Masterstudiengang Spiel und Objekt

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Kate Bush <3

Coucou, last weekend of July it is so yes, last time I‘ll be in charge of the weekend reading for now. This weekend Christopher Street Day – Berlin Pride, took place, as most of you probably noticed. So I take this as a reason to devote this BlogPost to this particular part of LGBTTIQ*history. This year, the CSD changed its slogan into STONEWALL 50 – EVERY RIOT STARTS WITH YOUR VOICE, as it is the 50th anniversary of the Riots at Stonewall Inn, a Gay-Bar on Manhattan, New York City’s Christopher Street. The Riots happend around the date of June 28, 1969. Those days, the LGBTTIQ* Community fought back after being violently attacked and raided by the police various times. The narration about what exactly happened at the Stonewall Riots (who fought the police, where there struggles within the Queer Community as well) differ. Here is a short documentary, giving an insight into what happened at the Stonewall Riots out of the perspective of some Queers that had been involved.
What strikes me the most, is that there are already voices of queer POCs who felt neglected by the community. Over the past years, the CSD had been critiqued from various sides, as the whole event was rather a commercialized pinkwashing party, then actually a political statement. (The Term pinkwashing is used to describe a variety of marketing and political strategies aimed at promoting products, countries, people or entities through an appeal to gay-friendliness, in order to be perceived as progressive, modern and tolerant. ) A further observation and also a critique is, that the CSD seems to be an event for a community, mostly originating out of a white middle-class background. This problem of bias and racism, even within the community, was continuously addressed by great queer thinkers and activists, such as Audre Lorde. Lorde described herself as a “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet,” Audre Lorde dedicated both her life and her creative talent to confronting and addressing injustices of racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia. In relation to non-intersectional feminism in the United States, Lorde famously said:

“those of us who stand outside the circle of this society’s definition of acceptable women; those of us who have been forged in the crucibles of difference – those of us who are poor, who are lesbians, who are Black, who are older – know that survival is not an academic skill. It is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths. For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. And this fact is only threatening to those women who still define the master’s house as their only source of support.

Here you can find the full text The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House

Most of us know, that bias, stereotypes, racism, sexism, homo- and transphobia are reproduced by our technologies, as they are NOT NEUTRAL. As they get programmed by humans with certain world views, as they take the already existing, biased content of digital knowledge as learning material. I still want to share this keynote about RACIAL DISCRIMINATION IN THE AGE OF AI

The lecture by Mutale Nkonde was given in the frame of an event series called AI TRAPS: Automating Discrimination organized by “Disruption Network Lab” – An ongoing platform of events and research on art, hacktivism and disruption in Berlin.
I feel that luckily, there are many interesting research projects going on, that analyze biased AIs and try to find solutions on how to deal with this increasing problem. Like the Gender Shades Project: . It evaluates the accuracy of AI powered gender classification products, focussing on Face++, Microsoft and IBM.

Furthermore, we need to understand that the biases are not just a problem of software and machine learning gone wrong, it is as well build in the material that is used to create our digital devices. Some of you already know about it, but for those who never heard the term “Shirley Card” – Here a short summary on how Kodak literally blocked POCs out of their photographs.

Color film was designed for a precise consumer market whose likeness was on a printed image called “The Shirley.”
Shirley cards, named after a former Kodak studio model, were images used as the standard for color calibration in photo labs all over the world. When a lab ordered a Kodak printer, the company sent Shirley cards with them as a guide. Technicians would adjust the color settings to match the model’s skin tone.
Models for Shirley cards were always white women.

A similar thing happened nowadays with the pre-set filter on Instagram (not the face mesh ones though – last month Instagram changed their policy, so know pretty much everybody can design face filters, which are used by some queer and feminist artists as an empowering tool.)

Alright, I will end this BlogPost with the promise I made you about adding a Kate Bush Song to every Post, which fits perfectly as Kate Bush has been an Icon for the Queer Community within the past 40 years. Why is that so? Here is an opinion:

And here another one:

“I’ve heard people say time and time again that they would kick aside their lounge room furniture and spin to Wuthering Heightswhenever it came on. For other people, they see it as a ‘reclaiming’ of their personal power from past relationship traumas. In an increasingly grey and punitive world, you could even say it’s an act of defiance. I know it’s an overused word these days, but there’s an authenticity to Kate Bush that’s inspirational. And I think that’s her legacy, really.”

And here it comes – WUTHERING HEIGHTS from 1979

Thanks for reading. SOOOOOOOOON !


Weekend Reading.

