Cover comissioned by Ivan Sterzinger 2010
Impressum: Editors: Veronika Hauer & Fatoş Üstek Layout: Veronika Hauer Contributors: Ayşe Erkmen, Soledad Garcia-Saavedra, Per Hüttner, Henrik Plenge Jakobsen, Peter Jaeger, Margit Neuhold, Iver Ohm, Ivan Sterzinger, Fatoş Üstek and Florian Wüst. Editorial comments and proofreading: James White Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org www.nowiswere.com
SF 10 Minutes.............................................................................4 Peter Jaeger TH Henrik Plenge Jakobsen......................................................8 CC On Virtuosity and the Public Sphere...................................12 Margit Neuhold AS Histories to be seen ...........................................................16 Soledad Garcia-Saavedra TH Ayse Erkmen......................................................................19 CC The city as a space for drifting and education..................23 Iver Ohm TH Florian Wüst.......................................................................30 SF Liquid Nitrogen - A Play in Five Acts...................................36 Per Hüttner and Fatoş Üstek
THematics: hosting texts up to 1000 words or image material of up to four pages focusing on a single theme. EF Expecting Future is a sub section of THematics, hosting texts pointing out possibilities of future and positioning the potentials of the to-come-true. As expecting future requires awareness of the present, the section will be a gathering of the today’s variety of practices, attitutes, tendencies... AS Artist Specials: hosting evaluations on or interviews with artists. CC Critics’ Corner: hosting reviews on current exhibitions, performances, events, happenings... SF Special Feature
10 Minutes 8:08 a.m. We looked out the windows at the gigantic sea of emptiness around us and wondered again what the danger had been that had so terrified the people before us. 8:08 am. Of one thing we were already certain; we would find that nothing was waiting outside the bubble to kill us. 8:08 a.m. But we had better wait now until we become accustomed to this pressure. 8:08 a.m. We sat down in the single chair, our weight very slight in the feeble artificial gravity, and reviewed the known facts. 8:08 a.m. Finding also that the chemical composition of the air suited us, and that we had no difficulty in breathing, the pressure being the same as that sustained by a diver in fourteen feet of water, we opened a door and emerged. 8:09 a.m. We tried to hide under the captainâ€™s desk but the shipâ€™s doctor led us away. 8:09 a.m. We looked at the chronometer and saw that twenty minutes had passed since we left the cruiser. 8:09 a.m. We moved to light a cigarette and our metal soles scraped the floor with the same startling loudness we had noticed before. 8:09 a.m. The compartment in which we sat contained chair, table, a narrow cot, banks of dials, a remote-control panel for operating the instruments mounted outside the hull, a microfilm projector, and a pair of exerciser springs attached to one wall. 8:09 a.m. We set in to search the bubble, overlooking nothing. 8:09 a.m. It will be possible for us to have any climate we wish, from constantly warm at the equator to constantly cool or cold as we approach the poles, without being troubled by extremes of winter and summer. 8:10 a.m. Now things were looking more terrestrial, and we began to feel at home. 8:10 a.m. When we crawled down into the lower compartment we hesitated, then opened the longest blade of our knife before searching among the dark recesses down there. 8:10 a.m. We went to look out, one by one, and from all of us we saw the same vast emptiness that surrounds us. 8:10 a.m. A light blinked, reminding us it was time to attend to our duties. 8:11 a.m. We held our ear to it, listening for any sound of a leak. 8:11 a.m. We looked out the windows at the illimitable void that was waiting to absorb our pitiful little supply of air and we thought of the days we had hauled and jerked at the springs with all our strength, not realizing the damage we were doing. 8:11 a.m. The next day we discovered an even more serious threat: the thin skin of the bubble had been spot-welded to the outside reinforcing girders. 8:11 a.m. We could not remember when we had last attended to the instruments. SF + 4
8:12 a.m. We did not mind going naked—the temperature regulators in the bubble never let it get too cold. We had no conception of time from then on. 8:12 a.m. When the strain became too great we would draw ourselves up in the position we had once occupied in our mother’s womb and pretend we had never left Earth. 8:12 a.m. The cruiser vanished back into hyperspace and we were alone inside the observation bubble, ten thousand light-years beyond the galaxy’s outermost sun. 8:12 a.m. We looked out the windows at the gigantic sea of emptiness around us and wondered again what the danger had been that had so terrified the people before us. 8:12 a.m. They had often seen it in the terrestrial sky, emitting its strong, steady ray, and had thought of that far-away planet, about which till recently so little had been known, and a burning desire had possessed us to go to it and explore its mysteries. 8:13 a.m. All remained glued to our telescopes as we peered through the rushing clouds, now forming and now dissolving before our eyes. 8:13 a.m. Now, a “little lower than the angels,” we could soar through space, leaving even planets and comets behind. 8:13 a.m. We’re too low on fuel to wait for clearance, even if control is working. 8:13 a.m. They could keep our world—and all the other coward planets like us! 8:13 a.m. And once the monsters realized that Earth was unwilling to fight, our vast resources would no longer scare them—we’d be only a rich plum, ripe for the plucking. 8:13 a.m. Entering the atmosphere now, staggering down on misfiring jets. In the nineteenth century, savants and Indian jugglers performed experiments with our disciples and masses of inert matter, by causing us to remain without visible support at some distance from the ground; and while many of these, of course, were quacks, some were on the right track, though we did not push our research. 8:13 a.m. “For God’s sake take us away from it—take us back to Earth!” 8:14 a.m. They were steering for an apparently hard part of the planet’s surface, about a degree and a half north of its equator. 8:14 a.m. We haven’t attended to the instruments for a long time because we hate them. 8:14 a.m. Not being altogether sure how the atmosphere of our new abode would suit terrestrial lungs, or what its pressure to the square inch might be, we cautiously opened a port-hole a crack, retaining our hold upon it with its screw. 8:14 a.m. We stopped, staring at the great port city. 8:14 a.m. Though we had apparently gained a good deal in weight as a result of our ethereal journey, this did not incommode us. 8:14 a.m. Influenced by this fact, and also because we were 483,000,000 miles from the sun, instead of 92,000,000 as on earth, we had steered for the northern limit of SF + 5
Jupiter’s tropics. 8:14 a.m. When about to alight, forty yards off, we distended membranous folds in the manner of wings, which checked our descent, and on touching the ground remained where we were without rebound. 8:15 a.m. We went across the small room, our magnetized soles loud on the thin metal floor in the bubble’s silence. 8:15 a.m. We seem to have pneumatic feet and legs, for our motion was certainly not produced like that of frogs. 8:15 a.m. We will perforate the air-chamber. 8:16 a.m. While we thus mused, one moon after another rose, each at a different phase, till three were at once in the sky. 8:16 a.m. We still had most of our share of our salary—nearly a quarter million credits; even if the rumors of inflation were true, that should be enough. 8:17 a.m. We headed up the officers’ lift toward the control room. 8:17 a.m. They nodded at us as we entered, staring toward the screens without expression. 8:18 a.m. Aside from the blueness of our skins and the complete absence of hair, we looked almost human. 8:18 a.m. A second later we heard the port screech open and the thump of the landing ramp. 8:18 a.m. We went to the exerciser springs on the wall and performed a work-out that left us tired and sweating but which, at least, gave us a small appetite. 8:18 a.m. Beneath us was a vast continent variegated by chains of lakes and rivers stretching away in all directions except toward the equator, where lay a placid ocean as far as our telescopes could pierce. 8:18 a.m. “Good luck, Captain,” we said, and swung back into the ship. 8:18 a.m. We walked woodenly across the field, skirting away from the Earth ships, toward a collection of tents and tin huts that had swallowed the other veterans.
