Welcome to this shell. It's spring 2021 already, and I've spent the windy days with the cyberfeminists of the early 90s.
At some point, a recurring figure struck me: the SHELL, embodiment of the abutting surfaces that carry the imaginaries.
Where are you? Your feet may be on a ground somewhere on this planet, but your hands reach halfway into cyberspace.
Or the other way around. Are you comfortable? How would you like to live, which beings to share these minutes with?
Can't I do the good work? What's this bugging pain? I want to live on a boat under a willow-tent, I want to read one page per day, I want a deep conversation per day, eat a bouquet of flowers and colors, drink tea and coffee, move through the dim, prospective air of dreams. I want to take a dip and melt, then reassemble myself in the harsh breeze; again and again, day for day, season for season. Summer, whose promise, or imagined promise, is too large to bear, cruel you, give me the courage to fall!
There you are, scent of budding, earthworm, virtuoso of harpsicord and trombone. I thought you were gone. You should have gone for I was horrible. But perhaps you don't mind so much? You like this place? And your comrades, they're here as well? How fabulous, how delightful!
I want to play the instruments with you. Or listen. I want to sing to you and cry. I want you close or distant. In silent appreciation or disdain. I want all of you close or distant, I want to know if I want you close or distant. I want to tell you in clear and calm words, now is the time for me, and I want you to tell me, or to tell each other with our bodies, or with the closing note.
I miss you.
I miss you so dearly, but am I missing the imaginary memories I created, that I composed out of helplessness and self-sorrow once, out of the vapors of warm soil, the moist, infested shade behind a straw bale? Am I missing a second hand or third hand memory or caricature thereof?
We take a walk on the cloud that is mist over the morning river, our feet dissolving. I want to freeze and to evaporate. I want my skin to be the portal of your anger and your hope. I want the path to open once a year to let a stranger in, but only if they know what I don't know. Don't tell me about the systems some guru has told you about. No, I want to admire how every limb of your body moves with the swells of mood and temperature. I want your four liquids all over the place. I want your grace and earnesty.
I know you. The better I know me I know you. I know us. We are many. I know it's a small step from the cubicle to the vast, open. We are connected. I am feeling the umbilical channel ring like a phone line. Knock, and I'm scared to accept.
Help me accept. Wind, help me accept and trust that I can deny when I need to. Sun, help me stay where I am and go where I go. Help me channel my anger, my radiant, sound, manifest rage, into beauty for I am one beautiful beast as my naked feet are dancing on the dry planks over mud and puddles. Ocean, give me the salty drops that heal my pain. Let it rain on me to make my skin transparent. Embrace my clay-made, readymade, multiple body to exchange the heat and soften the form. Dust, injure my eyes so that I listen. Make me stiff and long so that I forget the dragon in my womb.
This night, I had a pleasurable dream. I woke up and told a friend, via e-mail. Pleasurable but disturbing.
Distance is quite relative, and I'm just learning to be intimate with myself.
Those who talk big about the future have no clue. They believe in euklidean space and binary gender, and these superstitions make them
deaf to the whirring and whirling all around. I am hereby devoting the rest of my life to nurturing connections across and beyond the territorial.
Go ahead and read some of these texts that have accumulated in the recent years. Or skip to the pictures.
Since I'm usually undecided, I leave you the choice whether you want to go chronologically, thematically or associatively.
As I love arbitrary-but-insistent schemes of classification, I came up with a trifecta of themes that can be found in the stuff
I was concerned with, ca. 2011-19. These are:
• approaching dance as economy, or economy as dance
• a collection of extended pleasure techniques
• taking "empty" spaces as sites of yet-untold stories.
What follows now may not be up to date, but then, the internet is mostly a trace of memory, a dumpyard of unfinished and half-connected bites.
Enjoy, my heart, and let me know when you need something!
flupsi: mutual pleasures!
The corpus presented here starts with the end of images. What is left to do if all new images are doomed to turn out as replicas of previous images? If everything you see just tells the same old myth again?
This is where I found myself around 2013, and looking back today, I can discern three approaches I would try. First, dreaming into the figures of abandoned spaces, and taking a site as myth container. Voids filled with imaginary societies and the peculiar became self-evident. I sense the traction of alternative myths.
