Sunday, December 22, 2013

Antiquariat Hatry in Heidelberg ("I Think I Know What You Want To Say", work-in-progress)

Wonderful location: the marvelous bookstore, Antiquariat Hatry in Heidelberg, is one of the performance sites for my current work (work-in-progress "I Think I Know What You Want To Say").

See this touching blog post ("If heaven is a bookstore...)" for some more photos...

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Absolutely exquisite! (inspiration, process)

Have been working on a new piece that's about gestures, communication etc. etc. - so I've been looking at different dance pieces that incorporate gesture/sign elements. I totally love watching Lutz Förster in this piece (Pina Bausch's "Für die Kinder von gestern, heute und morgen") - here, excerpt from the (wonderful) film PINA by Wim Wenders.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Music to work to today (inspiration, process)

Today it's "From Jewish Life", played by the wonderful cellist Steven Isserlis (from the beautiful CD, "reVisions" pictured here).

Friday, November 22, 2013

Tanztheater Wuppertal (inspiration, process)

Für die Kinder von gestern, heute und morgen

Ein Stück von Pina Bausch

Am 17. Januar sind wir dabei!

Lutz Försters Solo aus diesem Stück anschauen

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sehen statt Hören (inspiration, process)

Sehen statt Hören
Gebärdensprachtheater & -poesie, Musik für Nichthörende und Hörende, Deaf Slam Wettbewerbe u.v.a.m.--toll!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Thinking about "physical thinking" (inspiration, process)

Wow: the Synchronous Objects project

"This project examines the organizational structures found in William Forsythe's dance One Flat Thing, reproduced by translating and transforming them into new objects - ways of visualizing dance that draw on techniques from a variety of disciplines."

Dancing complex ideas (inspiration, process)

FANTASTIC, I love this idea: The Dance Your Ph.D. contest
(Thank you, DHMD, for bringing this to my attention!)

See this year's videos and last year's winners at Gonzo Labs website.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Psycholinguistics and the study of gestures, speech & sign language (inspiration, process)

I love this field of research, which I discovered recently: the relationship between cognition (action), language and communication - especially in the case of gesture studies and sign language.

Check out this piece from Belgian television with Asli Ozyurek, who is one of the people researching "to what extent our knowledge and use of bodily actions interact with or shape language, its processing, and use in communication."

Encyclopaedia Cinematographica in Frankfurt (inspiration, process)

A must-see (for me, at least!) exhibition at the  Weltkulturen Museum

Guy Deutscher: "Through the Language Glass" (inspiration, process)

This book is really fantastic, it's almost like a detective story, totally suspenseful and very exciting! It's helping me work out my thoughts for a new project, which is still in the tender budding stage (working title: "I Think I Know What You Want To Say"). Stay tuned for more to come!

Guy Deutscher's website

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Umberto Eco: "The Infinity of Lists" (inspiration, process)

It's not new, but I still love this quote: 

"We have a limit, a very discouraging, humiliating limit: death. That's why we like all the things that we assume have no limits and, therefore, no end. It's a way of escaping thoughts about death. We make lists because we don't want to die."

Read the whole article here: Spiegel interview with Umberto Eco

"The list is the origin of culture. It's part of the history of art and literature. What does culture want? To make infinity comprehensible. It also wants to create order -- not always, but often. And how, as a human being, does one face infinity? How does one attempt to grasp the incomprehensible? Through lists, through catalogs, through collections in museums and through encyclopedias and dictionaries..."

Collectors’ Knowledge: What Is Kept, What Is Discarded / Aufbewahren oder wegwerfen: wie Sammler entscheiden (publication, 2013)

Collectors’ Knowledge: What Is Kept, What Is Discarded / Aufbewahren oder wegwerfen: wie Sammler entscheiden

Edited by Anja-Silvia Goeing, Northumbria University and University of Zurich, Anthony T. Grafton, Princeton University, and Paul Michel, University of Zurich

Contributors include: Stephen Bann, Laurence Brockliss, François de Capitani, Livia Cárdenas, Steven Conn, Anja-Silvia Goeing, Anthony T. Grafton, Janet Grau, Jürgen Leonhardt, Ulrich Marzolph, Paul Michel, Jürgen Oelkers, Wilhelm Schmidt-Biggemann, Nicola Schneider, Gerald Schwedler, Iolanda Ventura, Monika Wicki, and Marc Winter.

Drawing on case studies from the thirteenth to the twentieth centuries, covering Europe and beyond, Collectors’ Knowledge: What is Kept, What is Discarded investigates how knowledge was acquired, organized and sometimes lost. It examines collections of texts and objects—libraries, textbooks, miscellanies, commonplace books, data collections pertaining to historical events, encyclopedias, royal and ducal treasures, curiosity cabinets, galleries and museums—to uncover the processes of accumulation, organization, selection and rejection that have shaped learning. The essays emphasize the complex relationship between the intentions of collectors and the limitations they encountered —issues of format, presentation, display and storage—as well as outside forces that disrupted their aims, including pillage and natural disasters.