Hi Everyone, it’s me again. So this week I went to Impulstanz Vienna ( – it’s a international dance festival, which was founded in 1984 and by now one of the largest festivals of contemporary dance and performance worldwide.

It is a five week program, with different Workshops, Performances and research projects every week plus intensive Workshops on the weekends.

So Focus of this Blogpost will be a little resume of my festival experience as this was pretty much the only thing I have done this week.

I took a range of different workshops. One of them was Gaga People. Some of you might know Gaga as a dance practice, as it has gotten quite popular within the last years (+you can attend Gaga classes in Berlin, too). Originally, Gaga comes from Israel. Here a short summary taking out of the wiki article on Gaga:

Gaga is a movement language nd pedagogy developed by Batsheva Dance Company director and teacher Ohad Naharin. Used in Israeli contemporary dance[1] Gaga has two educational tracks which are taught in Israel as well as several other countries: Gaga/Dancers is intended for trained dancers and comprises the daily training of the Batsheva Dance Company; Gaga/People is designed for the general public and requires no dance training.[2] Many dancers have stated that after taking Gaga classes, their passion for dance has been re-ignited; they have found new ways to connect to their inner beast without being self-conscious about how the movement looks while at the same time discovering how to listen to their bodies/self.[1]

Gaga students improvise their movements based on somatic experience and imagery described by the teacher, which provides a framework that promotes unconventional movement.[3] The imagery is intended to guide the performer’s movement expressivity by focusing attention on specific body regions.

And here a small interview with Ohad Naharin´on Gaga + visual material where you can see people practicing.

Now some of you might think – wow, that’s pretty hippie and esoteric. And yes, I agree, and usually, I am pretty allergic if dance gets to feely and eso BUT I really think, that the way, of how Gaga (depending on the teacher of course) can change how you perceive your body while you move, is very unique. Besides, most Gaga classes I have attend were a real big conglomerate of diverse bodie. Differnt Ages, different shapes and sizes and I am pretty fond of that, too.

Ok, just for the sake of completeness, I name the other workshops and their teachers I attended: One by Kenji Takagi, which was about finding physical solutions within the movement abilities of your body for exercises and tasks he proposes. Then making them a pattern of movement by repeating , so you can remember them. In the end of every class he would structure and time those movements and turn them into a choreography. Because non dancers as well as dancers participated, the movement qualities differed a lot in a positive way – which was actually quite beautiful.

The other one is by Josh Mckain – we basically did a heavy warm up and then danced an alternative choreography to Kate Bushs „Running up that Hill (Deal with God)“ – this was so much fun. Pure Love!


(for those who read the last post – YES! Now I will post a different Kate Bush Song in every blog entry I am going to write)

Last Workshop is with Florentina Holzinger and Marija Malencia – it’s a still ongoing intensive class, where they are working with elements of Kick-Boxing as a tool for empowerment. For this year’s intensive edition of the workshop the designer Joanna Zabielska, is constructing a boxing ring with the help of the participants, in which the final fights going to take place. It’s so nice to experience how the group connects with each other through that heavy physical practice of boxing.

Concerning the performance program, I unfortunately didn’t get to see any of the Red Pieces by the danish Dancer and Choreographer Mette Ingvartsen, but I know some of her work and would highly recommend to go watch it, if you have the change. The Red Pieces is a series of four performance pieces, reflecting on the history of sexuality, as it has been shown in performance and performance art since the 1960s to today.

In her pieces, Ingvartsen deals with nudity and gender relations in very different artistic compositions, with the cultural construction and manipulation of bodies up to the ways how we have sex together

Here is a recording of the performance 7 pleasures:

And another great performance I actually have been seeing was ANDRADE choreographed by Michiel Vandevelde (Belgium) and danced by Belgium based artist Bryana Fritz.

Ok. you can check out the website of Impulstanz anyways, as they’re a lot of great and inspiring people giving workshops or doing performances.

And for those of you who enjoy reading theoretic text rather than personal experience: here is an older text by Multimedia Artist Hito Steyerl about the death of the internet and why it moves offline.

Thanks for reading! Have a great rest weekend and a beautiful summer week.

weekend reading

Hey y’all, sorry for the late weekend reading. The reason was a short six-day residency I did together with Leoni Vöglin and Fabian Raith in Muenster, at the Center for Literature / Burg Hülshoff, where we pretty much spend our whole week (with no internet or mobile reception. yeah, we are still alive, but it was hard) – so in this Blogspot I will summarize our research. It will be dedicated to Burg Hülshoff, Anette Droste Hülshoff, Biedermeier, (Future)Museums, Feminism, and Species Entanglement.

