Freitag, 4. Dezember 2015

"Denken und Shoppen" Workshop on 19/12 @ Palme13

Together with Johannes Siegmund I am doing a philosophical workshop on the 19th of December 2015. The number of participants is limited, so please register quickly at philosophieunterpalmen@gmx.at. The workshop will be held in German and below you can find the German description.
image
Während das vorweihnachtliche Wien wie ein prall behängter Weihnachtsbaum glitzert, laden wir Sie auf einen philosophischen Stadtspaziergang über die Mariahilferstraße ein. Wir schicken Euch per SMS durchs Einkaufsgetümmel und lassen Euch Eindrücke und Erfahrungen dort sammeln, wo andere hektisch Konsumgüter akkumulieren. Ihr erhaltet Wahrnehmungsaufgaben, Fragen und philosophische Anregungen auf euer Handy und werdet teilnehmende Beobachter_innen des Vorweihnachtstrubels. Im Anschluss diskutieren wir bei einer Suppe, warmen Getränken und Süßem im Marktstand palme13 am Wiener Schwendermarkt. Sind Geschenkartikel Fetische, Gaben oder echte Geschenke? Was erzählen die Einkaufspassagen, Kristallpaläste und Konsumtempel über unsere Vorstellung vom Individuum und Gesellschaft? Durch welche Atmosphären lassen wir uns beim Einkaufen treiben? Ist das alles nur Schein und kapitalistisches Spektakel, und wenn ja, warum sind wir dann so gerne mittendrin? 

Termin: Samstag 19.12.2015, 12-18h @ Palme 13, Schwendermarkt 14, 1150 Wien
Die Teilnahme ist gratis.
Maximale Teilnehmerzahl 15-20 Gäste
Anmeldungen bitte bis 14.12. 2015 an philosophieunterpalmen@gmx.at

Kilian Jörg und Johannes Siegmund sind junge Philosoph_innen aus Wien. Als Initiator_Innen der  Veranstaltungsreihe philosophy unbound bringen sie Philosophie auf die Bühne. Sie schreiben für blogs und Zeitschriften und haben Philosophie in Berlin, Wien, Paris, Witten und Brüssel studiert. 

palme13 ist ein Lebensmittelladen mit Verkostungsplätzen und Off-Space für Kunst und Unterhaltung, der als Non-Profit Verein zur Förderung von Kulinarik, Kunst und Kultur im Kollektiv von KünstlerInnen, KöchInnen und FilmemacherInnen geführt wird. Darüber hinaus dient der Ort als Möglichkeitsraum für die unterschiedlichsten künstlerischen und sozialen Projekte und wird immer wieder auch von Gästen bespielt und bekocht.

Donnerstag, 3. Dezember 2015

Das Anti-Chamäleon



I already announced earlier that I will publish a text on political methodology, rounding up my more and more political posts of the last months (like here, here and here).

This now happened and I am proud to announce that you can find the collaborative text "Das Anti-Chamäleon" by Jorinde Schulz and myself in beautiful engagée 2 - Ekstase.

The magazine is really beautiful and I would strongly recommend you to buy it - it really feels good to hold it into your hand - but for preview purposes you can see the entire magazine here and download our Anti-Chamäleon here.

The text is held in German (if anybody is interested in publishing it in English, I would love to translate it!) and is about ecstatic strategies of becoming-animal as a political method. This might sound rather complicated, however - I hope the text is more comprehensible.

Also: engagée will be presented next Saturday, 5th of December 2015, 19h at engagée's studio at Hermanngasse 19/1,  1070 Wien - unfortunately I can't be there to read though. 

 

Donnerstag, 26. November 2015

No Pain No Gain @ Philosophy On Stage #4, TQ Vienna, 26-29/11/2015


Philosophy Unbound has been invited to do a performance at Philosophy on Stage #4 and after some brainstorming we decided to investigate into the links between Nietzsche's will-affirming, Übermensch-creating thought and today's Fitness Studio-culture. In corporal experimentation, Nietzsche's texts and - especially - Sloterdijk's interpretation of them we found plenty of parallels which we forged into a performance, that can be seen tomorrow and Saturday - 27th and 28th of November at 23h at the Studios of Tanzquartier Vienna. The PoS#4-Festival is officially sold-out, but we have been told, that you still might be able to access our performance, given that it is rather late and some festival-ticket-holders might already go to sleep after a long day. We hope to see you there and here's a little teaser, of what will be awaiting you.