Second, to empty the situation of all signs, to dance without knowledge, to let my belly guide. In small groups, exploration of our machine pleasures, untainted from hypertrophic subjectivity, would reopen our attention to materiality and mutuality, and enable encounter: as an unconditional gift. We let ourselves fall into figures from a world without violence.
Third, where is the knowledge of that world? Which economy is without violence? What language will post-patriarchy speak? Reading D.A. Haraway’s cyborg manifesto and Silvia Federici’s economy-history of body inscriptions as scores, in several collaborative projects I put together a toolbox of rituals, narratives and practices that may help us dance cyborgs' liminal spaces into our realities: dancing economy.
Since dance became my life, I am accompanying performance and dance projects. As a process companion, I help with writing, critique, framing, and creative decisions, contribute my experience with collaborative work, and propose fruitful approaches to develop artistic material.
Contact me if you have a process going and need an outside ear/eye/heart! I’m usually available for a spontaneous, free coffee.
My hourly price is 0.1% of your private property. If you have negative capital (debt), I will pay you.
Sometimes I can offer free service, just ask. I'm also more than happy to share with you our means of production, e.g. camera, computer, knowledge, servers, bodies, taste.
And this is what I can offer you:
I can help you with grantwriting (Berlin/Germany/Europe), storytelling, redaction, rhetorics, and proper text formatting. Yes, I can be quite anal :-)
Know your sources. Know your material, and know your options of representing it.
Framing and Critique.
Together we can get to understand: what context do you place your work in? Which institutions are you affirming or subverting? Which discourses will you leverage, and what is your own stance within or in opposition to these frames? How exactly is your work political, and where is your position in the many contemporary social struggles?
Light, stage and costume making.
Due to my experience in children’s theatre, performance, and no-budget filmmaking, I can support you with video, sound and projection, color, lights, building structures, materials, props and costumes. What you need for an impressive production is not stuff but devotion and time. I’m especially interested in reusing accessible and free material, minimal effort for maximum impact, and I’ll share lots of low-budget tricks with your team.
Videomaking, editing and postproduction.
With a ‘dancing camera’, we can capture volatile moments. Publish beautiful trailers and clips for videodanza festivals or global youtube/twitter/vimeo... audiences. I can offer camerawork, sound/foley/voiceover recording, collaborative editing, color grading, 3D animation and effects compositing, subtitling, and publishing on social networks.
The web offers unprecedented resources for connections and realtime collaboration on a global scale. Let’s leverage the virtual realms for team communications, documentation, archiving, PR, or crowdsourcing. Since 2007, I have been creating content management systems and published artists’ portfolios, blogs and apps to the internet. We can find a suitable strategy for your project that won’t strain your limited resources.
Ready Mad, Berlin, 2018-19.
Grantwriting; research; translation; assistant of production.
This buffonesque play has been in development for several months. I helped Pauline writing texts and applications and flesh out the presentation of her artistic approaches. Additionally, I translated the a final grant application from English to German, thereby reevaluating and sharpening several key concepts.
Deva Schubert & Juan Felipe Amaya Gonzalez
Grand Opening: Ein Euphemismus, Berlin, May-Jun 2019.
Concept and Grant writing; support in the early stages of creation; research on materials.
While this essay on metamodernity (a contemporary language that reappropriates postmodern forms for affective and romantic storytelling) never came to realization, its development proved fruitful to rebase and frame Deva’s practices, and to shine light on the material that Juan and Deva are working on in their current and upcoming projects.
Walling Practice; Molding the Void, Berlin, Sep 2018—May 2019.
Research, dance and videography.
Towards a series of workshops, Eleni researched how to dance the negative and ‘in-between’ spaces, both inside and outside our bodies, and how bodies form a collective sculpture of these voids. She invited me to bring my camera, my body and my playfulness, and we investigated the voids of Veolodrom (Berlin).
The Shape of Emotion, Berlin, Nov 2018.
Mentoring (via HZT Berlin); stage and projection models; dome structures.
In preparation of her graduation performance, Mmakgosi approached me with the idea of projecting her mouth into the inside of a giant dome. We recycled cardboard and researched spherical projection. While the dome never made it on stage, our collaboration reaffirmed and informed the artist’s approach of an accessible, i.e. nonexclusionary production.