Weltkulturen Museum, Part 2 (inspiration, process)

Nach meinem Besuch im Archiv des Weltkulturen Museums, wo ich mir einige "ENCYCLOPAEDIA CINEMATOGRAPHICA"-Filme angeschaut habe, bekomme ich die Begleitpublikationen zu den Filmen von der Super-Archivarin (danke Alice!) und entdecke diese unglaublichen Sätze:

"Es ist der Versuch einer Gesamtdokumentation filmenswerter Bewegungsvorgänge innerhalb einer Kultur, so wie jene grundsätzlich und in dieser besonderen Situation möglich ist." (!!)

"Immerhin, in Anbetracht der allgemeinen strikten Geheimhaltung schon der meisten, simplen wie komplizierten täglichen Aktivitäten der Lebensfürsorge innerhalb der einzelnen Familiengruppen, ist etlichen Männern und Frauen jener Atolle zu danken, daß sie unsere persönliche wie mechanische Beobachtung zuließen..."

Mein Lieblingsfilm, der "batere"-Tanz der Mikronesier...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Weltkulturen Museum, Part 1 (inspiration, process)

I'm looking forward to my (first) appointment this Friday in the Weltkulturen Museum's archives...

This is a great project of theirs, one I follow and also occasionally contribute to: Weltkulturen Openlab

Default mode network (inspiration, process)

"Go ahead and let your thoughts wander: An 'idle' brain may be the self's workshop."
(Minding the Gaps

I like this idea of the "default mode network" - it feels like that's what I'm doing when I'm stitching my pictures.


"Wenn der Geist vor sich hin plätschert, setzt das einen Prozess im Gehirn in Gang, den Hirnforscher 1998 entdeckten und „default mode network“ tauften: Erst im Leerlauf werden Gehirnregionen aktiv, die bei geistiger Anstrengung deaktiviert sind. Genauer gesagt, der Begriff default mode network (dt. „Bewusstseinsnetzwerk“ oder „Ruhezustandsnetzwerk“) bezeichnet eine ganze Gruppe von Gehirnregionen, die miteinander korrelieren, d.h. synchron arbeiten – die beim Nichtstun aktiv werden und beim Lösen von Aufgaben deaktiviert werden.
Dieses Netzwerk scheint dann aktiv zu sein, wenn ein Mensch tagträumt, Zukunftspläne macht usw. – aber auch wenn er sich langweilt. Die Aufmerksamkeit entfernt sich von den äußeren Reizen der Umwelt, von Einflüssen und Aufgaben, und wendet sich der inneren Welt zu."

I'll Fly Away (work-in-progress)

Im Moment nutze ich den Kreuzstich – die Stickerei – als aufwändige (und absurde) Bildreproduktionstechnik. Ich wandele ausgewählte alte Familienfotos in vereinfachte Pixelstrukturen um, reduziere die Anzahl der Farben, passe diese den Stickgarnfarben an, arbeite systematisch mit komplexen Vorlagen. Das alles steht in starkem Kontrast zum Inhalt der Bilder, welche mich als Kind zusammen mit meinem 2012 verstorbenem Vater darstellen. Für mich sind die Stickereien eher als Objekte denn als Bilder zu verstehen. Deshalb werde ich sie zusammen mit den Arbeitsskizzen, Farbmustertabellen, usw. sowie mit anderen Objekten in einer Installation (Arbeitstitel: „I’ll Fly Away“) präsentieren.


At the moment, I'm using cross stitch embroidery as an extravagant (and absurd) way of reproducing images. I transform selected old family photos into simplified pixel designs, reduce the number of colors, match these to the embroidery floss colors, work systematically with very complex patterns. All of which contrasts sharply with the content of the images, which depict me as a child together with my father, who passed away in 2012. For me, the embroidered images are more like objects. That's why I plan to show them together with the working drawings, color charts, etc., as well as with other objects together in an installation (working title: "I'll Fly Away").

Something Left Undone (work-in-progress)

I'm working on a new small series of photos (will be produced as an edition, in a box), I took in the workshop of a man I knew in Dresden, shortly after he passed away. He was an incredibly industrious man who still had many, many projects planned - most of which he didn't tell his family about. Now, his family needs to decide what to do with all of his things.

Something Left Undone

Labor with what zeal we will,
Something still remains undone,

Something uncompleted still
Waits the rising of the sun.

By the bedside, on the stair,
At the threshold, near the gates,

With its menace or its prayer,
Like a mendicant it waits;

Waits, and will not go away;
Waits, and will not be gainsaid;

By the cares of yesterday
Each to-day is heavier made;

Till at length the burden seems
Greater than our strength can bear,

Heavy as the weight of dreams,

Pressing on us everywhere.

And we stand from day to day,
Like the dwarfs of times gone by,

Who, as Northern legends say,
On their shoulders held the sky.

(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, from Birds of Passage, 1863)