Our workspace was located within the old chambers of Anette von Droste Hülshoff, an actually pretty famous female author, poet and conductor within the epoche of Biedermeier.

Burg Hülshoff is the castle where the famous German author Annette von Droste-Hülshoff was born. Currently, the Center for Literature is being developed here. Literature and: film, performance, dance, music, media and web art, architecture, society.

As you can see, the space we have been working for the last week is the “authentic” living environment of the nobility Hülshoff. I put Quotation marks as many pieces of furniture were bought in the ’70s and were used to reconstruct the living environment of Annette Droste Hülshoff out of a vision of how an authentic Biedermeierroom might look like. This is a great showcase on how especially institutions like museums claim to tell the historical truth, but of course, never reveal the circumstances that were influential on how things are exhibited. Most museums still have to deal with a postcolonialist practice, in which a mainly white, male, western perspective is imposed on any kind of object that is getting exhibited. The Book “Museum Object Lessons for a Digital Age” by Haidy Geismar is dealing with that topic. Furthermore, she reflects on how the process of Digitalisation is influencing the way objects are treated and the possibility to overcome the narration of a simple truth, of a single story with the help of digital media.
Here you find a free version of the book:

So we decided to enhance the museum with another informational layer using Augmented Reality. You could track a certain object within the museum (like a picture of Anette Droste Hülshoff) and then a Video, a Text, an Audiofile would appear. Within that AR layer, we tried to establish a present-day discourse. As during the last week, we’ve been discussing in which matter nowadays societies could be called Neo-Biedermeier. The original epoche of Biedermeier, which was an era in Central Europe that lasted from 1815 till 1848, was marked by wars and political and social upheavals.

It began with the time of the Congress of Vienna at the end of the Napoleonic Wars and ended with the onset of the European Revolutions of 1848. The effect was for society, in general, to concentrate on the domestic and (at least in public) the non-political. 

Writers, painters, and musicians began to stay in safer territory, and the emphasis on home life for the growing middle-class meant a blossoming of furniture design and interior decorating.

Neo-Biedermeier, therefore, would be the conservative Backlash in present times: the pull-back into the private household, the regaining strength of the core family, role allocation by biological sex/gender, patriotism, retreat into nature, wellness or yoga. Even the simplification of life and the urge to have a clean and tidy household. For that reason, we had one AR installation, dealing with the Netflix Phenomenon Marie Kondo. The KonMarie method is a way on how to declutter your (which is subject for a museum like Burg Hülshoff, as they are renovating and rethinking the concept of the museum). At the same time, Marie Kondo is a needly dressed, almost perfect looking woman. The suitable example of the sequacious housewife it seems. If you check her website for certified KonMariTM consultants, nearly all of them are women.

Despite its progressive and diverse casting that has become synonymous with Netflix’s brand— Tidying Up’s clients are a range of ages, ethnic backgrounds, and sexualities—Kondo always arbitrarily assigns women the kitchen and men the garage during the “komono” portion of the tidying.

We are deadling with conflict, that was already heavily criticized by the feminist movement in the 60s and 70s. The ongoing battle of unpaid house- and care work as a source for capitalist prosperity, nourished through the exploitation of female workforce. To address this conflict, we implemented a text by Sylvia Federici – a postmarxist scientist, philosopher, and feminist activist, into the Marie Kondo Installation. You can find the complete text here:

It must be mentioned, that Anette Droste Hülsdorf was quite the opposite of what seemed to be expected of a woman at that time. She did not want to marry, she was well educated, wrote books, collected fossils and plants and conducted music. She was far ahead of her time.

There would be much more to talk about, but as you already lack the weekend to read all this, I’ll close it down now. Last but not least, a short clip out of the 80s from my all-time favorite theorist Donna Haraway. Within that short clip, the talks about the representation of nature through humankind (which is a strong topic within the times of Biedermeier as well) She questions, who produces nature? Who names it? Who is representing it? UNPACK THE LAYERS OF MEANINGS!!!

And of course, one part of the installation covered that topic as well. It looked like this:

Ok, that’s it. I hope you had fun reading! See you next weekend.

weekend reading

Hello and Welcome everybody to the weekly weekend reading. This time hosted by Janne Nora Kummer aka JNK. I have a research position within the Masters Program Spiel && Object, engaging with the question how digitalization changes the perception and construction of the (human) body (Most likely, there will be at least some posts relating to that research).

Ok, but first, I want to tell you about the beautiful workshop one of the Master Students – Anton Krause to be exact – gave for his fellow students and me last week on how to use RASPBERRY PI.