Donnerstag, 19. November 2015

Repost: Zum Anlass der Wienwahl

// For some weird reason my commentary on the Viennese election from 12th of October just disappeared. Luckily I was able to retrieve it in the webchache. So here is the original post:

 

 

 

  Montag, 12. Oktober 2015


Zum Anlass der Wienwahl

Unsere politische Welt definiert sich kaum mehr durch eine Auseinandersetzung zwischen Links und Rechts, sondern mehr und mehr durch eine zwischen Establishment und Pöbel. Ein systemkonservatives Establishment versucht die Stellung zu halten gegen das laute und gänzlich irrationale Lärmen des Pöbels. Und innerhalb dieser neuen politischen Konfiguration geht jede progressive, ehemals "links" genannte Politik unter.
Ein älterer Freund ist erstaunt darüber, dass "die Guten heutzutage teil des Systems sind". Mit den radikalen Politikzellen der 70er und 80er und deren shismatischer Revolutionspolitik groß geworden, wundert er sich, dass er heute mehr und mehr zum Establishment halten muss, dass er einst bekämpfte. Denn die einzige realistische Alternative ist die laute, inhaltslose Politik des Pöbels, die mit schlechten Schüttelreimen und einer aufs Ressentiment der Minderpriveligierten abzielenden Propaganda ein Programm fährt, von dem jede_r halbswegs Gebildete weiß, dass dieses genau jenes Land wirtschaftlich, kulturell und sozial ruinieren wird, welches es in so neo-faschistoid-nationalistischen Tönen glorifiziert. 
Die dominante, neoliberale Politik der letzten Jahrzehnte war erfolgreich. Mit ihrer systematischen Aushöhlung des Sozialstaates und Vermarktlichung beinahe aller Domänen des früheren Gemeinwesens (Gesundheitswesen, Bildungswesen, Infrastruktur, öffentlicher Transport, ...) hat sie es geschafft, aus dem ehemals nach links tendierenden Unterschichten einen maulenden Pöbel zu machen, dem sich kein vernünftiger Mensch (so links oder "radikal" sie oder er sich auch definiert) mehr anschließen kann: man muss zum Establishment halten, um der inflationären wie gefährlichen Idiotie entgegenzutreten. Deswegen ist es auch für die Merkels und Cos so leicht, sich heute als Stimme der Vernunft zu gerieren (in der Flüchtlingsfrage, Umweltpolitik, usw.), der man mit Widerwillen zustimmen muss: weil sie oder ihre Parteien den Kapitalismus so wuchern lassen haben, dass ein solch furchteinflößender Pöbel erst entstehen konnte. Sie scheinen eine Welt geschaffen zu haben, in dem sie beinahe noch das geringste Übel zu sein scheinen. 

Bei der gestrigen Wienwahl sind wir nocheinmal knapp der Ochlokratie entkommen. Durch ein in den Medien heraufbeschwörtes Duell zwischen rot und blau haben sich viele dazu hinreißen lassen, das (rote) Establishment zu wählen und wir sind alle zu recht erleichtert, dass die SPÖ doch die eindeutig stimmenstärkste Partei geworden ist. Doch wäre es jetzt das gefährlichste, sich auf dieser Erleichterung auszuruhen. Denn wenn sich nichts Gröberes in der gegenwärtigen Politik ändert, wird dieses Spiel ewig so weiter gehen. Halten wir weiter an unserem neoliberalen (mehr oder weniger "sozialistisch" gefärbten) Paradigma der Kommerzialisierung des gesamten Lebens fest, wird sie weiter einen lärmenden Pöbel kreieren, der das gesamte politische Feld lähmt und wahre und notwendige Politik verunmöglicht. Denn ob sie nun Front National, Tea Party, AFD oder FPÖ heißen, durch ihr lautes und diskursiv völlig unbrauchbares Gepöbel, lenken sie die Aufmerksamkeit auf populistisch wirksame Themen, gegenüber denen sich das Establishment als Stimme der Vernunft generieren kann und uns so zwingt, ihnen die unsere am Stimmzettel zu geben. Wirklich zeitgemäße und drängende Themen, wie z.b. jene der Ökologie, des Feminismus, der Globalisierung und der post-nationalen Strukturen (die ein Fakt und keine Ideologie sind) werden so nie besprochen und wir sind einer gefährlichen politischen Stagnation ausgesetzt, die wiederum den den Pöbel befördernden Politikfrust auslöst. 
Eine kleine Dystopie zum Abschluss: wenn das politische Spiel so weiter geht wie bisher, werden wir uns früher oder später in einem Kastensystem finden. Irgendwann wird die Elite, das Establishment in Übereinstimmung mit der gebildeteren Bevölkerung der Meinung sein, dass der Pöbel seine Stimmfähigkeit verloren hat. Man wird erkennen, dass sein Lärmen zu schädlich für die wirtschaftliche und soziale Entwicklung ist und wird die Demokratie langsam abbauen, um die staatlichen Strukturen zu retten. Es wird mehr und mehr (und erschreckender Weise: zu recht) als "vernünftig" gelten, nur jene am politischen Prozess teilhaben zu lassen, die privilegiert genug sind, sich seiner Staatsraison anschließen zu können.
Um dies zu verhindern, muss sich etwas grundlegend ändern. Wer weiter an der Demokratie festhalten will, muss sich dessen bewusst werden, dass der Kapitalismus dabei ist, sich von der Demokratie zu emanzipieren (s. hierzu u.A.: das unsichtbare Komitee oder Slavoj Zizek). Es ist an der Zeit sich zu entscheiden: Demokratie oder Kapitalismus - beides zusammen wird nicht mehr lange funktionieren.

Sonntag, 15. November 2015

What is ISIS / Daesh?

This post is not about giving an answer to this question - the habit of succumbing to answers too fast is one of our main problems and only results in constantly aggravating the situation even more.