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Henrik Plenge Jakobsen, 2010 Red Vacuum Columns Yellow Vacuum Columns Blue Vacuum Columns IBM introduces the magnetic tape drive vacuum column. Prior to the vacuum column, fragile magnetic tape was seen as a viable storage medium but was plagued by breakages as it was subjected to sudden starts and stops; IBM devised a solution where the tape was held down by a vacuum during these rapid accelerations and decelerations. Its use in the IBM 701 signaled the beginning of the era of magnetic storage, for its buffering technique would become widely adopted throughout the industry.
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Kooperative f端r Darstellungspolitik, Pavilion Foto: Wolfgang Silveri
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produced in the cultural field where virtuosity operates via alternative strategies, different forms of collaborations or creative and temporary processes with an intrinsic political dimension.
steirischer herbst, Graz 2010 Utopie & Monument II.
This text focuses on the festival’s production of the two-year exhibition “Utopia and Monument II” curated by Sabine Breitwieser. Here the curator offers two concepts, which in the realm of public art have been widely discussed along with the political changes in and the restructuring of the eastern part of the globe. In this framework, the debate engenders a contemporary understanding of utopia as ‘space of thought’ and monument as ‘space of memory’. So artistic strategies for the public space extend towards a public sphere and work along investigating meaning and condition of the nature of the ‘public’ as well as developing work towards communication projects or operative objects, calling for joint action. The 2010 subtitle, following last year’s investigations on privatisations of public spaces, ‘On Virtuosity and the Public Sphere’ scrutinises the variety of employed artistic strategies to inhabit the current conditions of the so-called ‘public sphere’.It asks what are the modes of operation to catch peoples’ attention, to provoke reactions or trigger spontaneous responses in common affairs in order to regain a political terrain? What does it mean to re-think these spaces of thought or memory in the public sphere by putting virtuosity at work?
On Virtuosity and the Public Sphere
Last year, the information pavilion, which also hosted the exhibition ‘Art and Public Space’, was designed by the Kooperative für Darstellungspolitik as a communication platform integrating existing street furniture such Putting Virtuosity at Work as a streetlight or bench on a first floor level, made of Every autumn for more than forty years artists from construction site materials. As a follow-up, students of all fields, cultural producers, theoreticians, curators, the IZK, the Institute for Contemporary Art of the Graz and art lovers travel to Graz attracted by the festi- University of Technology, re-used but transformed the val steirischer herbst. The summary of this year’s festi- information hub by opening up the structure, equipval states that during its three-week duration, 43.788 ping it with additional installations (a library, a camera people attended 248 events. Moreover, 800 artists and obscura or hovering reading bags) while at the same theorists from 37 nations worked around this year’s time lowering it to ground floor level. Raumtraum 2010, leitmotif ‘Master, tricksters, bricoleurs — Virtuosity inhabited by students of the IZK operated as an exas a strategy for art and survival’. The title circulates tended space for research and debate activating the around the term virtuosity signifying the extraordinary site’s potential by inviting passers-by to engage. that Paolo Virno exemplifies in the performing artist. The exhibition guide available throughout Graz acAccording to him, virtuosity implies a public-political companies the project and acts as a map for visitors dimension although it ‘conceals the structural charac- navigating through the city, whilst at the same time teristics of political activity (lack of an end product, looking out for the exhibition projects. Simultaneously being exposed to the presence of others, sense of con- the small booklet is the vehicle for Andrea Fraser’s tingency, etc.)’1. These characteristics resemble works project “You Are Here” 2010. Usually this phrase indiCC + 13
cates one’s location on public street maps situated at popular touristy places indicating also further interesting places considered worth a visit. The collaborative mapping project2 consists of ten maps on which the grid of streets not only indicates the locations of public art projects but also acts as a point for departure to unfold an urban fabric based on empirical data. The graphics and diagrams visualise the grid of social and institutional relationships in which the festival’s artistic representation is embedded in. The extension of the territorial map towards the social sphere follows a Bourdieuian approach to scrutinise the social spheres’ different forms of capital (economic, social, cultural and symbolic) and invites the visitor to situate themself within that social field. Equipped with the exhibition guide one learns more about its alternative strategies for realisation: Michael Schuster’s installation “AUFEINWORT”3 2010 was
Michael Schuster, AUFEINWORT, Graz 2010. RGB-LED, photomontage of lightinstallation, Graz city hall.
blocked by the mayor’s office due to bureaucratic reasons. The initial project featured the slogan in huge neon letters above the main entrance of the Graz city hall facing the Hauptplatz. The developed alternative transferred the project into the medial space: the photomontage of the illuminated light installation circulated in newspapers and art magazines. The employed strategy by the artist of migrating towards media might be borrowed from activism, where hoax in the sense of launching wishful facts in the news as a method becomes increasingly popular. Additionally, Schuster’s chosen medium of light installation tends to deny its objectification, which in this case aligns with the work’s discursive mode of operation. His written instructions on the municipal building’s balcony target the ongoing process of de-politicisation of the public spheres by very visibly calling for critique. Yet writing per se constitutes the autonomous part of language since it is not dominated by the presence of the speaker, which contrasts with the instructions. John Knight’s politically-engaged art practice pursues issues inscribed in mechanism of propaganda. In Graz Knight turned to institutional critique in targeting the festival’s advertisement tools. Long days of leisure, 2010 operates with the strategy of withdrawal: following the regular laws of the attention economy, event(s) created by cultural producers are distributed through similar channels. The very popular alley of flags – used for cultural events – across the city centre showed 46 empty flagpoles. The withdrawing of just the flags created a rupture in the alley’s regular appearance and addressed the operating strategies in the field of cultural initiatives and institutions: free or badly paid internships, self-exploitation, employed mechanism of commercialisation as well as cultural consumption which feed into the leisure industries. Communication channels and advertisement instruments are also employed by Kader Attia to distribute his work The Myth of Order #1, 2010. This performance and video piece refers to the living conditions of migrants, surrounded by artificially constructed borders impossible to transgress. In his poetic performance Attia draws a line of couscous—the basic food in the southern part of the globe—across the Hauptplatz to divide one territory from the other. The referential framework of the performance unfolds its political meaning: Borders are generally understood as demarcation lines between the ‘us’ and ‘them’ as they have been created by mankind; Attia works towards the un-
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Kader Attia, The Myth of Order, Graz - Austria, 2010.Video Courtesy Kader Attia
doing of boundaries. As time passes, birds, wind and pedestrians disperse the couscous and the dividing line gets naturally undone. To parallel notions of movement and dispersal Attia’s video featuring pigeons eating couscous is—shuffled between daily news, slapstick comedies and advertisement—displayed on public transport and on the large info screen at the Jakominiplatz, the public transport’s hub. However, let me briefly anchor “Utopie and Monument II” within Graz, which has a continuous tradition with art projects in public space and quite a few have created a public outcry and political debates: Chance 2000 für Graz, 1998 by Christoph Schlingensief, Statue (Lichtschwert), 1992 by Hartmut Skerbisch, Und ihr habt doch gesiegt, 1988 by Hans Haacke or Inside-Outside, 1973 by Richard Kriesche.Yet, the discussed projects of “Utopie and Monument II” operate on more subtle levels as a variety of methods undermine the hegemony in different public spheres: on the city’s streets and places, through different communication channels such as the newspapers arriving in offices and our homes or the booklets we take as well as on information screens craving attention in public transport. In these art practices struggling for territory to become political and public inside urban strategies lies the proposed virtuosity.