Raspberry Pi is a  Single Board Computer (SBC) that run on different operating systems, such as Raspian, NOOBS or Linus. You can use it for all kinds of crazy stuff, but as well as for really solid operations (where you usually would use a major computer for. We experimented with connecting live cams and enabled live streaming, as well as interacting with  Sonic Pi  – a software to live Code Music (which is actually a lot of fun)! by using midi signals and  OSC messages.

Hands up for Anton!

We wanted to get more comfortable with Raspberry Pi, as we need it to execute a project in August, where a few of us will travel to PANAMA to DINACON (Digital Naturalism Conference) the plan is to build a little observation robot – So stay tuned for next months weekend reading to see if we manage!

I very much would like to focus this post on James Bridle, an artist, writer, and publisher based in London. His work deals with the ways in which the digital, networked world reaches into the physical, offline one.

Currently, I am reading his new book, „The New Dark Age“.  He summons the impacts of information technology, how it arose and then rather obscured than illuminated the operations of power in this world.

The sense of powerlessness that this reliance on invisible infrastructures engenders is, Bridle proposes, at the heart of recent social unrest and political upheaval in the West.

He states, that the issue is not the availability of this information – we are, as even the NSA has complained, drowning in data – but its organization into legible and compelling narratives. So New Dark Age functions as a call for literacy rather than Luddism, on the principle that the apparatuses of oppression should be reclaimed rather than destroyed.

The sense of powerlessness that this reliance on invisible infrastructures engenders is, Bridle proposes, at the heart of recent social unrest and political upheaval in the West.

The title of the book is referring to a phrase from HP Lovecraft’s short story, “The Call of Cthulhu”. Lovecraft’s new dark age is, paradoxically, a function of enlightenment – it’s the searchlight science shines into the heart of human darkness that brings on a crazed barbarism. 

Bridle’s solution is to propose “real systemic literacy”, alongside a willingness to be imprecise – cloudy, even – when it comes to our thinking about, for example, the cloud – embracing a ‘clouded’ state of ‘practical unknowing’.

Rather than disentanglement, New Dark Age argues convincingly for a more informed integration with the technologies we have created, made possible by new solidarities between citizens armed with the facts. 

If you are curious about his work, check out his website – you find a quite detailed presentation of his work and links to his single projects. I recommend checking out the cloudindx project (it is part of the book as well)

"We often think about the internet as something remote, distant, and ephemeral, and use terms like "the cloud" to describe it. But in fact, the internet is very real, and very solid: a world-wide infrastructure of computers, cables, routers - and people. And that infrastructure means its connected to real places, with real territory, real citizens, and real politics."

Let’s drop a little musical suggestion – While reading, you could listen to cloudbusting – a song from Kate Bush about the relationship between psychologist and philosopher Wilhelm Reich and his son and how they spend time  “cloudbusting”, a rain-making process which involved using a machine  called cloudbuster, designed and built by Reich.

One more interesting project by Bridle is Citizen Ex – you can implement it as an AddOn into your Browser

Every time you connect to the internet, you pass through time, space, and law. Information is sent out from your computer all over the world and sent back from there. This information is stored and tracked in multiple locations, and used to make decisions about you, and determine your rights. These decisions are made by people, companies, countries, and machines, in many countries and legal jurisdictions.
Citizen Ex shows you where you are on the web, and what this might mean for you: your algorithmic citizenship.

I will end with an unfunny FunFact about the Term „HANSbremse“ ?  – Have you ever heard of it?

In the history of the German Democratic Republic (since 1949), there have been 692 secretaries of state – a very influential and well-paid position within the German governmental System. During that time period, 19 nominees out of 692 where woman, but above all, 24 nominees out of 692 had the forename Hans. So there were more Hanses then women in charge. 

This article is about how this club of white middle-aged man supports each other blocking and maintaining their powerpositions and therefore keeping any non-cis-white-male taking those positions.

weekend reading

Dear all!
As advertised last week I will relate to the summer school on ” Utopian Cities, Programmed Societies” in Victoria (Romania) that Leoni and I are attending this week.

It gathers students, scientists, and artists most of all from Romania, France, the UK, and Germany but also from all other parts of the world. The idea of the one-week-long summer school is to explore the relationship between architecture, technology and utopia, environment and industry, between imaginary communities and their development, in order to evaluate possibilities for transforming these forgotten places. The city of Victoria serves as a starting point to explore unfinished utopian societies. The city has around 7000 inhabitants and was founded as a socialist built from scratch town only 70 years ago accompanying a munition factory.