Documentation and cinematography; stage projections.
For his piece on the absurdity of economics in the light of the so-called debt crisis, Akseli devised a unique stage design. Life-size dancers are crawling up and down a giant number-board, seemingly defying gravity and the linearity of time. I was happy to realize this idea with my lighting, recording, dewarping and projecting tecniques. Furthermore, I documented the whole process and contributed to the trailer video.
Paula Zacharias, projects on CI and Alexander technique. Buenos Aires, Verano 2018/19.
Videography and production, framing and critique.
Josephine Witt, Ein bisschen Julia und Romeo. Berlin, Sep 2018.
Katarzyna Guzowska and Eleni Zipser, duo bombast (performances). Berlin, 2016-18.
I want to share and receive memories stored in the body, from body to body, not with spoken language in academic or social frames. I want to perceive my body and yours and our collective body as material, not as signifiers and tokens of oppressive and oppressed identities.
This language has no symbols. It is a precarious language of our precarity. It has no meaning other than our bodies and their encounter. I think, in the long term, that's how we can organize and become the Leafy Proletariat that Donna Haraway envisioned.
«material memory» is a practice based on the tiny movements and oscillating tensions that run through our bodies, shaped and modulated by the memories that inhabit our muscles, fascia, fat tissue.
«mud body» started in Buenos Aires, in February 2019, with «Coro», a score that can be superimposed on any public space.
As we were improvising in the parks and playgrounds of Buenos Aires, we found ourselves drawn to the wet earth, so we decided to embark on a 15-months journey into mud, mud-bodies, and the body-political imbrications of playing in this matrix.
In tableaux vivants, ‘living images’, actors represent a concept through staging a scenic figure taken from a known text. It fell out of use amidst the onset of industrialization due to a somewhat ribald excess: a body is always more than what it supposedly marks. In particular, excessive pleasures may transcend narrative frames and bear yet-unwritten myths from the cyborg worlds. A gallery exhibition with the working title «tableau vivant» is afoot, based on my graduation work «solo for my body» (July 17, ‘18)
Sep 27, 2019 first installment of «material memory», practicing a non-symbolic body language.
Oct-Apr, 2018-19 living in Buenos Aires, collaborating with local dancers on «genet.space» and «mud body».
Jul 17, 2018 graduation performance at UdK Berlin, with «solo for my body»; received Meisterschüler degree in fine arts.
Mar-Sep, 18 facilitating four small residencies (with Pauline Payen, Dorota Michalak, Evgenia Chetkovka and others) to dive into economies of space and coexistence with material, as material. Ongoing project with excursions into places.
Feb-Jun, 18 organizing regular dance improvisation sessions on
«material cyborgism», my dance practice for liminal bodies in liminal spaces, inspired by Donna Haraway’s Cyborg Manifesto and contemporary political witchcraft.
Sep-Dec, 17 initiating project «allegory of economy»;
Allegory as model for understanding and unlearning economic dispositifs.
Mar-Dec, 17«future witchcraft», a collaboration with
Josephine Witt, Judith Förster and Pia Achterkamp;
permanent performance lab in Aarhus, a show at Volksbühne,
a «framing ritual» workshop and experiment on body-and-frame awareness;
final workshop in the artists' space betOnest.
17 working as performer for Alexandra Pirici,
Rebecca Goyette and others;
studying critique of frames and spaces around performance and body art.
16 initiation of the network compagnie sorcellerie
and research on the inscription of witch-hunts in the body; formulation of a gift economy («gift economy network», or genet.space).
15-18 learning to dance; attending classes with Alice Chauchat,
Benoît Lechambre, Keith Hennessey, Isabelle Schad and others;
several collaborations with SODA and MA students.
14-15 project group «sociétés in the city without environs» on urbanism and self-indulgence; giving regular workshops in public spaces; exposition «disconnected spaces» in Berlin and Tehran.
14 project group «strange movements» to explore
motion, mechanisms and encounters in a fictional space.
13-18 study fine arts and performance art at UdK
Berlin; ever-recurring themes of ephemeral spaces that
invite utopia; new name: Flupsi.
