The brainchild of Conrad Schnitzler and Hans-Joachim Roedelius, Human Being was ongoing performance art project throughout 1968, which was an outgrowth of the Zodiak Free Arts Lab, hosted in the basement of West Berlin’s Zodiak Club.
Dedicated to democratizing music and revolutionizing existing concepts of “art,” Human Being featured a continually changing lineup of mostly non-musicians whose regulars included founders Schnitzler and Roedelius, along with Beatrix Rief, Horst-Rainer Schaak, Broderick Price, Verena Schurz, Rita and Norbert Eisbrenner, and Elke Lixfeld (who later became well-known throughout Germany as a painter). Occasional guests included Klaus Schulz, Tangerine Dream founder Edgar Froese, and Deiter Moebius (who later formed Kluster with Schniztler and Roedelius), as well as a number of others who went on to notoriety in the German music scene of the 1970s.
Instruments of choice for the ensemble ranged from hand-assembled sound generators to found objects to cast-off (and often damaged) acoustic instruments once played by local jazz musicians. However, it was the prototypic electronic instruments that distinguished Human Being from other performers of the era, and established the place in music history of this year-long experiment by inspiring the development of the electronics-driven genre of music that later became known as Krautrock.