1 Virno, Paolo. A Grammar of the Multitude: For an Analysis of Contemporary Forms of Life. Los Angeles, CA: Semiotext, 2004. p 52ff. See: http://www.generation-online.org/c/fcmultitude3. htm#GrammarOfTheMultitude-div2-id2868722 [accessed 21.10.2010] 2 Realised in collaboration with sozYAH (Anja Eder and Sabine Haring), Center for Social Research, Department of Sociology, Karl-Franzens-University Graz and for the Information Design with Wolfgang Gosch and Georg Liebergesell. 3 This German phrase introduces a short and precise critique. An approach towards translation might range from “For one word” to “Upon a word”.
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Histories to be seen On Voluspa Jarpaâ€™s Biblioteca de la No-Historia Why detain you with these wornout stories? Why this wasted time? Why archive this? Why these investments in paper, in ink, in characters? Why mobilize so much space and so much work, so much typographic composition? Does this merit printing? Arenâ€™t these stories to be had everywehere?
Jacques Derrida, Archive Fever A Freudian Impression
Installation detail of La Biblioteca de la No-historia, 2010. Courtesy of the artist.
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Once again and with no surprise, Derrida’s heading serves to approach the foreground decisions that need to be considered within the production of an archive and its possible distributions within history and current time and space. These choices conform the standpoint of the artwork La Biblioteca de la No-Historia (The Library of No History), 2010; a books-composition and installation done by Volsupa Jarpa in three different branches of the Ulises bookshop in Santiago de Chile, Chile. The books consist of a selection of 10,000 files from the 22,000 archives of the State Chile Declassification Project (1999-2001) which was initiated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and displayed on the website of the US Department of State1. Immediately after disclosure in 2002, Jarpa started to work within the constraints of these files reproducing in her paintings the same gestures made by the CIA’s disclosured information: blacking out text and streaking through words, converting layers of black hidden lines and paragraph sections into aesthetic composition of void images and texts. For Jarpa, to enact those similar gestures provides a strategy to affect public through painting as a visible document. However, painting as a medium unfolds a horizon of contemplation that enables a distant perception rather than a direct interaction and involvement with the documents.
the collection of books, but prompts a new archive as each reader/spectator must complete a form to collect a book. In this sense, the criterion and strategies foreseen by Jarpa - to work with the archive - reminds partly Jacques Lacan’s social theory, where moments of dislocation become both, appealing to the missing structures of an identity3 while implying its rearticulation. Yet, the books-compositions of Jarpa reside more on the politics of the archive rather than the archives of a political situation as they comprise one product of the multi-layered chain of the CIA documents. They had been newly translated by a hand-delivered format facing the personal reception of it in opposition to the overwhelming and almost endless status of the hardly visible internet archive. And furthermore, they stand between the conventional structure of the catalogue and the book, lacking an official ISBN code. Certainly, these different decisions explored in the work spin the decisions taken by the artist that trigger questions on the real condition of public documents and on the transcendent release from their private location. By the same token, they operate on what Derrida pointed out as the ‘very secret of the archives’ opening’: to be witness of the impossible reconstructions of the entire information and hence, of knowledge. The CIA’ archives reflect on that premise, depicting to the future questions whether these archives cover current and The CIA’s disclosed information tracks in English the imperative dependencies between the CIA institution secret and confidential letters and reports of the po- and Chilean histories, whether they enable forms to litical situation in Chile between 1968 and 1991. In fact, write history or whether these archives will remain they compose the antecedents, procedures and out- suspended in history. sider judgments about political clusters and systems in Chile from democratic elections to the Coup d’état As we know, the CIA’s declassified documents were regime. Unlike Jarpa’s former paintings, her latest work, released with erased words and paragraphs from its La Biblioteca de la No-Historia, becomes not only aes- surface. For the uninformed reader, these stripe-gesthetic documents to look at, but also books-composition tures do not constitute an exceptional case of how to be seen and to be taken. In this work, she reclassified, and when the CIA disclosed the Chilean documents. It compiled and printed into three different sections the conforms a pattern replicated to documents of other CIA’s declassification archive from the website. Here countries4. we come across a substantial question: Why feel the need to materialise proofs in books when the same Following Derrida’s remarks, archives remain ‘virtual’, database is available on the web? The files were dislo- ‘suspended’, ‘incomplete’ and ‘partial’ by the act of cated from its original virtual base and then organised omission and repression. They are fastened by genin the physical format of books. eral schemas of reading, of interpretation or of classification leaving us an impression. But in Jarpa’s work, Invited to participate in an exchange exhibition be- the printed documents are classified by the divergent tween Santiago de Chile and Bern, Switzerland, called forms of missing notes and texts, not from what they Dislocación2 (Dislocation) curated by the artist Ingrid actually read, but how they transform into images and Wildi, Jarpa proposed her books-work to be dissemi- appeareances of information access. It confronts the nated in three different branches of the bookshop in ambivalent character of texts and images portraying Santiago. Each branch differs not only on the display of the rubric of Chilean contemporary history; articuAS + 17
Installation view and display at Ulises booksop, branch Lastarria, Santiago. Courtesy of the artist.
lated by voids, gaps and futile spaces that replace information of a striking past. Dissimilar to the faithful recomposition of history and moreover, its negation (non-history), Jarpa proposes to spread these visual archives through the potential decisions of the encounters/readers/accomplices that freely obtained the book through the contrary function of the bookshop. The book becomes more than an accumulation of sources to detect; or more than an emancipation of the current state, but personal reminders. It shows that at the moment, particular information has been suspended by the paradox of open restriction while releasing it from the web into a book, leaves in the hands of the public the potential future of this archive.
1 Source: http://foia.state.gov/SearchColls/ Search.Asp 2 Source: http://www.dislocacion.cl 3 Stavrakakis,Yannis, The Lacanian Left. Psychoanalysis,Theory and Politics, Edinburgh University Press, 2007. 4 Jarpa reckons Jenny Holzerâ€™s Hand Yellow White oils, 2006 based on the declassification documents of the war tragedies in Iraq, Afghanistan after 11/9.
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The city as a space for drifting and education An appeal for a more frequent practice of wandering around and a report on different forms of city investigations and hidden pictures of Vienna. This article is a reaction to my participation in a city walk led by Elke Krasny1, focusing on stories of Viennese women. Initially I had wanted to take part in order to listen to some historical stories and take photographs along the way. However, I was automatically drawn into the practice of “dérive”2. Even though I repeatedly tried to adapt myself to the speed of the group, I could not help drifting away, searching around, peeking through gaps, into hallways and around corners of cars and houses. The experience I underwent while participating in Krasny’s walk inspired me to look more closely at what had happened, This investigation led me to the following questions: Could one consider “drifting” and “learning from urban structures” as strategies to investigate (research and explore) the city? If so, what implications could this have? A brief historical outline of dérive as an artistic practice In 1920, when the Dadaists in Paris had “begun to initiate excursions to banal places in the city”3 as an artistic practice, I believe they would have never thought that their strategy of exploring the city would be replicated in various forms even a hundred years later. Their Dérives were the first attempts to develop physical and psychological forms of investigations in the city, which led to conscious examination of the urban space. Thus their inhabitation of the city became an (anti-) artistic strategy. Later on, when members of the Dada movement transformed into the Surrealist Group, it came up with the practice of “Deambulations” which expanded dérive, by taking it to more rural areas of France. These tours consisted of several days of wandering in the countryside and were an “investigation between being awake and inside a dream a the same time”(André Breton)4. At that time the literary figure of the “Flaneur”5 (first time mentioned by Edgar Allan Poe in 1840) became more and more present.The human being as a wanderer, as a walker, passing through the crowds and strolling around the streets of the city.