I find it remarkable that I haven't yet seen one attempt of an in-depth analysis of the phenomenom of Daesh. Philosophers, Thinkers of today seem to ignore it - why don't Chantal Mouffe, Peter Sloterdijk, Judith Butler or Slavoj Zizek dare to speculate on the issue of these raving madmen? It seems to me like we all content ourselves with labeling Daesh as pure fanatic irrationalism and consider them not worth of further inquiry - "they are pure mad(wo)men, there is nothing to understand in their actions, nothing to analyse" seems to be the consensus.

Fair enough, but is this really all we can do? Do we really want to leave the interpretation of those terrorist attacks to populists and daily newspapers, who keep repeating the same old prayers, that will insure the situation to remain as stuck as it is.

Daesh seems irrational and pure evil. In fact, I can not help but being fascinated by them: they seem to be the incorporation of stereotypical Arabs from Hollywood action movies from the 70ies: they are pure evil, they have no morality worth considering and even their religiosity is pure blasphemy, according to almost every muslim cleric on the globe. They might be the becoming-reality of those dark-skinned, uranium selling, world enslavement craving monsters James Bond, Rambo or whoever shot down in huge numbers. 
I think it is almost established as an consensus in the more intelligent debates that Daesh is much more a product of Western culture, its ongoing imperialism, its media (from film to ego-shooter computergames) and maybe even ideals, than of Islam. (I wholeheartetly recommend Mahi Binebine's breathtaking novel Les étoiles de Sidi-Moumen as an excellent demonstration that "the problem with Islam" is actually and much deeper down a problem of social inequality.)


Speaking of social inequality: this is the other idea I want to propose for an interpretation of Daesh: maybe it would help, if we understand these blind and insane bombings as a late and desperate expression of class struggle.
Class struggles' original ideology in the last two centuries was mainly communism in various interpretations. However, with the so called post-modernism the communist ideas proved themselves less and less adequate and were slowly deconstructed. Neoliberal capitalism seemed too overwhelming and managed (also with a lot of massive political, military, propagandic intervention) to obliterate communism as an ideology of hope and struggle for the underpriviledged classes. The promises of consumerism and popular participation of capitalisms' advantages persuaded the most. Those who still clung to those dying ideals of communism got more and more violent (RAF) and thereby helped to dismantle the ideas and make them ever more unattractive. Finally - and what is the most important for this analysis - the lower, exploited classes were outsourced into so called Third World countries.
By this development, these classes were completely bereft of all means for any intelligable class struggle: neither were their exploiters anywhere near and in any way attainable, nor did they posses any ideology which could at least enable them to think their misery. One could say neoliberalism formed perfect slaves: not even capable of understanding their predicament.


I think we should give it a try to think Daesh and the likes as desperate expressions of class struggle - or what's left of it. A class struggle which is neither heard, nor even understood by its actors, which only believe in celestial bliss after the noble martyr's death or whatever other nonesense. The bombers of Beirut, Mumbai, New York, London, Lagos, Tunis or Paris are the sad succesors of an ancient tradition of class struggle which was once, before its expiration, called communism.


These are a couple of ideas on the phenomenon on Islamic terror which I would like to put out for discussion. As intelectuals, let's try to go deeper into the matter then the news and politics. Let's try to first ask and understand the question "What is Daesh / ISIS?", rather than rushing into conclusions which might be dangerous.

//PS: After posting this I was referred to several good articles, which I will list here:
  • extremely interesting statistics about people that joined Daesh: http://www.cpdsi.fr/  - the majority comes from atheist and middle-class backgrounds, without any recent history of immigration!! (thanks to Paul Sztulman for the link)

Donnerstag, 12. November 2015

Philosophy Unbound #6 "Modern Talking" - 19/11/2015 @ Spektakel & Roxy Vienna

This is going pretty fast: I am happy to announce that - after not more than a year of existence - Philosophy Unbound is already going into its 6th Edition! This time - under the motto "Modern Talking" we will be discussing, performing and reflecting on our relation ship to language - in its broadest sense.
Philosophy Unbound #6 "Modern Talking" will again take place at Spektakel (Hamburger Straße 18, 1040 Vienna) and this time the Afterparty will be at Roxy (Faulmanngasse 2, 1040 Vienna) where I will be DJing :)


Performances by

Manuel Beck
Glas | Nielson | R. Hauser
Sebastian Lederle
Wolfgang Otter
Oravin
Schmusechor

and Open Stage


Open: 19:00
Begin: 20:00

Entry: Free Donation (suggested donation 5 Euro, we are a no budget organisation, everything will go to the performers)

Detailed information & program at philosophyunbound.tumblr.com
 
 

Donnerstag, 24. September 2015

Philosophy Unbound #5 "Reclaim Capitalism" - 1/10/2015 @Spektakel & Celeste Vienna

In a week Philosophy Unbound #5 will happen. This time we try to reclaim capitalism and the full program just went online - we are very excited!


“Reclaim capitalism” is the motto for Philosophy Unbound #5 on the 1st of October. 
Think with us, discuss with us, reclaim capitalism with us and then PartyParty hard like Philosophers do!

