6.1.23 – 3.12.23 : Without Nostalgia, Without Spirituality

J’ai pété!

(December 3, 2023)

“I’m an AI writer.” We take this data incident and our legal data privacy obligations very seriously. Consumption logistics. “I’m so excited to share my work with you.” Negotiation of interpersonal conflicts. In praise of lazy rocks. “Everything from the grammatical and lexical cohesion to the semantic coherence of this work is automatically generated by AI.” Occasional, rather surprising moments of relaxation and enjoyment. Are you wondering why your society is drowning in bullshit? “I hope you like it.” Might it be because your society primarily values the bullshit that people do for money? “Chat, j’ai pété!”

Political Confession

(October 30, 2023)

I see the suffering of Palestinian refugees in Gaza and the luxurious lives of their leaders in Qatar. I see the suffering and fear of Israelis in their own country as well as everywhere on this planet. I see the anti-Semitic hatred spreading everywhere, clearly eager to carry out pogroms and kill Jews everywhere. I see the many thousands joining demonstrations in support of the Palestinians. I see the sadistic horror crimes of Hamas. I see the deaths caused by the IDF in Gaza. I see the clever warmongering of Netanyahu. I see the continuing protest of so many Israelis against the nationalist political leaders who rule their country.


Lately I have only benefited from expert knowledge concerning current political conflicts.

The rampant political blathering of middle-aged people who are so full of themselves bores me and does not serve them well.

It breaks personal bonds just for the sake of vain and clueless babble.

In some cases, the information about a particularly eager and exuberant political self-positioning of more distant acquaintances or colleagues has a similarly uncomfortable to embarrassing effect on me as if they had suddenly become very excited about their sexual fetish and started masturbating – in the middle of completely different conversations or professional activities.

It hurts to see courageous and highly thoughtful artists and scholars in the early years of their careers hopping on the “Free Palestine!” bandwagon, knowing full well from previous conversations and encounters that they hardly know the details of political history and current events.


“It is the task of critical scholarship to describe and name social relations of oppression and to analyze their interrelations.

An ahistorical understanding of antisemitism and Holocaust remembrance, as it has long pervaded German society in many places, undermines a sensitivity to multidirectional relations of violence and the suffering they produce.”

I admire and I praise the research-based approach to and the deeper understanding of the current violent conflicts – as well as the courage of the group of critical German scholars who have put together this statement.

You can read what they’re saying right here:

Letter from Berlin – critical scholars addressing the German political and public sphere


I stand with the parents and families of the children and women in Israel who have been raped, dismembered, killed and laughed at by Hamas terrorists, and I stand with the citizens of Palestine who have to live under the Islamist rule of Hamas and the hateful, oppressive, settler-colonialist government of Benjamin Netanyahu.

One does not have to choose between supporting either the religio-fascist regime of Hamas, which resembles IS, or the colonialist nationalist regime of Netanyahu, which represents the worst and most warmongering and hateful side of Israeli politics.

Shifting blame to one side in this violent, decades-long conflict will supposedly lead to nothing but more horrific annihilation of citizens who would support neither Hamas nor Netanyahu.


I find it increasingly difficult to bear how many actually intelligent and passionate people seem to have no problem at all with cheerfully and enthusiastically waving the flag of a country and completely uncritically spreading its propaganda, the majority of whom have chosen the religious-fascist Hamas as their leaders – with the declared aim of annihilating the country of Israel as soon and as brutally as possible.

Recombobulation Area

(October 14, 2023)

This planet is said to be impressive for its optical effects in the atmosphere and the grasses in the frequency spectrum of those hominids who have civilized most of its land masses. However, young people demonstrating non-violently and within the law for a future worth living in and for the observance of transnational treaties are clearly more of a threat to the state order than marauding killer commandos with execution orders. I tossed back the espresso and got up to continue my day. I am not so much in the pursuit of happiness.

They observed a steady and persistent decline in all cognitive functions, as well as in overall perceptual sensitivity and flexibility of response, when people were forced to engage in competitive behavior or even aggressive power struggles over an extended period of time. Are you more unreal to yourself than to others? Today’s downpour is causing deadly flooding. But the drought and devastation of the past few months has been terrible and deadly for many. Entering this recombobulation area.