It always has been a town dependent on mono-industry. Nowadays the factory is owned by Americans producing methanol. In it’s “best” times it employed around 7000 people, now you will find around 300 people working there. What began as a growing “city of the youth” ideal for the (utopian idea) of “the new man“* became a “shrinking city” with nearly 50% of the population being pensioners.

The story of the city appears to be like a life cycle. It feels like after going through turbulent times, witnessed contrasting eras, it is now looking forward to slowly and peacefully retire. This is not meant to be a sarcastic comment. I experience it as a tranquil and in a special way colorful town in the middle of a beautiful landscape. To me thinking of ways to “revive” it seems an inappropriate intervention. This matches the fact that more and more people built holiday homes in Victoria. The potential of tourism is also a future that local authorities rely on.

Obviously, this is an insight into my very personal impression of being in Victoria for a week but as there is never only one story about anything (an aspect that Friedrich highly emphasized in his lecture on “Situated Drama aka Enacting Complexity” he gave this week), all of us collected completely different impressions and stories. I know that one group of students focused on interviewing children and teenagers to get an idea of their perspective and visions which is probably a completely different one.

And in this very moment (Friday night) most of the participants of the summer school are outside at the main square having a party with locals. This brings me back to the idea and structure of the summer school and its second aim: to encounter. People from different sciences and arts meet up and share their different ideas and lenses to look at the world. While during the mornings we were free but encouraged to dérive through town in groups, visit the factory and the landscape, the afternoons were dedicated to lectures on different topics in connection with utopia: architecture and utopias, technology and utopia, society and utopia and reinvesting utopias. In the following, I will shortly introduce some of the scientists and artists and their work so you can somehow benefit from this summer school as well! Unfortunately, I don’t have time and space to introduce all the great bachelor, master and Ph.D. students to you…;)

The summer school is organized and lead by Tincuta Heinzel and Dana Diminescu. Tincuta Heinzel is into electronic textiles and doing research on Cybernetic Approaches from an Eastern perspective. You can find more on her projects here. Dana Diminescu is an innovation scientist researching amongst others on Diaspora and launched an e-Diaspora Atlas. We also got to know Stefan Rusu who is a Moldavian artist exploring ways to re-use and re-function Soviet architecture, Georg Trogemann who is a professor for Experimental Computer Science at KHM (Cologne) and talked about the current boundaries of the machine learning and the problem that technology is not integrated in our culture, and last but not least: an art collective from France who is doing extra-disciplinary or speculative investigations on topics like “The Human Computer”, “AAI Chess” or “The Space Offshore”. Check them out here!

Back to Victoria, I finish with a short draft of an audio-visual impression created by Leoni:

Impressions of the summer school in Victoria, June 2019, composed by Leoni Voegelin

June 2019 is coming to an end and so do my weekend readings for the moment.

I pass the baton on to Janne Nora Kummer.

Have a great summer!

*There was also a feminist approach (the new woman) to this concept brought up by Alexandra Kollontai.

weekend reading

Hello again everybody!

Yesterday we had a little housewarming and end-of-first-year party in the new rooms of our courses and projects. The third-year-puppetry students designed some games to play and so did my fellow students. You could draw yourself a picture with a robot, create music with fruits and dive into VR-paintings. Now we all spread into different summer activities. Leoni and I are leaving for a summer camp on “Utopian Cities, Programmed Societies” in Victoria (Romania) tomorrow, we will report about that next week.

So here come some articles I grazed this week and found worth to share:

Philosophie Magazin published an interview with Luc Boltanski and Arnaud Esquerre about their observations on the form of capitalism that focuses on the exploitation of things that already exist and how it tightens inequality:

“Tatsächlich kann man innerhalb der westlichen Gesellschaften eine Verschiebung des Kapitalismus beobachten. Ist die Produktion industrieller Güter heute weitestgehend in Niedriglohnländer ausgelagert, basiert ein wesentlicher Teil der Wertschöpfung in Europa nicht mehr auf der Herstellung neuer Produkte, sondern auf der Bewirtschaftung von Gütern und Waren, die schon da sind oder in Bezug zur Vergangenheit stehen: touristische Landschaften, Antiquitäten, Denkmäler, Kulturerbe, Kunst, antike Möbel, hochpreisige Nahrungsmittel oder Luxusartikel, die auf „althergebrachte Art“ hergestellt werden oder eine bestimmte „Lebensart“ widerspiegeln sollen. Diese ökonomische Neuausrichtung, in der Profite weniger durch den Massenkonsum als durch die Abweichung von den Standardartikeln erzeugt werden, nennen wir l’économie de l’enrichissement, Bereicherungsökonomie.”