Spektakel, Hamburgerstraße 14, 1050 Wien
Open: 19:00, Begin: 20:00
Entry: Free Donation (suggested donation 5 Euro, we are a no budget organisation, everything will go to the performers)



Performances by


Fabio und Felix Gerhold – Die Gebrüder Angebot und Nachfrage
Fides Schopp – Rainbow it Over
Interndinner – Extremely Precarious Limbo
Julia Schicker – Pushing Glencore
Karolina Preuschl – Smash the Baby on the Floor
Eckardt Lindner - Acceleration-Speed-Energy. This side and beyond capitalist realism
Open stage

Afterparty with

Prince Africunt x so-slow phist x Vanilla Spice Latte (HATE ☯ HATE SQUAD)


http://philosophyunbound.tumblr.com/
https://www.facebook.com/philosophyunbound
 

Sonntag, 20. September 2015

becoming-enemy

In this little text I would like to propose a term, that I find missing in progressive (subversive) discourse. It follows the same line of thought, as this post from July and is part of longer term reflections about how subversive politics are possible. This is caused by a huge doubt and discontentedness about what today is commonly presented and understood as subversive action.

It happens way too often, that people that fight for a good cause, become so frustrated on their way, that they lose all difference in behaviour and tactics to the enemy they want to overcome. I am thinking of the communist, that is killing innocent people to achieve egality and freedom of all people. The long tradition of revolutionary terror from the French to the Maoist one. I am thinking of the feminist, that is so rigid about his or her personal space, that every freedom of speech and space is obliterated. The leftist, that is becoming so subverted by politics, that (s)he acts exactly as her or his right-wing opponent. The LGBT activist, that is becoming so concerned about the dissolution of gender roles, that (s)he is defending their individual right of existence so hard, that they become even greater stereotypes - perhaps even greater than any chauvinist would have put them.


The problem is a lack of relaxedness and an overemphasis of fight, that is letting an activist with good and important causes become an enemy, solely defined by her or his opponents. By this the activist becomes defined by a dualist friend-fiend scheme, which (s)he originally set out to overcome. (S)he failed to become what (s)he originally set out to become: a freer human being and has become an enemy, defined by the hegemonial power it tried to obliterate. 

The dangerous part of this is, that people who fell into this trap, still consider themselves subversives. They think they fight very hard for their ideals, where in fact, they only fight as enemies. 
By this, they fight for the system, while thinking, that they fight against it. Unknowingly, they turn into guards of the hegemonial order.

It might be worth considering, if it is even possible to fight for ideals. Fight - war only makes you become an enemy, nothing else. You have lost your ideals, once you fight for them?

I am aware, that - as a white privileged male - this is an extremely difficult and dangerous stance I am taking. However, I am taking this stance exactly because I believe in the above mentioned ideals and am very frustrated about the conservative backlash and the inertia of progressive politics we are all witnessing today. 

To help our ideals become reality, I think it is necessary to have a term like becoming-enemy, that enables us to reflect on certain dynamism, that prevent progressive politics from progressing. We have to think hard, when, how and why we become enemies, and how we can prevent ourselves from becoming so. 

"Sein Imperativ befiehlt nicht nur Nein zu sagen, wo das Ja eine „Selbstlosigkeit“ sein würde, sondern auch so wenig als möglich Nein zu sagen. Sich trennen, sich abscheiden von dem, wo immer und immer wieder das Nein nöthig werden würde. Die Vernunft darin ist, dass Defensiv-Ausgaben, selbst noch so kleine, zur Regel, zur Gewohnheit werdend, eine ausserordentliche und vollkommen überflüssige Verarmung bedingen. Unsre grossen Ausgaben sind die häufigsten kleinen. Das Abwehren, das Nicht-heran-kommen-lassen ist eine Ausgabe — man täusche sich hierüber nicht —, eine zu negativen Zwecken verschwendete Kraft. Man kann, bloss in der beständigen Noth der Abwehr, schwach genug werden, um sich nicht mehr wehren zu können."
"Aber Stacheln zu haben ist eine Vergeudung, ein doppelter Luxus sogar, wenn es freisteht, keine Stacheln zu haben, sondern offne Hände…"
- Friedrich Nietzsche, Ecco Homo: Warum ich so klug bin, 8 [English version see here]


Together with a friend I have written an essay, in which we try to propose how subversive politics are possible. It is called "Das Anti-Chamäleon" and will be published somewhere soon. Stay tuned.





Dienstag, 8. September 2015

"Argumentationssklaven" - Performance at Philosophy Unbound #3


Together with Theresa Thomasberger I have done a performance called "Agrumentationssklaven" (argumentative slaves) at Philosophy Unbound #3 - "Menschliches, Allzumenschliches" in May 2015. Now the video of it got online, which I would like to share with you. I am sort of proud of our performance, for I feel we managed to get something across that is an old topic of mine (connected with my big project on Vernunft), but in a way that was quite new to me.
The performance sprung off from a lecture of Ray Monk's biography of Wittgenstein, in which following passage of Bertrand Russell about Wittgenstein can be found: 
"I told him he ought not simply to state what he thinks true, but to give arguments for it, but he said arguments spoil its beauty, and that he would feel as if he was dirtying a flower with muddy hands. … I told him I hadn’t the heart to say anything against that, and that he had better acquire a slave to state the arguments." (Monk 1996, p. 264)