Nourish your limitations. Be extremely constrained. Don’t be creative. Forget the foolish idea that new technologies will help expand your creativity. Right now, it is hard for me to imagine that this decade will end without some major nuclear explosion as part of one of the ongoing violent conflicts on this planet. We must invent new worlds.

A Carla Bley song was playing on the speakers. A life without swimming every day was no life at all. In moments of emergency aid and life in danger, it is rather inappropriate to subject the person to be saved to historical-critical questioning about past misconduct. We have run out of delight. I realized that I could only work on my contribution to some prestigious academic yearbook under the spell of a tectonically pounding club bass of a planetary megahit. The horrors persist. But so do I.

Tangential Relations

(October 15, 2023)

Breathing highly toxic air. I dropped an iodine pill. There is no hope. Rock solid and unwavering. I think that might even be a little true. But it certainly will not lead to more good things in the world. This apocalypse is disappointing. General disintegration, and, at the same time, new composition. One person eats a very crunchy pear. C’est en écoutant et en sensant, en goûtant cette même situation, ses odeurs et ses saveurs, ses particules en mouvement, que je trouve mon ancrage. Tangential relations. What was the purpose?

Back when Mars was still a water world. Something happened. The analysis is severely limited by their lack of understanding of what they are doing. Chronicles of radical affection (Carolyn Strauss). Persons smiling warmly at their brightly lit rectangles. Practice more and more grounding activities. Persons scrutinizing other persons around them with narrowed eyes. Anch’io non so nulla, ma sono molto curioso di vedere cosa scoprirete.

When have people ever told the truth about this particular question? Yeah, I‘d be scared shitless too. But the picture is much more fucked up than that. The great hopes of other people for future changes for the better left them, as they said, increasingly helpless and only more depressed. Here there was no escaping it. In the presence of the their children, they then preferred to remain respectfully silent. Der kræves ikke svar.

Philly Licks

(October 1, 2023)

Energy, movement, timbre. Posthumanism is now out again. I put my right forearm over my eyes and my left palm on my lower abdomen. This is how I fell asleep. “Dad. Do you ever think of the Roman Empire?” – “Never. At most, I think of the French Revolution – and a future execution of all millionaires & billionaires.” A sensory wholeness that lasts the entire duration of the piece.

“We’d try out shit and see what parts were needed, what parts needed to be changed, and write changes.” At this moment all staff members are in a call. The next free staff member will be instantly connected with you. “Anyway, none of that shit bothered me, and I just kept on doing what I was doing.” This performer has been particularly meticulous at utilizing victimization for their own self-aggrandizement. “You will experience climate change through a series of increasingly wild videos, until one day it’s you taking the video.” It’s already very different, and the pace of change is accelerating. In the end, the restorative forces might prevail?

„Perhaps the best proof of the emancipatory power of utopianism is how much the neoliberals despise it. ” (Vettese & Pendergrass, Half-earth Socialism, 2022, 168f.) A mixture of strikes, divestment, sabotage, elections, boycotts, and violence. “Although they themselves are a strange breed of anti-human utopians who believe with a mystic’s fervour in the omniscience of their Market-Moloch, they see themselves as utopia slayers.“ (ibid.) All nations are bullshit: Qualia for president! You and I no longer live in the natural world into which we were born. A wedged mouse is rotting in the gap between two decking boards.

The left-hand airplane turbine at idle played an impressively precise, driving and insistent series of drum rolls on its snare. “We are witnessing the fascists coming to power.” I was sitting in my red Ferrari, dressed in a turban, cobra-skinned pants, and a sheepskin coat. “Two federal elections at the most, then they have control.” A theory that is, of course, yet to be proven.

Die Maulwürfe machen mich froh

(August 20, 2023)

The thundershower at night brought cheer, relaxation and a lighter sense. As we descended from the bell tower of Cologne Cathedral, we joined the other tower descenders in singing another resounding Happy Birthday to the twins. “What are the means by which to trouble and interrupt art’s relationship to a history based on exploitation and ill health? What is the work that is not itself part of the cycle of exploitation, that does not abuse either artist, creator, visitor or more than human protagonists?” (Salomé Voegelin, Uncurating Sound, 2023, p. 25) Det kan ikke gå galt. The more audacious the claim, the less meaningful it is.