10 founding the noncommercial filmmaking collective Filmgeschichte.
09-12 film studies at FU Berlin; participating in
various political street theatre groups.
08-9 working at Armes Theater Chemnitz(material theater / children’s theatre).
99-08 switching school to a rural, violent village; later: robotics, many theater and design projects.
88-96 born and grown up in Frankfurt (Main).
collection of ephemeral art
An ephemeral artwork is the product of artistic labour that ceases to exist some time after the labour. The relation between
the art industry and ephemerality is peculiar as an ephemeral artwork is hard to commodify.
Oral histories, documentation and theatrical reenactment are strategies to keep an ephemeral artwork's aura, i.e. its
impact on the sphere of symbolic capital, and thereby retaining the principles of authorship and private property.
Embodied memory functions as the medium by which a dance-work is preserved in such a way that it can be restaged.
This makes the dancer's body literally a currency.
On the other hand, forgetting and unlearning, false memories, ageing and physical processes in the body
transform the artwork. And when an artist is performing for the now, is not every reenactment and every
memory a different artwork in a different context?
My collection of ephemeral artworks attempts to undo the aura and highlight the actual work, the labour that
produces an ephemeral artwork. Read it as a contribution to an economy not based on conditional exchange
and conventional evaluation but on the uncountable appreciation of lifetime and engagement.
The collection is currently being digitized. For inquiries, contact me and stay tuned
until the documentation appears here.
Economies of space underlie every choreography. Bodies serve as currency and token in economies of representation. And finally, art is a market in which I am a freelancer.
During the «sand residency» in July ‘18, Pauline, Dorota and me explored the mutualities that emerge within an improvised dance. Several workshops throughout June have produced a comprehensive codex of practices.
The collective research project «allegory of economy» (December ‘17, ongoing) aims to leverage allegory as a tool to understand and reassemble economies in relation to bodies, transactions and customs
«future witchcraft» (feb-dec ‘17) comprised of a residency with an open lab, several performances and rituals, workshops and a theatre play, all approaching the political struggles of early modern women in Europe that ended, as we all know, in mass gynocides. Can we, in our situation, join these witches’ emancipatory stategies of magic practice, ritual, and direct action, and eventually undo the historic establishment of female gender as economic marker?
Through the «framing ritual» (Jun 9, ‘17), I related the apparatus’ frame (such as central perspective) through spontaneous gestures and inscriptions (lines painted on skin) to inner foci, in an attempt to exclude conventional interprlay between these three layers. The awareness of five foci in the body which mold the appreciation of surroundings proved a useful ingredient for all successive practices.
Can dance crack codes of deprivation?
“This is the first discovery: that patriarchy is not a construction, an order or a structure, but an economy, for which women are the first and founding commodities”, Sadie Plant writes in her essay «On the matrix: cyberfeminist simulations». And then she quotes Luce Irigaray: In this economy, “Women, signs, commodities, and currency always pass from one man to another”; their existance being reduced to what it signifies: “the possibility of mediation. transaction, transition, transference”. And adds: “Women have served as his media and interfaces, muses and messengers, currenties and screens, interactions, operators, decoders, secretaries… they have been man’s go-betweens, the in-betweens, taking his message, bearing his children, and passing his genetic code.”
In retrospect, allegories and emblems of the early modern age are blatantly sexist, and nescessarily so as they were to depict interfaces of circulation as female-marked bodies. The project of gendering the symbolic realm, a foundational effort of modern patriarchy, has, despite resistance from women, been successful, and continues to inform image production in the contemporary fields. And, in a not-so-ironic reappropriation, “Twentieth-century scientists call on this earlier visual technology for insisting on a specific kind of reality, which readily makes today’s observers forget the conditions, apparatuses and histories of its production. Especially in computer an information sciences and in biotechnology and biomedicine, representations of late twentieth century technosciences make liberal use of iconic exemplars of early modern European art/humanism/technology. Current images of technoscience quote, point to, and otherwise evoke a small, conventional, potent stock of Renaissance visual analogues, which provide a legitimate lineage and origin story for technical revolutions at the end of the Second Christian Millenium”, as Donna J. Haraway describes in her «Virtual Speculum». Deeper motivations may have stayed the same for 500 years as the extended-shelf-life visual apparatus canonized in the Renaissance still, in distinct ways, serves the production and reproduction of gender.