We tried to enact this "slave to state the arguments" and see how far we can push it. The argumentative battles were completely improvised and worked surprisingly well. I feel that with it we managed to performatively criticize a certain image of thought and logic, which is still widely spread inside and outside the academic world. 
Why should arguments always be about being wrong or right? Is it really about the battle between to conflicting opinions? And does this notion of dualist logic really allow us to dismiss certain theories? (like here) Isn't this binary notion of right and wrong, victory and defeat a very primitive form of thought, impeding a lot of creativity and spontaneity?
As Nietzsche says in the very beginning of Jenseits von Gut und Böse, why should thought only be seeking truth? Thought can be so much more if it is liberated from the binary constraints of attaining the truth. It can be a wonderful dance between two or more equals, that together can achieve something, that none of them alone would have been able to imagine. 
Let's stop the warfare in our argumentation! Let's cease being slaves to them and liberate our thought!

The complete performance can be watched below (in German) - including a longer explanation in the end. 




Freitag, 31. Juli 2015

Revolutionen


Die Derivation, das Abfallen von der Norm ist viel gefährlicher als wir es gemeinhin denken.

Denn man macht sich verwundbar -  geht in voller Härte in eine Richtung, kann dabei aber nicht alle Strömungen, alle Aspekte seines Seins im Blick behalten.


Die Norm ist trickreicher als man selbst denkt. Für kurze Weilen kann man in der Derivationsbewegung aufgehen, kann in ihr Boden schöpfen.

Doch in den allermeisten Fällen kann das nicht dauerhaft halten.

Auf irgendeiner uneinsehbaren Stelle schlägt die Norm in voller Härte zu und lenkt dich zurück in die Hauptstromrichtung.


Man wandelt dann vielleicht nicht mehr im Mainstream. Doch in parallelisierten Nebenkanälen wird genau dasselbe Spiel getrieben: und oftmals in viel weniger Klarheit.

So entstehen Nazis, Esos, autonome Linke, verstocktes Universitätspersonal und Ex-Bürgerschrecks, die zum Katholizismus konvertieren (C.K. Chesterton).


Man muss bei der Derivation, beim Dagegen viel umsichtiger sein. Viel sensibler muss man an den Mainstream rantreten und mit ihm kokettieren - mit ihm und durch ihn richtig dreckig werden, um längerfristig überhaupt eine Chance zu haben, nur ein kleines Bisschen sauberer als die Hauptströmung zu sein.

(Wir sind eine Kultur, die mit den Rändern flirtet. Die im allergrößten Verve zu den Rändern eifert und stets von den Amplituden um die Mitte eingefangen wird

Ich will die Mitte lernen. Nichts das Statische sein. Wissend um die Mitte tanzen.)

"Wenn es etwas gibt, von dem wir mit Sicherheit behaupten können, dass wir ihrer nicht fähig sind, dann ist es die Revolution." - Bruno Latour

Donnerstag, 16. Juli 2015

philosophy unbound #4 @ Edelweiß, Berlin-Kreuzberg

After three successful events in Vienna, I am very glad to announce, that I am bringing philosophy unbound to my former and still second hometown Berlin. I am very excited how things will work out in Berlin's much bigger and more varied cultural habitat and am excited if we will continue developing a Berlin branch of philosophy unbound.
The first event in Berlin will take place in Edelweiß, right inside Görlitzer Park in Berlin-Kreuzberg and we already have a vast, varied and extremely promising program. It will happen next Wednesday, the 22nd of July - doors will open at 20h. We've uploaded the detailed program just now, so please have a look there for further informations.
See you there next Wednesday!



"On the 22nd of July we will have our fourth event and the first one held outside of Vienna. The event will happen at Edelweiß, right inside Görlitzer Park in Berlin-Kreuzberg. We already do have a huge and varied program and there always is the possibility to actively contribute at the open stage!

https://www.facebook.com/events/536082716530964/

Performances by
Coco
Vanja Kirchhoff
Frieda Paris & Bruno Mokross
Matthias Vieider & Jakob Kraner
Lalo Gomes & François Corbisier
block011
Jules de Roos
Tessa Hughing

DJs
Fernando Johansson Will
Leonardo Jochim

Time: 20:00
 
Entry: Donation (suggested donation 5 Euro, we are a no budget organisation and everything will go to the performers)
 
Location: Das Edelweiss, Görlitzerstrasse 1-3, 10997 Berlin, http://www.edelweiss36.com/

Detailed information & program at philosophyunbound.tumblr.com

Donnerstag, 11. Juni 2015

recharge:green @ Consequential Choices: Version of Atlas Making, Angewandte Innovation Lab Wien, May&June 2015

As posted earlier, I contributed with an installation with performative and audio aspect to the exhibition "Consequential Choices: Version of Atlas Making", which took place at Angewandte Innovation Lab Vienna from 26th of May to 2nd of June. Here is a little documentation on it.