I’m not entirely sure about the status or intent of these strings of characters. A neighbor was practicing some notes on his trumpet, standing on his balcony, including a fair amount of blue notes. Should one assume that they contribute to some kind of discourse or deliberation? Are they trying to suggest mere assumptions, a flow of utterances, or even a particular truth function? All I can say with certainty is: I have found them. I play chromosomes, sometimes. They motivated me to collect them and arrange them in this sequence. I can say this much.

The lightning bolts outside are indeed very bright tonight. But their arrangement does not follow any chronology, topology, or causality. They do not necessarily relate to events or experiences in my daily life. Except when some of them occasionally do. Could the Sriracha shortage have been prevented? These sentences primarily create a dramaturgy that zigzags haphazardly through semantic fields and styles of articulation, rhythmic patterns and positionalities of the speaker. I enjoy their palpable movement, in a truly idiosyncratic way. Maybe that’s it. Die Maulwürfe machen mich froh.

“Think of your journey into some of your favorite procrastination pastimes as times when you transform into your most evolved self, most comfortable and content with what it is doing: an enlightened and happy person.” (Oolon Colluphid) How productive is generative A.I. really? “Ich bringe Chillis mit an den Hölzernen See!” There must be no billionaires. The existence of billionaires is incompatible with democracy.


(July 13, 2023)

I will make sure to Cognac them.

Today was the warmest day on earth in 125,000 years. I was lying in a trapezoid of photons. What are the minimum requirements for obtaining a comprehensive set of results from this type of investigation?

Today was the day with the most planes in the air at one time ever in history. The gravy is poured over the mushroom sauce and surrounded with mashed potatoes. IMBECILIC ART FOR IMBECILIC PEOPLE.

A non-fiction novel (“What is beautiful?”). Is this for real?

The Ontojuly

(July 2, 2023)

“Bob may be Harry and Harry may be Bob.” Courtesy of courtesy of copyright. Dominance behavior is a loser’s move. “En fait, tous les agents de sécurité & toute la milice policière doivent être placés en détention de sûreté. Tout le reste représente une menace pour la sécurité publique, les droits des citoyens et la démocratie.” (Fred Cheveuprès) Are you violating the speculative ban? „This is some kitchen phenomenology!“ My thigh is still vibrating! Farm follows Dada: tapestry of a dude. „This is a very Rancièrian moment!“ – „That is far too Whitheadian for me.“ A post-Stieglerian concept of technology. “Show me an AI – and I’ll show you a labor violation.” (Alexander Galloway) Is this your actual spatiotemporal body? Never assume malice when stupidity will suffice.

Who am I to Judge a Mystic?

(June 25, 2023)

The mystic and theosophist around the corner had finely soled my ankle boots again. They told me how they felt as if they were both adolescent and prematurely old, as if they existed twice and at the same time in the same body.

“I am quite convinced,” they wrote, “that this is all going to end in the worst possible way. It is, after all, a rather boring and demotivating timeline.” Am I working on an imaginative and meta level here? “You will find me in errors of skin.”

Indeed, one can move away from a way of misreading that ultimately seems inadequate mainly by accepting another way of misreading that now seems somewhat more adequate. Not all weirdos wear apes. They taught me:

“The more resources and capital a person consumes in their daily life, the higher their social status, power, and value as a citizen on this planet.” This sounded sick and deranged to me. But who am I to judge a mystic?

Without Spirituality

(June 12, 2023)

While in my twenties and even thirties (and, of course, as a teenager) I still showed some interest, some curiosity, at least in principle, in spiritual practices, all this has almost completely disappeared now.

Spirituality (not to mention religion or simply some metaphysical background for cultural heritage or any other kind of supernatural and mystical mumbo jumbo) now seems to me to be nothing but a power strategy, an obvious instrument of oppression, sadistic violence and exploitation, a gigantic smoke machine designed to cover up the sky-scraping material inequality with confusing ornaments.

Nothing about it has a sufficiently positive effect on me.

I wonder why.

Most people, it seems to me, tend to become more spiritual and religious as they get older (and experience more and more suffering and pain). Or am I wrong?

Let’s use our own accents!

(June 4, 2023)

Being welcomed by the glistening Nordic sun, however, instantly puts one in a somewhat better mood here.

A few decades ago I sat noticeably tense & insecure along with colleagues with significantly more experience – now I sit along with colleagues with significantly less experience who are noticeably insecure & tense.