The visible spill of early modern emblems into cyber-science throughout the 90s has inspired me to revisit contemporary body representation through the lens of Allegory. I discovered this word in many critical texts on 20th century feminist performance art as well as on early modern construction of gender, and despite its demise in the 19th century, Walter Benjamin’s seminal essay on Allegory seems to have spurred a slow but lasting reassessment of this concept throughout late modernity right into post modernism. Allegory, with its ternary structure and its figure’s superfluity, helps uncover myths that contemporary symbols would keep implied.
Economy is the other side of the model I work with, and it appears in three guises. First, as the circulation mediated by the figure-as-sign. Rebecca Schneider, in «The Explicit body», asserts that female-marked bodies in capitalism serve as “allegory for commodity circulation”, and to form the ternary structure of allegory, the text in this case is the ‘dreamscapes’ of ‘insatiable desire’, an economy itself, in which touch is impossible and gaze is infinite. Second, economy is instrinsic to my process of working, where resources, transactions and symbolic evaluation determine what I can produce. And third, the volatile space I summon through performance/dance is itself structured by an economy of bodies-as-material, even before any score is noted.
Allegory is a model to scutinize and construct approaches to alterity, i.e. what T. W. Adorno called ‘mimesis’. The explication of code/myth as requisite allows for normative assessment. It allows me to create images without conceding my judgement to the seductive affirmativity of the symbol, and it potentially gives the Other a language.
Can extended choreography inform software models? We research the bijection of category theory and dance as we are implementing a tool to generate accessible and non-competitive virtual spaces. An ongoing collaboration with Katherine Evans and Alejandro Karasik.
genet, the gift economy network, is a garden of knowledge. It is a virtual space in which each avatar (a group of users, an individual, or a bot) is invited to plant their compositions. Paths from one space to another are not generated by algorithms but by curatorial activity of the avatars, i.e. by invitation. Virtual spaces are the commons of the present and the future, and they may serve an invaluable role in facilitating the enormous logistical challenge of distributing goods for everyone, thereby replacing capitalist ways of structuring access.
Dancability makes software models tangible.
In its current form, the interface to genet allows avatars to compose and edit collaboratively. In contrast to any other content management system, it bases its ontologies on a language derived from dance improvisation practices. In fact, any program written in ambilang is an easy-to-grasp score for a dance improvisation jam.
In my experience, the hardest errors in computer programming arise once the implementors are no longer sure about what the program is actually doing, i.e. when they give up understanding of the model that their software realizes. In this case, dancing this model makes the software tangible again.
Allegory of Economy
Umbrella project over somatic, art-historic, and performative research and experiments. Since December '17.
In collaboration with numerous choreographers, facilitators and performers, we set to link our economic struggles as freelancers with a performative approach to economic systems, informed by the three occurances of economy in our practices as stated above.
The overarching theme for the Moss and Sand practices (Summer '18) was: how to connect as material. Why? Well, while we are already cyborgs, we are isolated. We need to learn affinity to connect and to become the global Proletariat. Donna Haraway specifies this Proletariat as «leafy». I want to learn from moss and from sand how to connect! This is a radically different 'economy' than patriarchal capitalism.
The framing ritual was part of 2017's future witchcraft series of experiments (July, with 12 participants and 4 preparational workshops). My questions are: 1) can the 'framing' of the body through visible lines make our motivations more transparent? 2) How does this 'inscription' (Federici) relate to patriarchal inscriptions such as ableism, gender, skin color?
In «tableaux vivants», ‘living images’, actors represent a concept through staging a scenic figure taken from a known text. It fell out of use amidst the onset of industrialization due to a somewhat ribald excess: a body is always more than what it supposedly marks. In particular, excessive pleasures may transcend narrative frames and bear yet-unwritten myths from the cyborg worlds. My graduation work «solo for my body» (July 17, ‘18) assaied the concept.
«machine skills» was a workshop performance I gave in several frames. Tackling D.A. Haraway’s enigmatic assurance that “intense pleasures” were to arise from “machine skills”, I created a garden for cyborgs, and invited the participants to embark on counterpoint singing, affirming they have the according skills.