To be precise, at least until the beginning of the 20th century the practise of walking and strolling around the city in public, was almost exclusively a male one. Even if Proust and Baudelaire mentioned “la Passante” the female wanderer - in their works, ladies - especially those who belonged to the upper classes - normally would only walk outside their private properties accompanied by gentlemen, or within the safe space of urban parks. Walter Bejamin wrote his famous “The Arcades Project” in Paris of the 1920s and 1930s. In the chapter “The Flaneur” Benjamin writes about the “dialectic of the flanerie: on one side, the man who feels himself viewed and sundry as a true suspect and, on the other side the man who is utterly undiscoverable, the hidden man. Presumably it is this dialectic that is developed in ‘The Man of the Crowd’. (M2,8)”6 Even though in this paragraph Benjamin clearly wanted to describe the mentioned dialectic of being remarkable/ suspicious - and untraceable/secured at the same time, it becomes quite obvious, that strolling around was understood as an explicitly male practice. In addition to that, the members of the group of Dadaists who practised dérive at that time were exclusively male. At this point I would like to return to the city walk, mentioned earlier, as a contemporary counter-example to the historical practicse of dérive. At the Urbanize! - Festival in Vienna, Elke Krasny offered a city tour with the slogan: “Footsteps and words - walking as a form of urban knowledge production from a feministic perspective”“7, which placed women’s stories at the foreground of the tour. In the following I would like to report on the experiences I made, while taking part in the walk. But my account will equally include the stories and experiences of others. But firstly let me introduce the main notion of this arrangement: An investigation of the educational potential of the city. Walking as a model for learning? I’d like to define “the educational potential” as a pool of information, which has inscribed itself through history, individual levels of perception and physical conditions into and onto the houses, lanes, sites and streets of a city. Thus a city can be seen as an enormous storage containing information, to be experienced, interpreted or recalled anytime on individual bases. If we’d make use of that content, the city could be transformed from a “storage-room” full of memories, embodying the past, into a space for learning and questioning, generat-
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ing potential to empower us to actively react to these (historical) circumstances. As Elke Krasny writes in this context: “City is movement. City is change. City is perception. City is history.”8 Krasny, author of the publication “Stadt und Frauen” (“The City and the Women”), went on several tours led by 20 different women living in Vienna. In each case they individually selected their routes through the city which Krasny later explored historically. In these historical researches she focused on the women’s biographical narratives and located these as “another topography of Vienna” alongside each woman’s individual city walk. Following an example from Stella Damm’s route in the book: “Nr. 4,Taubstummengasse :This is where Alma Rosé (1906 - 1944) spent her childhood years.The daughter of Justine Mahler, Gustav Mahler’s sister, and Arnold Rosé, concertmaster of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, was named after her godmother, Alma Mahler-Werfel. The violin virtuosa Rosé founded the ensemble Wiener-Walzermädl and they then went on tour together. In 1939 the family emigrated to London. In December 1942 she fled from the Nazi regime to Dijon, where she was arrested and deported to Auschwitz. She was in charge of the camp’s orchestra, “Mädchenorchester” (Girls’ Orchestra) at the concentration camp. ‘The ones who survived, did so due to her. She was a very proud women - dignified aloof’, remembers Anita Lasker Wallfisch, a cello player in the women’s orchestra in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Ana rosé died in the concentration camp on April 5th 1944. “Most of the other members of the orchestra survived the concentration camp. In 1969 the Alma-Rosé-Gasse in the 10th district was named after her.”9
Here an individually selected route through the city becomes the starting point for a research project on personal stories, which shaped these places, are kept alive by them, had taken place there, or remind us of these historical circumstances. As a group of about 20 people we walked along one of these routes, the path of Carmen Wiederin: It started at the Jewish cemetery at the “Währinger Park”, went down the road towards the “Spittelauer Lände”, along the banks of the Danube channel, and finally took us to one of the two old Flak-Towers in the “Augarten”. During the guided tour I stopped many times, gazing at countless corners, edges, irritations and colour surfaces. Once entangled in a lunatic researching-and-lettingmyself-drift-along mode, ordinary things and situations appeared fascinating, new, mysterious and strange to me and became a part of my individual momentary
story. This mode could have equally been consciously employed as a strategy of researching city-knowledge. On my previous journeys to unknown places and cities, I had found myself again and again in the same paradoxical situation: I had wanted to know as much as possible about that unknown place as quickly as possible. In the case of bigger cities, such as Delhi, Bangkok, San Francisco, London or Sydney, this seemed absolutely impossible to achieve. For many reasons booking a “tourist” city tour, hopping from one monument to the next, often felt too boring to me. We know that the memories you’d later have of these tours would only resemble fragments of postcard-like-pictures in retrospect. However, what really interests and excites me in a city are the edges, moments of irritation, the banal to be found in the realm of the everyday - things you’d not possibly notice at first glance. Of course, you can hardly experience that through a pre-booked, prepackaged city tour for tourists. However through moments of looking more closely at the ordinary we are able to develop genuine interest, and generate new questions, even obsessions. But ultimately only by going to the library, the internet cafe or speaking to people on the street you can satisfy your thirst for knowledge. Through research, the city becomes more tangible, the contexts, which surround you, move closer towards each other and generate a web of images, information, emotions, and memories. You become both the carrier and producer of knowledge at the same time. Active education. The moment of being in a space that surrounds you, as a space for action and individual research. Therefore I’d suggest to anyone who would prefer to approach a site without a lot of preconceptions, to take a more personal approach - to drift, stop, smell and observe - to stroll around in the streets seemingly aimless. To simply enjoy, not to have any (local) destination in mind, because everything is there, already, in front of your feet, seemingly unapproachable and yet real; passing at the moment of being and becoming. Similarly, my account of the city tour could be seen as a composition of fragments. I have tried to include a number of voices that all offer very different perspectives on diverse aspects of the same tour. Still, this assembly of perspectives as well as gaps and missing links, can only underline the incompleteness of the bigger picture. In this context failure of description could contain a potential for a new beginning of research and/or the initiation to find and verbalise your own approach.
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The Tour We are strolling and looking around, from the Jewish Cemetery walking up to the metro station “Nußdorfer Straße” and passing the café “Blaustern”, then turning into the street “Döblinger Gürtel” where we encounter a relic of the 1920s, a social housing unit (“Gemeindebau”) from the era of the so-called Red Vienna (“Rotes Wien”).
pecially in the context of social housing - immediately of the “Frankfurt Kitchen”, which is a prototype of the modern kitchen. A replica of this kitchen, which had been designed by Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky in 1926, is part of the collection of the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna. This is also quite interesting regarding women and their narratives. Schütte-Lihotzky wrote in her memoirs: Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky: Point 1: Housing at the beginning of the 20th century Housing in Vienna has had a very particular history: that of social housing. In 1910 nearly 93,000 people in Vienna lived as sub-tenants, followed by 75,000 “lodgers”, people who did not have an apartment, house or room of their own and therefore shared beds taking shifts with others. In up to 25 per cent of the apartments, which in those days usually only had one-and-a- half rooms, six to ten people would live together. These conditions also led to massive health problems. For example, the average life expectancy of an unskilled labourer in 1900 was 33 years and approximately a quarter of Viennese toddlers died before reaching the age of one. Therefore, over 60,000 homes were built between 1925 and 1934 by the ruling Socialist Workers’ Party of Vienna.10 This period in the city’s history is still remembered as “Red Vienna”, referring to the first major social housing projects in Europe. A few yards further on, I come across an interesting image: A large photograph, which is attached to the back of a van, depicting a kitchen.That reminds me - es-
“During the second half of the 1920s the city of Frankfurt was engaged in a comprehensive building program. First of all, it was my task to consider the basic principles involved in the planning and construction of the apartments with regard to a rationalization of household organization. (…) We regarded the kitchen as a kind of laboratory, which, because so much time would be spent there, nevertheless had to be ‘homey.’ The time required to carry out the various functions was measured using a stopwatch, as in the Taylor system, in order to arrive at an optimum, ergonomic organization of the space. (…) The cost savings resulting from the reduced size of the kitchen remained significant, however, so that the Frankfurt Kitchen offered the double advantage of lower construction costs and less work for the occupants. Only by arguing in these terms, was it possible to persuade the Frankfurt city council to agree to the installation of the kitchens, with all their sophisticated work-saving features.The result was that, from 1926 to 1930, no municipal apartment could be built without the Frankfurt Kitchen. In this period around 10,000 apartments were built with the Frankfurt Kitchen. (…) [Through this] it became possible to mass-produce the Frankfurt Kitchen, saving thousands of women a lot of time and effort and thus “benefiting their families and their own health.”11
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Let’s continue our journey, up the “Döblinger Gürtel” and then down the “Heiligenstädterstraße”, passing by the University of Economics and the “heating plant Spittelau” further on, walking down towards the Danube Canal. On arrival under the “Nordberg”-bridge, the participants of the tour start to group themselves near the edge of the “Spittellauer Lände” – from my position they look like a bunch of people, who seem rather lost, surrounded by a raging sea of concrete and road signs…
at the “University of Applied Arts” in Vienna - through to the Danube Canal, and once we’ve reached it follow it upstream. A little confusion is spreading, because the endless sea of concrete and street has suddenly been replaced by a quiet expanse of water and trees. We stop for several minutes, each of us lost in his or her own trail of thoughts, silently standing there, staring across the water.When the group starts moving again, I stop once more, intrigued by another visual influence.