Those plant cell walls resonate strongly with her.

There are quite a few people out there who identify with the activities or jobs that they happen to do on a daily basis, are there not?

“Let’s use our own accents!” (Bonaventure Ndikung)

However, identifying with your contingent habits or serendipitous circumstances in life is clearly a gateway drug. (Consume responsibly!)

Ektoplasma on the rocks

(May 29, 2023)

Ektoplasma on the rocks. Days with the Württemberg Sonatas by Carl Philipp Emanuel Back, published around 1742. I am revising and fine-tuning a lecture from two years ago for a publication, I am correcting the first chapters of the latest manuscript version of my tenth monograph and I am assembling the image, sound and text documents for my introductory lecture to the workshop next Wednesday. Later in the day I advise a Master’s student and a PhD student.

I was writing about and listening again to Annea Lockwoods “A Sound Map of the Danube” (2008). Half of all the species that are alive today are slowly becoming extinct. Hopelessness is not entirely unjustified. Three degrees above Holocene. The increasingly violent reaction of the nation-state to oppositional movements makes organised resistance and insurrection more and more necessary. I will jeep you informed! Natrium-Pentobarbital or a black dormant tube monstrosity?

Hölmö, kiltti & yllytyshullu!

(May 21, 2023)

“After a long intercontinental flight, you can expect your body to take a full day to adjust to each hour of time difference.” At about two o’clock in the morning, a trumpet fanfare, played in a powerful and official manner, rang out from one of the surrounding apartment buildings. „Cha. Cha-cha, cha. Cha-cha, cha – cha!“

Once we left the sites of our recent endeavors, with each passing day they consisted more and more of anecdotal exaggerations, increasingly uncertainly recalled, often then rather intimate encounters and situations, and barely narratable self-stylizations. (“Perfectionism is a trauma response.”) It slowly becomes day. Two hours later, I hear the first birds chirping in the backyards.

AUTOMATION BLUES. Is there any religion that doesn’t have all the symptoms of OCD? „Cha. Cha-cha, cha. Cha-cha, cha – cha!“ Hölmö, kiltti & yllytyshullu!

On Tàr

(April 5, 2023)

On our flight to Denver, I finally saw the highly acclaimed film “Tàr”. It is indeed a rather depressing portrait of the self-absorbed bullshit and all the narcissistic power games in the upper echelons of the culture industry.

During the film I felt an irrepressible urge to fart, burp or vomit into every single pretentious, self-drunken conversation and display of highbrow pedigree and finely twisted aestheticisms. All the protagonists can’t seem to help but merely act out their sadistic upper class affiliations and make everyone feel it incessantly.

The film resembles a Peter Greenaway or even Woody Allen production. Only unfortunately without all playfulness, without belittling the self-absorbed bullshit and without any self-irony.

For those who long to deeply hate the contemporary culture industry and experience its wasteland – this media product is highly recommended.

Auf unserem Flug nach Denver habe ich endlich den so hochgelobten Film “Tàr” gesehen. Er ist in der Tat ein ziemlich deprimierendes Porträt des selbstverliebten Bullshits und all der narzisstischen Machtspiele in den oberen Etagen der Kulturindustrie.

Während des Films verspürte ich den unbändigen Drang, in jedes einzelne prätentiös-selbstbesoffene Gespräch und in jede einzelne Zurschaustellung der hochgeistigen Abkunft und feinverzwirbelten Ästhetizismen hineinzufurzen, zu rülpsen oder zu kotzen. Alle Protagonisten können offenbar nicht anders als lediglich ihre sadistische Oberschichtzugehörigkeit auszuspielen und alle unaufhörlich spüren zu lassen.

Der Film ähnelt einer Peter Greenaway- oder sogar Woody-Allen-Produktion. Nur leider ohne alle Verspieltheit, ohne Herabwürdigung des selbstverliebten Bullshits und ohne jede Selbstironie.

Wer sich danach sehnt, die Kulturindustrie der Gegenwart zutiefst zu hassen und ihre Ödnis zu erleben – dem sei dieses Medienprodukt dringendst empfohlen.

Without Nostalgia

(March 24, 2023)

I have never felt a strong closeness to certain buildings in my biography. I have always experienced them as purely utilitarian objects, consumer goods.