Lettre International publishes parts of an essay by John Keane “ROBOTER ANTE PORTAS” on what he calls the second revolution of the machine age, its shape and promises:

“Ihr technischer Erfindungsreichtum und ihre atemberaubenden praktischen Möglichkeiten wecken utopische Hoffnungen auf ein besseres Leben in dieser Welt, aber auch dystopische Ängste vor einer Zukunft, in der menschliche Freiheit und Gleichheit verschwinden, ja die Menschheit selbst von intelligentem Design ausgelöscht wird. Diese Revolution stiftet viel Verwirrung über die technischen Details, die sozialen und wirtschaftlichen Folgen, die Ethik und die langfristige politische Bedeutung intelligenter Roboter. Angetrieben von ihren Frustrationen und von öffentlichen Diskussionen über die Notwendigkeit, den Rechtsstatus „elektronischer Personen“ zu definieren, beginnen – völlig unerwartet – die Roboter selbst die Stimme zu erheben.”

Ulrich Roos publishes via Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik an article on “Die Krise des Wachstumsdogmas“:

“Der Glaube an die ewig währende wohlstandssteigernde Wirkung von Wirtschaftswachstum zerfällt vor unser aller Augen. Insofern das Sein noch immer das Bewusstsein bestimmt, ist es die unmittelbare Erfahrung der fortschreitenden Destabilisierung der Biokreisläufe des Planeten Erde, die das bisher hegemoniale Narrativ einer immerwährenden Steigerung des materiellen Wohlstands nunmehr endgültig in Frage stellt und eine Transformation unserer Lebensweise notwendig erscheinen lässt. Hier verläuft heute die Frontlinie im neuen Glaubenskrieg zwischen der ökonomisch-politischen Orthodoxie steten Wirtschaftswachstums einerseits und den Verfechtern einer neuen großen Erzählung, die das Potential einer tiefgreifenden Umgestaltung der gesellschaftlichen Verhältnisse in sich trägt, andererseits.” 

And for people who still sometimes wonder “What Really Happened to Malaysia’s Missing Airplane” (MH 370) William Langewiesche depicts the case and “everything” that is known after five years in great detail via The Atlantic.

Have a great week!

weekend reading

Dear all!
For this weekend reading, I decided to just refer to articles written by female authors. The result is a variation of very different topics. I hope you will enjoy.

I found an interview with Juliane Rebentisch starting with the idea of how personal experiences and philosophizing connect:

“Es gibt immer wieder Fragestellungen, die etwas mit dem persönlichen Erfahrungshorizont zu tun haben. Aber die Philosophie bleibt nicht bei der eigenen Erfahrung stehen. Man ist auf der Suche nach Erklärungen, die die eigene Erfahrung perspektivieren. Dadurch öffnet sich ein intellektueller Raum, der das Persönliche und Besondere der eigenen Erfahrung mit dem Unpersönlichen und Allgemeinen gesellschaftlicher Strukturen ins Verhältnis bringt. Genau dieser etwas distanzierte Blick auf die eigene Erfahrung kann emanzipative Effekte haben.”

and emphazises the importance of the specific situation:

“Der Hinweis auf die Jeweiligkeit der Erfahrung kann intellektuell nicht das letzte Wort sein; vielmehr ist die Autorität der Erfahrung selbst noch einmal zu befragen – und der Analysehorizont zu öffnen: Welches sind die sozialen Strukturen, die uns so platzieren, dass wir diese oder jene Erfahrung machen? Es geht darum, eine neue Perspektive auf die eigenen Erfahrungen zu gewinnen, eine Distanz, die es einem ermöglicht, sich zu sich und den eigenen Erfahrungen noch einmal zu verhalten. Manchmal gelingt das durch die Lektüre soziologischer oder philosophischer Texte, sodass sich die eigene Wahrnehmung und Perspektive verschiebt und man nicht nur die Welt anders sieht, sondern auch sich im Verhältnis zur Welt.”