Point 2: Non-places and Transit
Point 3: Overlaps and overpasses
Overlaps, consistencies and illusions, frameworks, rules and permeability.The tag saying “go to 42” is situated at the intersection of humour, instructions and the power over a distant wall. It has been sprayed on glass. Waiting there, alone, somewhere in the bleakness of spaces of transit and recreation. It smiles at me, as I am passing by being reminded of the “City of Glass.” Does this make sense?
“Under the busy highway one looks directly at Zaha Hadid’s housing project and already has a feeling of the close Donaukanal. (the canal). This makes one think about non-spaces in the city today, those microscopic transitory zones, the red light of the pedestrian crossing.These zones only manifest their qualities once you stop there and offer a panoramic view of the urban, which escapes most of the citizens’ view. The city is its own best resource.Walking the city is an explorational force evoking other visibilities. One needs to free the visibility from its prejudgements. One needs to join the visibility with another knowledge, with feminist urban histories which are not visible on the surface. Ambivalence of the invisible, ambivalence of the visible.“12
Cite from Marc Augé: “It is the pedestrians who transform a street (geometrically defined as a place by town planners) into a space.”13
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No, not really, because the moment of irritation is already gone... But what stays, is a question mark regarding the constitutions of overlaps. Elke Krasny (and Carmen Wiederin) in the book “The City and the Women”: “Wiederin walks along the Spittelauer Lände, on the right side of the street, towards the city. The second part of her route is dedicated to the narration of the relation between the city and the water. She cannot understand, that a city does not use the canal, the water, any longer (…), it just lies idle. At the metro stop Friedensbrücke she takes the stairs leading down to get closer to the water and to walk along there. She thinks about the water’s qualities, light, peacefulness, contemplation. She crosses the Siemens-Nixdorf-Bridge to make for the Augarten. From the bridge one can already see the flak tower, the final destination of our walk. All of the sudden this imposing monster appears and tells about another historical layer of the city.”14
Point 4: The End Meanwhile, the flak tower is still standing quietly in the “Augarten”, as an urban remainder of the Austro-fascist Nazis.Warning of dark and horrific times: war, persecution, grief and madness. I’d hope that these times are over forever. However, the results of the last elections are disquieting and troublesome, as the right wing parties achieved 27 per cent. Deeply upset, I am asking myself: How should we respond?
“Overbeyond” a kid shouted out many years ago, as
he pointed to an old wooden bridge, standing on a deserted country road leading into the foothills of the ancient “devil´s moor” located near Worpswede in Northern Germany. Voices start to overlap, are getting mixed up in their comments along the way and disperse into the infinite space of interpretation. It seems almost impossible to give an overview, and if at all, than perhaps a vague idea of spatial dimension. No hopes to find clues or explanations. Nothing remains, but the interest to continue to walk and look around, smiling and looking forward to the possible adventures of everyday life...
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Translated from the German by Iver Ohm, Deniz Sözen and Veronika Hauer. Drawing and photographs by Iver Ohm. 1 Elke Krasny is a culture theorist, architecture theorist and Senior Lecturer at the Academy of fine Arts Vienna, Tutor at the Vienna University of Technology and the University of Applied Sciences in Graz. 2 Dérive: (French) = drift, term of the Dadaists in 1920 3 Careri, Francesco, Walkscapes, Arch+ Nr. 183, May 2007, S.32. (German-English translation by the author.) 4 Breton. André cited in: Careri, Francesco: „Walkscapes“, Arch+ Nr.183, Mai 2007, p.32 (Translated by the author) 5 flaner: (French) = strolling around 6 Benjamin, Walter, The Acades Project, Harvard University Press London, 1991, p.420. 7 Urbanize! - International festival for urban reconnaissances organised by dérive – Magazine for City Research - October 2010. www.derive.at 8 Krasny, Elke: „Stadt und Frauen – Eine andere Topographie von Wien“, Metroverlag,Vienna 2008, p.10 (Translated by the author) 9 Krasny, Elke: „Stadt und Frauen – Eine andere Topographie von Wien“, Metroverlag,Vienna 2008, p.34 (Translated by Elke Krasny). 10 http://web.archive.org/web/20051130014250/http://www.wien. gv.at/spezial/jubilaeum/geschichte/wohnen.html [accessed 11.10.2010]. 11 http://www.mak.at/e/sammlung/studien/studiens_frakue_e.html [accessed 12.11.2010]. 12 Personal contribution to this article by Elke Krasny. (Translated by Elke Krasny) 13 Augé, Marc, Non-Places. Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity, London1995, p. 79-80. 14 Krasny, Elke, Stadt und Frauen – Eine andere Topographie von Wien, Metroverlag,Vienna 2008, p.212. (Translated by Elke Krasny
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Florian W端st Climate Protectors Among Themselves, 2010 Fake newspaper clipping Page 31 For Life Against Profit,Wyhl 1975, 2010 Line drawing Page 32/33 Benefits and Risks of Nuclear Power, 2010 Fake newspaper clipping Page 34
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SOLEDAD 3rd page
This series of line drawings and collages, specially produced for nowiswere 8, marks the starting point of a larger artistic research project, entitled Service To Necessity, that examines and critically reflects on the story of Hartmut Gründler, a German environmentalist and anti-nuclear energy activist who burnt himself publicly in November 1977, outside a Social Democratic Party Convention in Hamburg. Gründler’s swift path to self-immolation started with a first hunger strike he conducted beyond the area of Tübingen where he had founded several environmental protection groups in the early 1970s. Opposing a nuclear power station near the southwest German town of Wyhl, Gründler joined local citizen action groups in their squatting of the designated construction site of the plant, located in a patch of Rhine alluvial forest, in July 1975. Gründler’s fasting was tolerated but not approved by the Wyhl protesters who shared a spirit of creative action and conviviality. His policy of truth and rigid practice of non-violence, inspired by Gandhi, resulted in increasing isolation from fellow environmental campaigners. Disappointed by the lack of support for a last unlimited hunger strike, Gründler chose suicide by fire in order to set an example of resistance against “the continued governmental misinformation” in energy policy, particularly concerning the permanent disposal of nuclear waste. Gründler’s horrifying act, announced in advance through his political last will, was largely neglected by mainstream press and media – a scandal behind the scandal.
