This is the story of the Stromkastenmann on Kantstraße. One of the many people in Berlin who just roll with their thing. His thing? Collecting and curating things on the street.
My source thought that the random collection of items, on the junction box in front of her office, were the typical trash pilings of passers-by. But during the past summer, she noticed one guy returning more often than others.
He would stop right in front of her store’s large window front. He was always wearing the same track suit, and he’d always spend a couple of minutes… doing something.
The man who decorates Berlin
Intrigued by his routine stops, my friend decided to buy a disposable camera and keep it in her drawer. Just in case he came back again.
And he did.
The Stromkastenmann would bring all sorts of stuff and then decorate the junction box meticulously. Old newspapers, crown caps, leftover food or bottles were all part of his careful compositions.
Sometimes, the Stromkastenmann would return more than once daily and add more stuff to his existing works. But he didn’t just dump the items there. He seemed to have a system.
He roams Kantstraße in his tracksuit frequently, but we already know now that he also has other depots in West-Berlin. My friend isn’t a stalker, but she ran into him in the supermarket nearby. Then, a few weeks later, she saw him on the street. It was definitely him, walking down Kurfürstendamm, but dressed in ‘regular’ street clothes. She was completely confused.
The whole ordeal became only more mysterious when Stromkastenmann suddenly disappeared. From one day to the next, he didn’t come back. Was he stirred by our interest? Did he not want to be watched? Are we going too far?
We thought we’d lost him.
But thankfully, he returned a couple of weeks later. And every day, my source steps outside of her office and snaps a picture of his works. Whether it’s public intervention or a little bit of craziness – we don’t know for sure.
All we know is that whatever he does, he loves doing it, and we love it too.