The «cyborgism» practice was the result of my first interpretation of Haraway’s Cyborg Manifesto as a choreographic score. In several workshops and jams, the guests explored the pleasurable implications of being a cyborg in a shared space.
How would a cyborg perceive and engage the material world? Sensations of touch and gravity guided the «moss residency» with dancer/artist Pauline Payen that comprised of somatic practice as well as felting interfaces, and talking about our economic situations.
An aspect of cyborgs’ spacial economy is how we perceive limits. In recurring «limit jams», the invitees explored resistance and presence through malleable, contracting and expanding boundaries with tools from meditation, contact improvisation and martial arts.
The touch of material became very visceral when rain was pouring during the participative installation of «river species», part of the «future witchcraft» series of events.
«my stillness with the garden», a technique for grounding and preceiving everything as material began to develop in early ‘16 within ritual retreats I organized on the basis of Starhawk’s emancipatory witchcraft writings.
Throughout summer ‘14, I met with three fellow artists to move like animals. We called ourselves the «crawling group». What started as a development process towards the production of a butoh-inspired performance, eventually became a deep dive into an alternative way of encounter, with both the environment and each other.
River Species Ritual
Make a long river. create 3 or 4 shapes (Water Lily, bridge, Stone…). Go into the river, feel the current, take a shape until the current throws you off balance. Float until you find a new shape.
This participative installation was part of the 2018 annual exhibition at the HZT campus of UdK Berlin.
What I call myth container («Fabelcontainer», ‘12-13) is a site-as-figure. Armed with the hieroglyphic fragments of an abandoned, or counterfeit discourse (they are always latent), we can enter this site-as-figure and practice the dislocation of our dance into a parallel world. Historical discourses depend on models of societies, and, in retrospect, evoke fascinating myths, stories within ideal societies. I stumble upon heterostopies, sites that are both what they are, i.e. material, and ideal, as if they were hosting imaginary parties of societies in a parallel world. This nourishing relation is mutual; the choice of a site juxtaposed with an abandoned discourse produces an ideal society, and in many ways this production covertly mirrors allegorese (allegorical interpretation), where a vessel that is more than its function, the figure of the body as marked by gender and other attributes, invokes meaning through a conventional myth. Conclusively, just as we commonly dance to produce a volatile space, through latent narratives, the volatility of a space arouses a dance in return.
The expression ‘double in a parallel world’, liberally borrowed from Alice Chauchat, may grasp a grounding concept in several of my works. Those include the theatre script «K-Gruppen» set in a looping 1972 election night shifting between ‘limits to growth’, radical agit-prop, and cyberneticized popular front politics (‘13), as well as the «Luftschiff» and «Architecten» narratives (with related works since ‘13) which are both set in a never-ending WWI in Europe in the years 1917 resp. 1999, and inspired by the heterotopicity I experiences in the film-sets I had been working in. In the context of my Fine Arts studies occured the ‘democratic pleasury’ («ein demokratischer Lustgarten»; ‘16-17) and the precursury 19th-century «Akademie» world (‘12-13), both inspired by Prussian garden architecture, which would later inform my practical approaches to an aesthetic of Tableau Vivant. The «Sociétés in the city without environs», finally, took the epinymous space not as figure but as rhetorical means to the end of informing a volatile space in which we’d find our ‘Other’, in Lacanian terms. Finding one’s double in these parallel societies nescessarily incurs a surrender towards fragments of a theory ethic-esthetic, orphaned discourse looking for its debaters. Joy lies in connecting these pieces, mending the fissures, still failing a nod towards history’s actual tale, to create an iridescent mosaic. The latter’s mimetic like(li)ness and spatial fidelity to the architectural sediment (as in ‘take the hyroglyph for text’) carries a promise, a gesture of deference to normative reality effects, and this gesture is what I am trying to cultivate in all my projects.