Besides the tragic course of his ecological and antinuclear engagement, Gründler stands out as a great communicator. He published hundreds of scientifically sound pamphlets, articles and open letters, many of which were addressed to Federal Ministers or Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. By combining verbal irony and sophistication Gründler criticised the role of language used to pacify common fears of nuclear technologies. Against the background of global climate change and the crises of capitalism, Gründler’s writings seem as relevant today as back then. Florian Wüst’s new line drawing and fictitious newspaper clippings interweave fragments from Süddeutsche Zeitung and The Guardian, quotes by Gründler as well as images from a historical documentary about Wyhl and a recent advertisement campaign of the German Atomic Forum, a nuclear power lobby organisation. Like Service To Necessity at large, which is intended to result in a film production, these works combine reality and fiction, past and present in order to connect the narratives of public policy, democratic dispute and civic behaviour to the field of individual struggles and the consistency of political engagement.
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Per Hüttner and Fatoş Üstek
Liquid Nitrogen - A Play in Five Acts
On May 16 2010, artist Per Hüttner and curator/critic Fatos Ustek presented a cryonic performance at the Flat Time House in London. A text version of the event was published in Nowiswere 7. In the next issue, you will find out what really happened when a text that recounts their trip to Detroit to visit to Robert Ettinger, the father of cryogenics will be published. For this issue, the two present a text where they imagine what will take place during this trip. Act One – Night, Philadelphia, PA. Darkness. An alarm rings and a light comes close to the ceiling which illuminates a workshop where awkward looking sculptures, a mountain of old freezers, pieces of wood and metal and huge tools are scattered. It looks like the workshop of a mad scientist. At the back of the stage a tall wooden structure in two floors has been erected. “You are virtually a scientist,” the man says waking up on the upper level of the structure and raising his arms above his head. His skin looks green and lifeless. “Can you explain what it is that gives you that special taste
in your mouth when you wake up early?” “Jesus, it is 4.30, how can you be so perky?” the woman asks, getting up from a mattress and climbing down a wooden ladder. She is wearing a T-shirt and grey jogging trousers and gives a lifeless impression. She walks over to a mirror and starts brushing her teeth. “Do you want to shower first?” He gets up and display his lifeless body to the audience. “OK,” she spits in the faucet. The woman gets undressed making sure that the man does not see her naked body and steps into the shower and closes the shower curtain.There is a green glow about her.The man steps down from the structure and brushes his teeth and when the woman comes out of the shower, the man gets in.The woman packs a duffelbag and we hear a car honking outside. “The cab is here,” she shouts looking out a window and walks off the stage carrying her bag. The man runs out of the shower and gets dressed, dries his body and picks up his small luggage in one movement. The stage is shrouded in darkness and a film is projected on a screen. We see an old man propped up in
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chair and the man and the woman face him with their backs to the camera. “OK, we start. It is an honour to be here Mr Ettinger,” the woman says. (The old man sighs.) “We just came from the institute,” the man says. “Sorry?”. “We just came from the institute,” he repeats in a louder voice. “Yeah?” “Yeah, very impressive!” “What can I do for you?” Ettinger asks. “How did it all start?” “I really don’t know why that interests people, but apparently it does,” Ettinger says. “I grew up in the 1920s reading science fiction magazines. In the early 1930s, in one of the science fiction magazines, there was a story published called the ‘Jameson Satellite’ by Neil Jones. In the story, professor Jameson wanted to have his body placed in orbit around earth after he died. He imagined a temperature that would be close to absolute zero where he could be preserved for a long time. And of course he was wrong, the temperature of a satellite in earth orbit is not near absolute zero. But anyway, in the story that is what happened. He died and he was placed in orbit around earth and millions of years passed and the human race died out. But eventually he was found by a race of aliens or cyborgs, organic brains and mechanical bodies. They revived his brain, put it in a body and he became one of their companions and involved in a series of adventures. But the main point of the story is that it if it is possible for advanced aliens to revive a frozen brain, why wait for a millions years.Why not do it right now, for everybody who wants it? That was the beginning of the Cryonics idea.There has been many partial precursors. Egyptians thought they could revive bodies. So they mummified the bodies, removed the brain with the hope to revive the body.” “Do you know why they removed the brain?” the man asks. “Because they thought it was impairment to the mummification and they also removed the guts. Anyway, I did not do anything at the time, because I was not in a position to do anything. I did not have the qualifications, resources or influence. Well the idea is quite obvious and I was sure that someone more qualified than myself would come along and pick it up and promote it. But, that did not happen.”
sun-soaked view of Lake Huron. Nothing interrupts the horizon and there is a strong wind and dead leaves in splendid colours dance across the stage. A car rolls in from the right and parks between an oversized SUV and a sign, which reads “No Parking”. The man and the woman step out of the car. They stretch their arms over their heads. “God, it is freezing!” They go back into the car. She offers him some almonds; he accepts and gulps them down. “Look, we have to go through the questions.” He takes out a plastic container and chopsticks and she takes a turn munching on an apple and a sandwich. Both look out over the vast lake through the windscreen with great pleasure. “This is the worst Sushi I ever had, but the almonds are amazing!” “I want to ask Ettinger about what kind of future he thinks he will wake up in.” “That is pure speculation.” He attacks the sushi rolls and spills soya on his shirt without noticing. “It is so windy today. I am worried that we are going to miss our flight back to New York.” “It is beautiful here.” “Yes, it truly is.” “The families look so happy when they are freezing their relatives. So different from a funeral.” “Yes, it is amazing kind of hope that the centre offers people. It is poetry in motion.” “Like the wind playing with the leaves.” “It is going to rain,” he turns around and faces the audience. “Really?” “Yes look at that sky, all lead.” The lights are dimmed again. We again see the projection of Ettinger. “In 1948, I was in the army hospital,” he says. “I read about the work of Jean Rostand in France. He froze and revived frogs’ sperm after treating them with glycerol to protect them against the effects of freezing. The sperm was later used to produce healthy frogs. It reminded me about the freezing idea and provided me some scientific evidence that living tissue might survive the freezing process. So I wrote a short story, expanding the cryonics idea and that was published in the 1948 issue of ‘Startling Stories’. But, nothing happened. Eventually, it became clear that something had to be done. So I wrote two pages focussing on the life Act 2 – Overlooking Lake Huron, MI insurance aspects of cryonics and I sent that to 200 people chosen randomly from ‘Who is Who in AmeriThe stage is a park that overlooks a magnificent and ca’ - again no interest. SF + 37
So something, a link was required. So I wrote a book. The first version of The Prospect of Immortality was the result and I published it myself in 1962. It did arouse some interest. I also found out that a man, named Evelyn Cooper wrote a book called ‘Immortality Physically Scientifically Now’. It had some aspects that were similar to my book. So, Evelyn and I got together in Washington and formed ‘The Life Extension Society’. A book club was the main focus and we published a monthly newsletter called ‘Freeze Wait and Reanimate’. Membership to ‘Life Extension Society’ was essentially a subscription to the newsletter. It cost 2 dollars per year and we had about 2000 subscribers. Around 1965 a group formed in New York, which later became known as the ‘New York Society of Cryonics’. Its leaders were Curtis Henderson and Saul Kent and Saul is still active in cryonics. He became very successful selling vitamins and food supplements and has given a lot of money to the cryonics and life extension movements. Around the same time, Curtis Henderson started a company called ‘Cryospan’ and they started to freeze people. But they did not have a well-thoughtout business plan, so they had to give up and give the patients back to their families. In 1976 we formed the Cryonics Institute. Our first patient was my mother in 1977, our second patient was my first wife in 1987. In 1993 we moved to the facility in Clinton Township that you saw today. When we got our website things started to pick up. My second wife was our 36th patient in the year 2000 and currently we have 101 patients.