That’s why it amazes, astonishes and impresses me when people have strong feelings for the house where they were born, the place of a professional activity, a temporary romantic relationship or a residential building. This is as alien to me as nostalgia in general. Historically, poetically and theoretically, I am very aware of the significance of such affective attachments, such deep anchoring to these places and their materials, their magic. It is also a great concern of mine to highlight and share this very common attachment. Personally and biographically, however, I feel neither longing nor nostalgia, neither moving memory nor mourning for the loss of one of the buildings in which I once lived for many years and experienced significant encounters of my life. I feel no desire to return to those places or to visit those houses.

I do, however, experience the peculiar effect when I have not been in a place of some significance for quite some time: my disturbed experience then readily resembles a kind of “double exposure vertigo.” The new and present experience of this place, here and now, must apparently first laboriously, struggling with my bodily memory, override a long-established constellation of strong affects. It is a power struggle of affects. However: a personal, affective judgment or even a clearly longing or nostalgic experience does not go along with it here.

The small care constellation as a family in which I grew up at that time had no possessions of any appreciable asset value. We were always tenants and guests alone. We also acted like that. Around us lived and ruled the heteronormative-patriarchal householders. Single parents and non-homeowners gladly fell through the cracks. Almost all of my mother’s close friends were also single parents or immigrants, just like her. Often marginalized, ridiculed, not taken in their stride.

Did I learn such affective propertylessness from my mother? She never really felt at home in her new place of residence, Baden-Baden, to which she had fled from Dresden in 1948. She left Baden-Baden in 2014, after a fracture of the neck of the femur. She moved directly from the hospital to Berlin. Never once did she return to her own apartment or to the house where she had lived for over 60 years.

I never did any thing, as no thing needed to be stated, I just went along with things, if fears are things. This allowed me the possibility (however slight) that I might enjoy them. (Joanne Walsh, Girl Online, p. 32)

Did nothing about this place really belong to her or to us? Is that why we didn’t attach ourselves to anything with such strong emotions? I basically still feel that way today.

Or, I wonder, is my main point here to emphasise the difference between an experience remembered in time, a unique moment in the past, and a built place where that encounter might have taken place? But this place today is now completely different. It can echo the remembered experience for me and in the experience of others; but this place today will not be the old place again. This place, this building from ten, twenty or thirty years ago will most definitely never return. For this very reason, property of this kind is a complete illusion, a shamanistic spell in the worse sense.

I am thinking about all of this as my wife’s parents and her siblings are selling their house. I observe the strong affects and wrestling with memory, grief, attachment, loss.

Interlocking cluster bombs

(March 20, 2023)

Manufacturing companies and other industry leaders were honored by a group of senior executives with shiny award statues. An edgeless and synthetic collection of jams. As a society we have to decide what to do about this problem. This course utilizes pedagogical methodology associated with Critical Theory – including, but not limited to, Critical Race Theory, Critical Race Studies, Critical Ethnic Studies, Radical Feminist Theory, Radical Gender Theory, Queer Theory, Critical Social Justice, and Intersectionality. You can sign up for a local foraging group or find a free foraging guide online, then put your walking boots on and enjoy a wholesome day picking fresh herbs, fruits, and mushrooms. The incredibly thin line between playing to one’s strengths and relying too heavily on old tricks. A more cost-effective oppression and exploitation of all social classes that do not possess inherited wealth is the essential goal of robotics and machine learning today.

Philosophy is a stub: a version of the past that has taken a new path after a connection wass established with the future. This software is more creative and collaborative than ever before. It can generate, edit, and iterate with users on creative and technical writing tasks, such as composing songs, writing screenplays, or learning a user’s writing style. I distrust societies that base faded assumptions of cultural superiority on achievements from a generation or more ago. That is to say: I distrust them all. It is radical. There’s no doubt about that. But will it attract a large enough audience? That remains to be seen. At the end of the day, cook a meal together using the ingredients you just gathered!

All the horrors she no longer had to experience

(Gisela Schulze, 10.3.1932-30.7.2017)

Every time I stand in the cemetery forest in Pankow by the tree under which my mother was buried in 2017, I feel relieved at all the horrors she no longer had to experience:

the pandemic, the self-indulgent QAnons & Reichsbürger, the antivaxxers, Putin’s sadistic war of annihilation & its collaborators among the German left, my loved one’s chemotherapy, and the metastases that will inevitably lead to her death – sooner or later.

