and bridge into new genres. In a post-brexit musical landscape IXCHEL & Cocoon stand in a unique position to facilitate the migration of this scene from London to Berlin, and in parallel draw on the IXCHEL team’s wealth of experience to help develop the careers of Berlin creatives and promote these artists into the UK/US stronghold of critical acclaim.
Charlie Jungle has a unique access to the Berlin/London scene having already formed close working relationships with pinnacle independent live agents and promoters such as JAW Family and FMLY agency, whose rosters include the likes of:
Robert Glasper, Kamasi Washington, Hiatus Kaiyote, Taylor McFerrin, Gogo Penguin, Makaya Mccraven, alongside the likes of Floating Points, Theo Parrish, Four Tet, Gilles Peterson, Larry Heard, Moodymann, Marcellus Pittman, Omar S and many more.
Charlie has extensive experience across the live scene; from production work for Glastonbury Festival, to stage managing at Love Supreme and organising international tours for countless artists.
Bar & Cafe.
The bar and cafe area will have an emphasis on quality whilst maintaining a level of affordability in line with the creative world. We believe in sustainability as a principle not a trend. In both the menu and drinks selection we aim to represent the values of the creative scene and make some delicious vegetarian and vegan dishes. For both the bar and cafe we aim to use local suppliers wherever possible.
The theatre scene in Berlin has, for many years now, operated between two poles. The traditional and the off-scene, Cocoon aims to unite the strengths of both, creating an atmosphere to progress the vibrant ideas of the off-scene - while at the same time providing the infrastructure and resources of the traditional theatres.
In doing this we hope to give birth to a new scene in Berlin, with an emphasis on storytelling and entertainment - reconnecting with the roots of the art for both stage performance and immersive theatre.
Cocoon will have a regular rotation of artwork from local and international artists, as well as providing a space for dedicated exhibitions. In contrast to much of the existing art world we aim to present the art we feature with an emphasis on quality and humanity (not pretentiousness and ego).
Much of the curational work for the gallery will be produced by photographer Seb JJ Peters and the artist Sophie Bass.
Seb JJ Peters
Seb is an internationally published portrait, music and fine art photographer currently based between London, Bristol and Cambridge. His images have been used by top brands, record labels, on magazine covers, in photo essays and other curious places. With a special gift for capturing the inward expanse of any moment, Seb’s work is known for the dreamlike, immersive quality he extracts from whatever he’s shooting,
Working exclusively with Fujifilm and Leica equipment, Seb’s instinctive practice utilises analogue controls, environmental light, vintage lenses and dynamic settings. He has photographed many of today’s musical pioneers including Joe Armon Jones, Michael Kiwanuka, Sampa the Great and Ezra Collective, and has worked with world-leading brands like lingerie designers Edge O’ Beyond and Fleur of England.
Sophie is a Trinidadian-English illustrator based in London. One of the most exciting names on the scene currently, Sophie’s hand-drawn works capture the vibrancy of movement, dance, vitality and communion like few others working today. Working with various high-profile commercial, political and musical clients, her extensive sleeve designs for jazz artists Soweto Kinch, Yazz Ahmed and Ash Walker have already sparked comparisons with Blue Note legend Reid Miles.
Using just felt-tips, pencils and paints, Sophie’s illustrations weave natural and folkloric symbols and patterns into modern scenes of liberation, nature, mythology, festivity and dance culture. Music, politics, nature and community are central inspirations for much of Sophie's work as is her dual cultural heritage. She has worked with many world-leading clients including Dr Martens, Adidas, Gal-Dem and The Green Party.
Additionally we aim to build a creative / photo studio within the building which will be available for hire, as well as to open the door for artist residencies.
A portion of the space within Cocoon will be dedicated to the sale of creative products, such as records, clothing, prints, jewelry and other creative formats. The work of IXCHEL Collective and Berlin based artists will feature heavily.
We want to make Cocoon available to hire for the creative community and would look to partner with key creatives to lead workshops and coaching. We aim for these workshops to be accessible for all, and encourage as many people as possible to explore creativity.
As Cocoon grows we would actively encourage artist residencies, offering a space for projects to develop, as well as connecting these artists to the local community.