In the following, she shares interesting thoughts on presence, enlightenment, Hannah Arendt, aesthetics… You can read the full interview here. This is a short video extract:

Sabine Maria Schmidt comments the programme of the current Biennale in Venice for KUNSTFORUM International as an attempt of art to deal with the diagnosis of huge obscurity in which everything is connected:

“Eine Diagnose eines Durcheinanders, dessen Teil sie selber ist und dabei dennoch auf die Wirkkraft des Einzelnen vertraut. Der klassischen Idee, mittels der Kunst Themen wie Klimawandel, Migration, Rassismus, Gewalt, Emanzipationsbewegungen, Naturschutz, Mauerbauten, Weltraum und Unterwasserexpeditionen – alles, was aktuell berührt – andere Sichtweisen abzugewinnen, steht auch eine andere Haltung zur Seite. In gewisser Weise ist ein dringendes Bedürfnis entstanden, unbelehrbar und unflexibel zu bleiben: an Demokratie, Menschenrechte, Bildung, Umweltschutz und Gleichberechtigung zu glauben. Oder leben wir bereits in den Trümmern einer ehemals so ästhetisch ausgefeilten Zivilisation, die auf weit mehr Vergangenheit als Zukunft zurückweisen kann?”

Another article I found on KUNSTFORUM International is Sabine B. Vogel’s “Globalkunst – Eine neue Weltordnung”. She describes the fact that it is impossible to associate contemporary art to certain formal or stylistic trends but various parallel paths.

“Nach einigen Jahren irritiertem Warten auf einen sich doch noch abzeichnenden Kanon können wir heute festellen: Nicht mehr die einzelnen Kunstwerke, der Stil einer Malerschule, eine Technik oder Thematik, Methoden oder Medien der Kunst kündigen eine neue Bewegung an. Es ist das gesamte System, das wir bisher salopp die „Kunstwelt“ nannten, das komplett umgekrempelt wird. Es ist das Ende der dominanten Westkunst, das wir beoachten können. Wäre die Moderne nicht so oft schon als beendet erklärt worden, käme jetzt der Globalkunst diese Aufgabe zu.”

Unfortunately you can just read the beginning for free.

Last but not least I finish with an extract of the article “Multikulturelle Fallen” by Cinzia Scout on LETTRE International in which she reflects on multiculturalism and laïcité:

“Heutzutage ist es nach wie vor nötig, den Prozeß ganz entschieden voranzutreiben und noch einen Schritt weiterzugehen: Der „Kaiser“ kann sich nicht damit zufriedengeben, daß „Gott“ in seinem Machtbereich bleibt. Der „Kaiser“ muß statt dessen einerseits auch dafür sorgen, daß „Gott“ nicht gegen die Grundprinzipien des demokratischen Staates verstößt, angefangen bei den Grundrechten des einzelnen; und andererseits muß der „Kaiser“ die kulturellen, wirtschaftlichen, sozialen und materiellen Voraussetzungen dafür schaffen, daß die einzelnen Bürger tatsächlich in die Lage versetzt werden, sich von ihrer eigenen Ursprungskultur zu emanzipieren.”

Have a great week!

weekend reading

Dear all!

This week I spent at “Directors in TYA” an international exchange held by the German ASSITEJ (International Association of Theatre for children and young audience) and hosted by Theater Strahl Berlin this year. They invited around 30 directors from 22 countries around the world who work in theatre for a young audience to spent a week together, do workshops, watch performances, share their work, simply, to connect. It has been a really exciting and impressive week and you can imagine that I didn’t read any article. I also didn’t have any time to reflect the experiences yet. So I’m struggling what I could write for you or even recommend you. So this is gonna be a short weekend reading.

A quote that I picked up this week and I love to share with you is:

Bad English is the language of the future.

It makes me much more comfortable to write the weekend reading in English.

At “Directors in TYA” I got to know Thom Browning from Australia who is doing immersive audio works for a young audience with his company “Imaginary Theatre” in Brisbane. He talked about a project they did a couple of years ago “The voice in the walls“. In our collaboration with the “Center for Literature. Burg Hülshoff” one question is how digital media influences the future museum. This project reminded me of that question. Maybe you like to check it out. They are having another ongoing research project called “Circle” which reminds me of our great interactive flying object “Olli”. Thom also recommended me an Australian Magazine which regularly publishes articles on (digital media) art called RealTime. I didn’t have time to check it out yet but maybe you do this weekend!

Have a great time until next week!

weekend reading

Dear readers!