The installation sprung from an artistic research project on recharge green, which I have done as part of the Arts&Science institute of the University for Applied Arts Vienna since autumn 2014. Recharge Green is the biggest EU-funded environmental project within the Alpine Space Region. The first part of my research resulted in an approx. 70 page "novel" consisting of interview-transcripts with different members and stakeholders of the project, photos, graphs, "found objects" from the internet as well as philosophical and prosaic remarks.

In a second stage I transformed the acquired material into the above mentioned exhibition piece, which consisted of three items: 
1) a pile of soil, under which hidden speakers where playing one of the held interviews. This audio track was accompanied by traffic noise, making it impossible to follow the interview and to understand more than single words and what it might be generally about.
2) a little photo hanging on the wall.
3) a performer ("me") in a suit with a button saying "I am here to help" and a headlamp. As soon as somebody approaches him, he turns on the headlamp and gives the person very friendly answers, which lead nowhere and contain no information, while being completely blinded by the light.


"'Recharge:Green - A socio-philosophical investigative novel' asks if the contemporary structures of our society are able to function in an environmentally friendly way? That is: is our historically grown political order fit to react to the immense environmental problems humanity faces at the beginning of the 21st century in any effective manner or isn't it? Rather than finding an answer to this question, the novel is trying to portray the vastness and complexity of this question. Instead of finding a guiding light that leads the investigation to a save conclusion, the investigation is more and more losing its sense of orientation and ends up being a part of the confusion it originally wanted to lift. In a second step, it is going even one step further and tries to affirm what it originally considered a lack: it tries to show, that the complexity actually might not be the problem, but that the problem might in fact be our way of dealing with same complexity (in simplifying it to cater to a 'solution'). So it might come to the conclusion, that the solution is actually the problem and the problem the solution. Confusion is sexy."

Mittwoch, 27. Mai 2015

recharge:green @ "Consequential Choices: Version of Atlas Making", AIL Vienna

From my research work on the recharge:green project - the most expensive EU-funded environmental project in the Alpine Space - I have created an exhibition piece for the group exhibition "Consequential Choices: Versions of Atlas Making" which you can see at the AIL (Angewandte Innovation Lab) from today until 2nd of June.
My contribution is an installation with audio and performative aspect - I will be performing every day of the opening hours from 11h to 14h. So please come by during those hours to see my entire piece of work.
Documentation and more info will follow after the exhibition is finished. See you there!

Donnerstag, 7. Mai 2015

Philosophy Unbound #3 - "Menschliches, Allzumenschliches"


On May the 13th Philosophy Unbound #3 will be held at Spektakel Vienna, Afterparty by Tingel Tangel in Celeste Vienna (Hamburger Straße 14&18, 1050 Vienna). I will contribute, moderate and have organized it.
For more information on the program see: http://philosophyunbound.tumblr.com/


Philosophy Unbound #3 - "Menschliches, Allzumenschliches"

Philosophy unbound organizes a regular open stage for performative philosophy. The third event will focus on what we deem human or all too human - there will be various acts working with different media, genres and forms and a dance-y afterparty with our friends Tingel Tangel.

Performances by

Reka Kutas
Jorinde Schulz & Rasa Weber
Theresa Thomasberger & Kilian Jörg
Johannes Siegmund
Flora Löffelmann & My Sjöberg
Viktoria Bayer & Lisa Schwarz & Jana Waldhör

Open: 19:00
Begin: 20:00
@ Celeste's Spektakel

Entry: Free Donation (suggested donation 5 Euro, we are a no budget organisation, everything will go to the performers)

AFTERPARTY Tingel Tangel at Celeste


Samstag, 2. Mai 2015

"Ancud" by mosque

mosque - the musical collaboration of Oskar May and me have uploaded a new track to our soundcloud profile. Please take check it out, comment and enjoy. It is a bit more upbeat then the other one and might give you an impression of the stylistic variety we are trying to grasp.
Also: I can now announce that we'll play our first concert ever on 4th of June 2015 @ Celeste, Vienna thanks to wonderful Feathered Coyote - more info soon!

Donnerstag, 16. April 2015

abseits, mittelprächtig.


My dear friend Max Bogner aka. Margaret Unkown has taken upon himself the work of recollecting all the old recordings of our very early band "abseits, mittelprächtig." which for both of us has been a very vital part of our becoming ourselves. I have written a little text about it and you can find and listen to everything on his beautiful homepage: http://www.margaretunknown.com/new-page/