«Luftschiff» and «Architecten», as well as the «Akademie» and «Lustgarten» take place in a fictional socialist Europe that has never embraced the steam engine. While the latter two are situated in a stratified but affluent late (and long) 19th century, the airship in «Luftschiff» crosses the Baltic sea in 1917, and hosts the author of a fiction, «Architecten», that projects WWI up int the year ‘99, including a slimy communications network based on biotech. The paradigmatic topos from which discourses evolve is that of neoclassical sculpture. The European discourses of rationality, humanism and misogyny find a lasting expression in gardens with statues, especially of the ‘pleasury’ variety. A 21st century European may find it hard to reconcile masculinist Enlightenment rhetoric with the tactile qualities of Baroque and Classicist sculpture, in which the human figure poses as some mythical emanation. The unease is caused by the ‘too-much’ that Walter Benjamin ascribes to (Baroque) allegorical figure. Classical and neoclassical aesthetics petrify allegory to an unbearable extent during the ‘Sattelzeit’ (early 19th century). This conflict warrants a nonfactual scenario, in which the early modern forms around allegory would have been rescued into modernity. How would the first modern world war be staged through this hypothetical setup? Which art corresponds to a society that perpetually reperforms long-forgotten antique myths? Very likely, we may develop a sensibility for the history of that world in our’s—after all, has the early modern age in Europe ever ended?
In «Sociétés in the city without environs» (‘14-15), the myth begins with the endlessness of a periphery (the site), and the self-sufficiency of local secret societies (the hypothetical discourse), and then asks the site for fragments of a text. Which is the practice, or ritual, that a ‘city without environs’ lends itself to? The paradigmatic sprawl speaks of urban-social indifference. How would the Sociétés ‘other’ each other? Through a compartmentalization: a history of labyrinthine entrenchment through an infinite, malleable concrete fabric, etc. Our performative explorations into the «Sociétés in the city without environs» started with bygone spaces rhetorically appropriated in order to summon the double of our troupe in another world, such as the (re)constructed labyrinth as synecdoche, or the abandoned Iraqui embassy building taken as metonym for the «bureaucracie».
The site-as-figure in an allegorical equation is a device I find myself using all the time. But similarly, the solutions to the equations are developing their own lives as inquiry devices: they illuminate the contingency of today’s specific patriarchy. As they intergrow, their shared world, a ‘parallel’, raises issues of our’s. This is the cradle in which my inquiries in ‘18—«allegory of economy», «my stillness with the garden», and the performances around «cyborgism» and «machine pleasures»—would form: they are all questions that other world poses us.
my stillness in the garden
Workshops and experiments in remote sites. ‘15-18.
The basic assumption is that a certain stillness facilitates the appreciation of
wind, moisture and presence towards a sense of mutuality: my stillness in the garden is my “with-ness”.
As a freelance artist, I am economically dependent on the goodwill of those who own more than they need. This includes commercial foundations that can save taxes and restore their publich image through «philantrophy», the political units from city to continent that see themselves pitted against each other in a competition for the art that can turn excrements into metal, and finally, of course, the customers of my services. Some of which think they can opt out of a contract after the work is done.
As a freelance artist, I work for free. I connect with fellow artists to write huge applications. But I don’t want to write CVs and Begging E-Mails and pseudophilosophical nonsense around a good idea. Not if it’s not remunerated. I want to go out and do.
As a freelance artist, I connect my several websites and social media accounts and media servers and struggle to keep everything up to date. But I don’t want to manage an artist’s archive. Not without remuneration. I want my work to be paid for.
As a freelance artist, I hope to get exposure, recommendation, a name. Not because I like it but because I need the money. I help friends and friends-of-friends with my knowledge and my tools. Not because they will give me anything in return but because it’s what I have in abundance. I prepare and study subjects that may be fruitful for a future project. Not to entice potential investors but because this work is my passion. But I don’t want to ask everyone if they might perhaps offer me a donation, and exhibit art in gallerys where nobody buys it, and give the same technical support over and over, and stay with a rotting pile of artworks. Not for free.
As a freelance artist, I will survive. I have loving friends and family that will always share with me what they have. But that’s a dog’s life! I am anxious because I am earning too little. I am anxious because my brain is constantly calculating how much I can spend and which client I must remind to pay me. I am anxious because the philantrophic institutions don’t care for my everyday life problems, and they won’t pay me the money that I already spent if anything goes wrong.
Fuck the gallery. Fuck the state. Fuck the philantrophic sociopath threefold. Just give me money so I don’t need to think about money any more.