It’s time for a new weekend reading. And as we are facing a new month, it’s up to a new writer which is me. I’m Anna Vera and also studying in the master’s program “Spiel && Objekt”. Besides exploring the possibilities of code and situated drama together with Leoni Voegelin and all the other great people, I’m working as a freelancing directress. Writing the weekend reading is an interesting task because not only you might hear of and read articles you otherwise wouldn’t, I did as well. So here is what I found notable while roaming through the wealth of newspapers, magazines and web portals: 

Niall Ferguson and Eyck Freymann describe in their article „The Coming Generation War. The Democrats are rapidly becoming the party of the young—and the consequences could be profound.“ in The Atlantic which was published beginning of May that int the United States the Generation Z, as well as the Millennials, are moving left and they believe that the United States is facing a huge conflict between generations:

“… we do believe that a generational division is growing in American politics that could prove more important than the cleavages of race and class, which are the more traditional focuses of political analysis. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is often described as a radical, but the data show that her views are close to the median for her generation. The Millennials and Generation Z—that is, Americans aged 18 to 38—are generations to whom little has been given, and of whom much is expected. Young Americans are burdened by student loans and credit-card debt. They face stagnant real wages and few opportunities to build a nest egg. Millennials’ early working lives were blighted by the financial crisis and the sluggish growth that followed. In later life, absent major changes in fiscal policy, they seem unlikely to enjoy the same kind of entitlements enjoyed by current retirees. Under different circumstances, the under-39s might conceivably have been attracted to the entitlement-cutting ideas of the Republican Tea Party (especially if those ideas had been sincere). Instead, we have witnessed a shift to the political left by young voters on nearly every policy issue, economic and cultural alike.”

Dirk von Gehlen picks up on that topic in his digital notes and collects a range of contributions that look at it also from a European or German perspective.

I took notice of Dirk von Gehlen because he contributed an essay to the new Kursbuch „Heimatt“ on the potential of the internet as „Heimat“ (home) beyond exclusion and isolation.

Unfortunately you can find only a short extract of that essay online (here). 

Another article that I also couldn’t find online but I find worth discussing is an interview with Antionette Rouvrey on the power of algorithms looked at from a Foucault perspective published in the special edition of philosophie MAGAZIN on Michel Foucault.  So I will at least quote from it:

“Er (Foucault) hilft mir gerade dabei, sie nicht als eine Überwachungsgesellschaft zu sehen! Foucaults Denken bildet einen Hintergrund, der es mir erlaubt zu erkennen, was uns mit dem Einzug des Digitalen weit über Foucault hinausführt. Die neuen statistischen Praktiken, die durch die massive Digitalisierung der Daten  – Big Data – zu einer souveränen Größe gemacht wurden, entfernen sich von dem Typus der Macht den Foucault analysierte. (…) Mit Big Brother war die Autorität in einer mehr oder weniger konkreten, jedenfalls identifizierbaren Figur verkörpert. Hier aber gibt es keine konkrete Autorität, sondern eine Supermacht, die konzentriert ist in den Händen der Gründer und Akteure des Internets – Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple und Microsoft. Indem sie die Big Data sammeln und verarbeiten, erlangen sie eine Macht, die bedeutender ist als irgendein Staat, weil sie das kontrollieren, was heute den Reichtum darstellt: nicht so sehr das Geld als vielmehr das Mögliche. Wer den Raum der Potenzialität beherrscht, wird der Herrscher der Welt.”

Last but not least a short article written by Dominik Erhard that I was attracted to because we are dealing a lot with the potential of games and play in our studies and he uses a children’s game to reflect on the question whether racism in the German police should be considered as individual cases or structural problem.

“Bereits Ende letzten Jahres wurde bekannt, dass die Daten der Frankfurter Anwältin Seda Başay-Yıldız mutmaßlich von einem Polizeicomputer im 1. Frankfurter Revier abgerufen wurden, um einen Drohbrief im Namen des sogenannten „NSU 2.0“ an sie zu schicken. Anfang April nun wurde der Haupttatverdächtige festgenommen, die Drohbriefe aber tauchten weiterhin auf, womit sich abermals mit größter Dringlichkeit eine Frage stellt, die uns auch in anderen gesellschaftlichen Bereichen (man denke etwa an #MeToo und sexuelle Übergriffe in der Filmbranche) schwer beschäftigt: Handelt es sich um Einzelfälle – oder um ein strukturelles Problem der Institution? Warum diese Unterscheidung hier wie auch auf anderen Feldern so schwer zu treffen ist, liegt jedoch nicht an den Phänomenen selbst, sondern an der unscharfen Verwendung des Begriffs „Struktur“. Im Alltag verwenden wir diesen nämlich nicht im Sinne eines geordneten Ganzen, das aus funktionalen Teilen besteht, sondern wie eine ungeordnete Menge identischer Elemente. Oder deutlicher ausgedrückt: Wir sagen „Struktur“, denken aber „Haufen“.”

Where is the connection to the children’s game? You will find that here: „Was der Fall ist“ (philosophie MAGAZIN).

I’m a bit annoyed by myself that I didn’t manage to post more articles of woman.  I will try to shift my focus next week. Have a great rest weekend!