"abseits, mittelprächtig. has been a very early "lab" for experiments in performative, musical, digital and dadaist expression which has taught me a lot and which's results became a sort of base for my further artistic approach. Margaret and me were in our teens when we discovered the surrealist manifesto by André Breton and experimental (noise) composition such as Henri Chopin, Luigi Russolo and Kurt Schwitters. To us this presented a whole new universe and a liberating means of rebellion against the rigid "bourgeoise" structures of the society we grew up in. Enthusiastic about the idea of finding a surrealist music far off the shores of traditional, rational harmonics, we have experimented with many instruments, objects and recording devices. Identifying classical harmonics or structure as the Rationalism the Surrealists were fighting almost a century ago, we looked for a sound that is more true and more direct to what we tried to discover as being us ­ maybe a bit like Schopenhauer's Wille, without the distorting and alienating qualities of the "filter" Vorstellung, if a philosophical analogy is permitted. We never gave a concert in the traditional way and I doubt that the music we produced will find many listeners in the future. All of this doesn't matter, because for us this band project was a crucial vehicle in finding our artistic expression aside from anything you can learn at academia ­ it was connected to finding ourselves in our last teen­years and thereby one essential nexus of this artworks were our personas. We have experimented with sound art, implementing voices from the internet, neighbors and old tapes into our pieces to swallow (i.e. "reflect on") the context our music was created in. We have experimented with self­presentation in the time of the internet, creating us a fake biography (mostly copied from the Beatles­wikipedia) and inviting weird outsider artist (Neonazis and the like) we found in the unutterable widths of the internet to collaborate with the "great abseits, mittelprächtig." In doing so, we were playing very early and naively with what it means to build a name and what is authenticity when so much can be done via digital alter egos like facebook, last.fm or myspace. In a similar vein we have done a fake Indie music performance at Marco Enedi's Free Impro Open Stage in Celeste Vienna or played impro­sessions on the streets of Vienna, begging for money. In roaming through the widths of the world, we also came to discover the atrocities of our world and felt the need to display them. This is how the record "Teen crying after pervert neighbor fucked her" found its name, which is the title of a porno movie, we found in a session, where I decided to only make music with sounds I find on the internet. Shocked by a title like that (who the hell would like to see that?), we decided to take this title, to reveal how dirty the world sometimes is. abseits, mittelprächtig. has never reached any recognition whatsoever, nor did it intend to do so. But if we talk about it with the few couple of friends who new it, it still feels like a legendary as well as defining underground band we've had, because so much of what we discovered there has become defining for our future world."

Mittwoch, 1. April 2015

mosque - gleinenen

For now almost a year I am - in collaboration with Oskar May - working on a new musical project, which - for me personally - is actually the most promising musical endeavour I have ever undertaken so far. Oskar is mainly responsible for beats, base- and synthlines, while I am mixing, looping and alienating field recordings I collected all over the world. Together this forms voyages, which go beyond the classical field recording, for they do have more or less conventional song structures, but also exceed the classical electronic track. It does have many - more or less intentional - allusions to philosophical, political and other themes and does nonetheless incorporate aleatoric strategies as well.
We call ourselves mosque and below you can find the first track ever which goes public. Please give us feedback and if you are interested in having us perform live somewhere, please let us know - we just decided that we now want to go in that direction.

Freitag, 27. März 2015

confession


life’s so little to live on
body wails
jealously contemplating the mind
rushing by thoughtlessly

galactic voyages
must be pursued
infinitely more attractive
gravitational trap

constructs himself highways
still don’t catch up, don’t match
soil turned star dust, soon
will be victim & mutual collapse

Freitag, 13. März 2015

Philosophy Unbound #2 - The Feminist Edition

I forgot to mention this earlier on my blog, but we have started a new collective called Philosophy Unbound last year. We are dedicated to provide a new space for philosophy outside its traditional (academic) realms and mediums - we believe philosophy can dance, sing, play, shout, kick, perform and many more things and found the "Club culture" environment to be quite a fertile soil for philosophy (if you liberate it from the rigid eliteness and up-tightness it is usually associated with).

Our first event happend on the 15th of January 2015 and was quite a major success. Now - on March the 25th we will have the second edition with a special focus on feminism. It will take place at Celeste and Spektakel theatreat Hamburgerstraße 14 and 18, 1050 Vienna. Start: 20h on time - be there earlier for we expect quite many to come.


For more information about the event, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/990878150924328/ and our blog http://philosophyunbound.tumblr.com/

For more information about philosophy unbound, please read our manifesto here:
http://philosophyunbound.tumblr.com/about

Hope to see you there!
PS: Philosophy Unbound #3 will most likely happen on 13th of May - save the date!


