The year's best...

My theory that low expectations are the very best condiment for cultural experience was borne out by Heiner Goebbels' Stifter's Dinge. It consisted of a giant machine featuring five grand pianos, a mist-covered lagoon and spectral lighting effects. For an hour it plinged and plonged as it advanced and receded on a set of rails and it was – simultaneously – completely ridiculous and oddly magical. I set off to see it like a man going in for root canal work and came away elated.

Tom Sutcliffe
The Independent (GB), 19 December 2008