Act 3 - 101st patient A dozen giant round white plastic containers approximately 3.5 meters tall and 2.5 meters across fill the stage. A few withered flowers look sad in a big, grid-like structure. A computer is connected to a large white sarcophagus, which oozes of something resembling dry ice. The light is cold and green, making everything look like it is mummified. A skinny, grey man in his mid-fifties walks across the stage. His skin has the same colour as the subdued colours that surround him. He wears faded jeans and a great big white pullover with big grey flower motifs that underline his anachronistic features. He looks with great suspicion at the man and the woman who follow him. “Our 101st member was brought in at midnight,” the older man says patting sarcophagus as if it were a horse that he is eager to sell, “and he is now being chilled down to the temperature of liquid nitrogen. You can see it here on the screen,” he makes an arrogant gesture and the man and the woman look with great interest on the computer screen. “Were any members of the family present?” the woman asks while the man is taking photographs of the screen. She is shocked as if the ghoulish nature of her voice was not hers. “No, he was alone,” the older man quickly warms to the two visitors, but retains a cool distance. “It is relatively rare that they come.” He mounts a set of wooden stairs and holds onto a long nozzle which looks like a ray gun and is connected to a long hose and suspended from the ceiling. “We use this to fill in the liquid nitro-
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gen,” he poses and the young man takes photographs which make him more confident with the violent-looking gadget as if it was a great big weapon. The woman asks him about the shape of the containers. “There are ten patients in each. The round ones are far more effective. Each patient only costs about $ 100 per month, while the old ones cost three times more. They work like giant thermos flasks.” He jumps down with gymnastic grace and reaches into a small container with the letters “EMV” on the side, which oozes white smoke and throws out some liquid nitrogen on the floor. The woman screams and the two men give ghostly laughs in unison. “How come you do not get cold-burns?” “It is incredibly cold, so it vaporises instantaneously. But if I stick my hand into it, I will get hurt badly.” The gray man returns to his bored state. “Come here, I want to show you something.” The three of them walk over in a robot-like fashion to a double row of framed photographic portraits. They either look old or depict old people. He points at photograph of an old woman. “This is our first patient, Robert’s mother.” He points at a young woman next to her. “And this is the second patient, his first wife. This one, was a young man who died of leukaemia and this one is Robert’s second wife.” There is an awkward silence while the two look with great interest on the photographs. “Most of the members are male, while most of the patients are women.” “How does that work?” The younger man looks confused, underlining his pale features. “Well men are more attached to their wives and sisters than the other way around,” all three of them laugh.
Williams and that aroused special attention. For some reason a lot of sports people were opposed to the idea. They thought somehow it was not dignified for him to be frozen; they preferred burial or cremation. So special attention came from state and local authorities. At one point, legislators in Arizona wanted to pass legislation outlawing cryonics and putting Alcor out of business. Here in Michigan, the cemetery people and mortuary people investigated us. It is illegal to act both as a cemetery and a mortuary. They have to be separated. So in the end, we were licensed as a cemetery and not a mortuary. But in practice nothing changed. The same people do the mortuary work and we do the rest.” “Your first patient was your mother, how did it feel?” the woman asks. “When you have someone in the family frozen, it does not remove the grief, but it does soften it. It makes it easier to bear.You don’t feel good about it, but you feel slightly better.” Act 4 – Clinton Township, MI
The lights dim, the man and the woman sit in the car at centre of the stage and the rain is pouring down incessantly on the vehicle. They drive in silence and dead leaves twirl in the air, creating a kaleidoscope of colours and the stage is drowned in bombastic music. The lights dim and the music fades out. The long dark silence is broken by the sound of the projector. “Have you decided in what order the patients are going to be revived?” the man asks. “People die under variety of circumstances, more or less favourable. A lot of people misunderstand the scientific challenges we face. When you ask them what cryonics is, most commonly they will tell you we freeze people and wait until we can cure the disease The film reappears on the dark stage. that killed them. That is only part of the problem and “You had a vision when you were young and you not the hardest part. In many cases there is a delay worked consistently towards this goal,” the man says. between the time of death and time we can start our “I wanted to hear what kind of resistance you have met work and there is some deterioration. So we have to from the powers that be. For instance, the institute be able to repair that as well.Then there is the freezing is technically a cemetery, because of regulations, while process itself and we have made much progress. In fact, the ideology of your project is the opposite of that.” we don’t freeze people anymore. We vitrify them. Are “For many years, we operated openly. But at one point you familiar with the term?” the institute was recognised as something unusual and The man and the woman shake their heads got special attention from the Attorney General. But “Vitrification, is a process whereby tissue becomes he concluded that our operation was not illegal which solid. But the crystals that ordinarily characterise solid meant that other organisations in other states also bodies, are not present. Or they are present, but much started operating. Alcor started in California and then smaller and much fewer. And by preventing crystallisamoved to Arizona. They froze the baseball player Ted tion or reducing the number and size of the crystals, SF + 39
we reduce the amount of damage done to the patient. Anyway there are a variety of patients, in regards to how they died, how soon they were treated and by what method they were treated. So, there will be a range of intervals at which they can be revived.” “How long do you think it will take?” the woman asks. “It is guesswork - anywhere between 50 to 200 years.” The man and woman nod. “There is a reason to believe that memory is freeze hardy. Back in the sixties, Audrey Smith, an English cryo-biologist, partly froze hamsters so that half the water in their brain changed to ice and they made full recoveries.” “What about personality? Is memory and personality the same thing?” the man asks. “The Soul is a notion that a lot of people talk about, but they don’t have any clear idea what they mean by that. As far as I am concerned, your body is you. Your brain is you. I don’t know what they mean by soul. Being revived after death or being legally dead is not new, thousands of people are revived after clinical deaths in hospitals. They suffer traumas and their heart stopped and their breathing stopped. But nobody asks what happened to their souls.” The old man pauses. “From the subjective perspective of the patient, no time will have passed. You just go to sleep and you wake up. If the doctors have done their work properly, when you wake up you will be good health you will have your memories intact.You will understand that you slept for a long time and you will go about your business.” Act 5 – Detroit, MI - In City of the Dead Out of the twirling leaves and manic rain the car emerges and the man and the woman sit in the car in the centre of the stage. But, their ghoulish paleness is replaced by a vivid warmth. On the screen where we just saw the old man we see images from the deserted motor city. We see derelict and burned down buildings and traces of looting in the unending suburban landscape. Cars pass in all directions, but no humans or animals can be seen. It is as if even the cars drive themselves.The camera circles the Renaissance Centre and sees the misplaced hotels and the shining GM signs that seem to be the only thing that penetrate the greyness. The film meanders under great big underpasses and swivels around motorway ramps until the image stops in front of a characterless shopping mall. Two beams of light come on and the man and woman step out of the car and run towards a gleaming “Toys’R’Us”