Samstag, 24. Januar 2015

About Charlie


The reasons for being Charlie are varying to a great deal and it is not at all my intent to condemn all of them. The terrorist attacks in Paris have been a huge and ghastly crime, for which there is no excuse and only condemnation and this is the motive for many people, to suddenly discover that they are Charlie. However, there is a tendency in the recent "Je suis Charlie" discourse which I find worrying and which I want to briefly address in this post.
The slogan "Je suis Charlie" is often waved as a kind of symbolic banner for freedom of speech. "We Westerners will never give up our freedom of speech, those damn muslims will never make us silent and stop us from doing caricatures of Mohammed or whoever. Now more than ever it is our duty to print as many caricatures of Mohammed to show that we are not giving in to fear and terror. We will defend our long fought for right for free speech and express-ability, our gem of occidental culture" seems to be the outline of this kind of thinking.
Following this train of thought, newspapers headline with "satire is allowed to do anything" and urge for a fight against muslim terror and for our values, which we are allegedly defending with posting more caricatures of Mohammed. This leads to conclusions like calling it a "victory of fear" when the New York Times decides to not print all of Charlie Hebdo's latest post-assault edition.
But why should this decision of one of the world's leading newspapers be one of fear? It could just as well be one of decency - decency and sensibility towards the feelings of others. Because what we seem to be forgetting in all this heated debate is that only because we are in theory allowed to say everything, we are not urged to do it. For example: we do not make fun of homosexuals. Neither do we make fun of handicapped people, of people with scars in the faces or with other disfigurement. We do not laugh out at a person who is especially small or tall, who has a weird voice or some other things which we might be in theory be able to make a joke about, neither have I ever seen a caricature of a person in a wheelchair that is unable to enter a bus or descend a staircase. Why is that?
Because there are things that hurt people and its a part of basic human decency and respect that we do not make fun of things that hurt other people. It is a fact that it hurts most muslim people if we make fun or produce a caricature of Mohammed, but in this matter we seem to have a blind spot in our decency. When it comes to caricatures of Mohammed we seem to see it as an integral part of the pillars of our Western Enlightenment, that we may print as many of them as possible and celebrate those who have produced some as some sort of semi-heros.
It seems to me that the West - and especially Europe - has some problem in accepting that a) secularism, freedom of speech and laicism is a cultural product of the West, and not a universal achievement of humanity and b) that other cultures have different ways of dealing with religion.
b) Western - especially European - culture has lost most of religiousness in the last 500 years. For about two centuries it is more and more normal to be an atheist / agnostic and to insult and fight the church, the Vatican and christianity in general with all means of provocation at hand. It is worth remembering that most other cultures have never developed such a strong notion of anti-religiousness and atheism as the former Christian one. For example: there is hardly no radical critique of Islam within the muslim world. The huge majority of Muslim reformers do not reject Islam entirely, but seek reform within Islam (like historical reading of the Qur’an and so on). What has always deeply fascinated me, when I was in a Muslim country like Morocco or Indonesia is to see, how one religion can actually work. Despite all the personal problems I might have with the religion, I still couldn't stop feeling awe about how religion can unite a people - how it is a common denominator for one society, holding it together in some completely alien way for a modern Westerner like me. Although I am not at all for any religious hegemony and am happy that Christianity's collapsed in Europe, it was very interesting to me to see, how religion can still me some kind of master narration.
a) Secularism has come into existence in a culture which has witnessed the death of god and is linked with Christian metaphysics of emancipation, which are not universal but something very occidental. So if we claim that secularism and freedom of speech should be applicable throughout the world, we act - in a very weird way - in the same manner as Christian imperialists have acted centuries ago: we think that our world view and its internal value are something universal for all humanity and that it is our duty to bring it to all of the world. In acting so we are still more Christian than we would like to think: we still have the same notion of universality which has led Columbus and his successors to enslave the most of the non-European world. We mistake our local perspectivism for a global universalism and demand it to be applied all over the world. We demand our right to do a caricature of whoever because it is a part of our right, which we have long fought for.
This wrong notion of universality makes us blind and insensitive towards general decency and respect for the feelings of others. Especially when it comes to a culture like the Muslim one, which we find a bit weird, for it has a religious system, which seems to be working - for no reason that our Western understanding can fathom. Just because it is normal for us to make fun of Christian religion and say whatever we want to about it, we must not apply the same standards to the one of Islam - for it has not developed the same degree of internal criticism as Christianity did1.
Added to this, it bears a weird cynicism if we indulge into this special liking in making fun of Islam, for it is - within our context - the religion the oppressed. Not only has "the West" systematically oppressed, exploited and repeatedly fucked over many Muslim countries (like Algeria, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan to just name a few of the more popular examples), but also within the West is the percentage of Muslim people in the lower class significantly high. So if we insult muslim people, we do not target a rich Bourgeoisie like we might have done with Christianity a century ago, but we frequently hit the ones we already oppress. This dark cynicism leads to feelings of hatred which become - from this perspective - more understandable and also remind of us the fact, that the entire Parisian assault is not an offspring of a religious problem, but of a social and historical one (very well outlines by Al-Jazeera here). Surprisingly it didn't get much coverage that even the leader of Hezbollah - a Muslim grouping which you really can't call moderate - said that assaults like the Parisian one and Muslim extremism in general hurt Islam much more than any caricature of Mohammed would ever do.

To summarize: What is primarily at stake in this entire debate is not the West's freedom of speech, but its ability for cultural empathy, understanding and decency. We are taking the completely wrong steps if we think, that we are now urged to print Mohammed caricatures more than ever before - this panic reaction makes us insensitive towards the real problem and would result in an hardening of fronts, which will even increase the tensions which already have caused the terrible assaults. Paradoxically, those wrong steps actually lead us to scarifying our freedom of speech ourselves, since the discussion about increased surveillance has already started (let us please not forget this: all the three shooters of the Parisian assaults have been on the terrorist's surveillance list of almost every Western secret service. So: the surveillance DID already work sufficiently revealing at the same time how inefficient it actually is). I am not the first to say that exactly this reaction gives in to terrorism by allowing it to work internally within our system, by spreading fear and potentially causing a real damage to our democratic, secular world and its freedom of speech.
So instead of fighting for freedom of speech and Western values, let's focus on the values themselves and become more decent, more understanding, more open minded. Let's not give in to terrorism and self-sacrifice our values, but lets be stronger than those and lets build up resistance to the inner mechanisms of terror.


1nor does it need to.