sign holding jackets over their heads to hide from the rain. The film stops, the car rolls off the stage like a giant ghost. The soft lights come on and the man and woman reappear inside a charred structure and a low humming, machine-like sound fills the whole theatre. The woman is smoking. “Please don’t throw the ashes out of the window, I don’t want any complaint from neighbours,” he says, fiddling with some small gadget. “What?” She motions to the burned surroundings. “Nothing.” “You know this is an old habit, smoking by the window.“ “Do you want to go to the casino in Canada?” “No, do you?” “I want to go back to New York.” “Me too.” “But this storm is crazy, we will never get to the airport on time and I doubt that any flight will take off.” The lights come on again and the sound stops. “I think it has stopped raining,” she says and sticks her hand out of a window. “Great, let’s go.” “Did you forget to start the dryer before we left?” she says. “What’s your plan for tomorrow, anyway?” “Some work, some art. No concrete plans yet.You?” “I am definitely having tea in bed,” she says. A small version of the car appears on stage and they drive off into a colourful sunset. The projections lights up and the camera zooms in on the old man’s face. “When you are revived,” - there is an amazing spark in his eyes as he speaks - “Your problems will not be new or strange, your problems will be understood. There will be people, institutions in place to help you adjust. You will be rehabilitated. I don’t know how long it will take or which methods will be used, but you are going to be rehabilitated and make connection with the current society. People, who become our patients, if their memories are preserved, will understand what has happened to them and be prepared for an awakening in a different kind of world.They will face new people and new situations and they will all grow into it adapt to it. People have adapted to strange situations throughout history. I don’t want to talk about being immortal as nobody can conceive immortality even though I have written about the prospect of immortality. “I wrote another book in 1972 called ‘Man Into Superman’. I wrote about possible futures with the hope that I might motivate more people to become inter-
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ested in cryonics. I realised that in writing about that future, I inevitably conveyed the impression that there will be radical changes ahead. But most people do not like radical changes.They want their present to last forever.They want they want a gold-plated and chocolatecovered version of what they live. Maybe they accept some small improvements, less discomfort, fewer annoyances. They donâ€™t want a radically different future. That is a basic problem. Curtain
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Contributors Ayşe Erkmen was born in Istanbul. In 1977, she graduated from Mimar Sinan University Department of Sculpture. In 1993, Erkmen went to Berlin for a year as part of the DAAD artist programme (Berliner Künstlerprogramm). During 1998-1999 she was the Arnold Bode Professor at the Kassel Art Academy and was also professor at the Frankfurt Staedelschule from 2000 to 2007. She has been professor in Hessen province, Germany since 2010. In 2002, she received the Maria Sibylla Merian award, a bi-annual award given by the Hessen province. Ayşe Erkmen’s work has been continuously on exhibition in local and international galleries and biennials for the last 20 years. Her solo exhibitions include among others, “Tactics of Invisibility”, Witte de With, Centre for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (2010); Weggefährten, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2008); K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein – Westfalen, Düsseldorf (2008);‘Under the Roof’, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2005); ‘Busy Colours’, Sculpture Centre, New York (2005); ‘durchnässt’, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2005); ‘Kuckuck’, Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, St. Gallen (2003); ‘Kein gutes Zeichen’, Secession, Vienna (2002). She has also participated in numerous group exhibition including Manifesta 1, Rotterdam (1996) and Skulpturen Projekte, Münster (1997). Moreover, she has contributed to the 2nd and 4th International Istanbul Biennial, the Shanghai, Berlin, Kwangju, Sharjah, Christchurch Biennials and the Folkestone and Echigo Tsumari Triennials. Ayşe Erkmen lives in Istanbul and Berlin. Veronika Hauer is a visual artist and writer based in Vienna. She graduated from the University of Applied Arts Vienna in 2006 and Goldsmiths College London in 2008. Hauer is currently lecturing at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Recent projects include: My life is in events, people, things. Best wishes, 2010, performance in collaboration with Nicole Miltner and Nadine Puschnigg at Forum Stadtpark, Graz, November 2010; Contribution to the book “NN (Working Titel)”, Edition Forum Stadtpark, Graz 2010. ISBN-13978-3-901109-27-0, Per Hüttner is a Swedish artist who lives and works in Paris. He was trained at Konsthögskolan, Stockholm and at Hochschule der Künste in Berlin. He has shown extensively in Europe, North America, Australia and Asia. Solo exhibitions include “Repetitive Time” at Göteborgs konstmuseum, “Xiao Yao You” at Guang-
dong Museum of Art in Guangzhou and “I am a Curator” at Chisenhale Gallery in London. Participation in group shows include: The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, ICA in London and Centro de Arte de Salamanca and the Liverpool Biennial. Four major monographs on the artist’s work have been published recently. Hüttner is the founder and director of the Vision Forum, a project based and experimental research program without geographical location. www.perhuttner.com Soledad Garcia-Saavedra is an independent curator with an MFA in Curating at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Her research interests focus on the cross-cultural relations between science and art within the contexts of grids, laws and subversion. Currently, she is coordinator of archive and research of the Centre for Visual Arts Documentation at Centro Cultural Palacio La Moneda, Santiago de Chile.
Graz (1997-2002) and Contemporary Art Theory at Goldsmiths University London (2007-2009) where she concentrated on Geographies and Aural & Visual Cultures. As an independent writer and critic she contributes to artmagazine.cc, Camera Austria, Nowiswere and Kunst(h)art. As a curator she most recently exhibited at Malta Contemporary Art Foundation “UPON ARRIVAL. SPATIAL EXPLORATIONS” with an accompanying publication published in collaboration with Centre for Intermediality Studies at Karl-FranzensUniversity Graz. Iver Ohm, art theorist, cultural theorist, traveller and wanderer, human being.
Florian Wüst is a visual artist and film curator based in Berlin. He studied Fine Arts at the Braunschweig School of Art and received his master’s degree from the Piet Zwart Institute for postgraduate studies and research, Willem de Kooning Academy Hogeschool RotHenrik Plenge Jakobsen is an artist born in 1967 terdam. His work revolves around issues concerning living in Copenhagen. Jakobsen investigates how politi- the history of post-war Germany and technical progcal, economic, and social structures affect our lives. For ress in the 20th century. Recent exhibitions include: him, art and reality do not constitute separate areas that All that remains... the Teenagers of Socialism, Watercan be connected from time to time. Art represents side Project Space, London (2010); Come in, friends, rather one of those realities that make up our overall the house is yours!, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe reality. Selected exhibitions include: (2010) Mainframe, (2009); la vie moderne / revisitée, centre d’art passerKunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düssel- elle, Brest (2008). Florian Wüst is author and co-editor dorf, (2009) I Object, Gallerie Patricia Dorfmann, Paris of Who says concrete doesn’t burn, have you tried? Kapital Melencholia, Galleri ZK, Berlin; Organisation West Berlin Film of the ‘80s (Berlin 2008, with Stefanie Faust, The Suburban, Oak Park, Chicago, (2008) Ne- Schulte Strathaus) and Experience Memory Re-enactbelkammer, Autonomus Acts, Glockengasse 22,Vienna, ment (Frankfurt am Main/Rotterdam 2005, with Anke (2007) Manhattan Engineering District, FRAC Pays de Bangma and Steve Rushton). la Loire, Carquefou, (2005) J’Accuse South London Gallery, London; Circus Pentium The National Gallery Ivan Sterzinger is a self-taught designer and studof Fine Arts, Copenhagen. ied psychologist. Sterzinger works with Gregor Huber on mainly content related graphic design projects. Peter Jaeger teaches poetry and literary theory at Roehampton University, in London, England. His work Fatoş Üstek is an independent curator and art includes the poetry collections Power Lawn (Toronto: critic, based in London, UK. She is member of AICA Coach House, 1999), Eckhart Cars (Cambridge: Salt TR; currently guest tutor at Vision Forum, Linkopings 2004), Prop (Salt 2007), and Rapid Eye Movement (Hast- Universitet, Sweden; main writer of www.artchive.org. ings: Reality Street 2009), as well as a critical study on tr; regular contributor to magazines Camera Austria, contemporary poetics, entitled ABC of Reading TRG: Austria; Kunst(h)art, Belgium; Artluk, Poland. Specialized Steve McCaffery, bpNichol, and the Toronto Research in photography and film, her curatorial practice follow Group (Vancouver: Talonbooks 2000). He currently di- thematic investigation of concepts, such as ‘now’, ‘timevides his time between London and rural Somerset, presence’, ‘agency-subject’, emerging as collaborative where he lives with his family. projects with artists, writers and other curators. www.fatosustek.com Margit Neuhold * 1972 in Graz, where she currently lives and works. Neuhold studied Art History in