In what ways did movies change your life?

(question from Barbara Flückiger on Facebook, March 9, 2023)

Around 1990, when I had just turned 20, I had the opportunity to see the latest films by David Lynch, Peter Greenaway, Jean-Luc Godard, Steven Soderbergh and Wim Wenders, all within a few weeks or months of each other. These five films inspired and fuelled my aesthetic reflections for the next decade or so – on vision and audition, on art, on existence and desire, on self and social relations, on sexuality, death and illness, on politics and capital.

Today, however, my perspective on all these films (Wild at Heart, 1990; The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, 1989; Nouvelle Vague, 1990; Sex, Lies and Videotape, 1989; Wings of Desire, 1987) is rather critical. My fascinated excitement had, over the course of 30 years, turned into historical and material reflection.

But precisely because of this transformed reflection and the lasting effect they had on me at the time, I should probably consider that these films did indeed change my life in some way. Even if I did not become a film scholar or a film buff, because my aesthetic reflection in the following decades was more consistently focused on radio art, sound production, sound art, sound design, composition, music videos and popular music.

Twelve Movies

(Berlin International Film Festival, June 16-26, 2023)

I had the opportunity to attend twelve screenings at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival.

These are my brief notes on each of the twelve, a somewhat haphazard series of micro-reviews.

I expect your disagreements.


(Rebecca Miller, 2023, 102′)

A really thoroughly entertaining Woody Allen film, which fortunately was neither written nor directed by Woody Allen – and therefore has none of the usual self-indulgent extravagances & mannerisms.

Ein wirklich durchweg unterhaltsamer Woody Allen-Film, der glücklicherweise von Woody Allen weder geschrieben noch inszeniert wurde – und darum keinerlei der üblichen, selbstverliebten Überspanntheiten & Manierismen aufweist.


(Sean Penn & Aaron Kaufman, 2023, 124′)

The first hour of this Vice World News production is by no means uninteresting & maintains an arc of suspense. The second hour, however, is almost exclusively exhausted by similarly repeated slogans of perseverance and edification. Though, it is not really necessary to see it on a big screen, a tablet or any screen will do.

Die erste Stunde dieser Vice World News-Produktion ist durchaus nicht uninteressant & hält einen Spannungsbogen. Die zweite allerdings erschöpft sich nahezu ausschließlich in immer wieder ähnlich wiederholten Durchhalte- & Erbauungsparolen. Tatsächlich ist es aber nicht nötig, sie auf einer großen Leinwand zu sehen, das Tablet oder der Heimmonitor tuns auch.


(Manthia Diawara, 2022, 110′)

The director explores possible connections between Machine Learning and a healing dance ritual from Senegal called Ndeup. Several conversation and long dance sequences substantiate these connections and also non-connections. However, the film’s conciliatory and humanism-seeking relativism is overwhelmingly strong. That’s why the result is far less radical and stimulating than hoped. Still, a film absolutely worth seeing.

Der Regisseur untersucht mögliche Verbindungen zwischen Machine Learning und einem Heiltanzritual aus dem Senegal namens Ndeup. Etliche Gespräch und lange Tanzsequenzen belegen diese Verbindungen und auch Nichtverbindungen. Allerdings ist der versöhnlerische und humanismusselige Relativismus des Films überwältigend stark. Darum ist das Ergebnis weit weniger radikal und anregend als erhofft. Dennoch ein absolut sehenswerter Film.


(Deborah Stratman, 2023, 50′)

A longer thought game: after the end of all civilization & life forms on this planet, completely new life forms arise from crystals and stones. The somewhat authoritarian & self-indulgent presentation in formalistic-mannerist ductus, however, hardly contributes to a viewer’s fascination, suspense or insight. The film mainly enjoys its own rhapsody & editing technique. As a result, an only poorly concealed, to me also somewhat embarrassing & tasteless anthropocentrism dominates across the board (shamelessly technocentric & North Atlanticist the film is moreover throughout). As a video inatallation contributing to a corresponding thematic exhibition or as material for research within the inhumanities certainly perfectly suitable. As an evening screening at an international film festival rather out of place.

Ein längeres Gedankenspiel: nach dem Ende aller Zivilisation & Lebensformen auf diesem Planeten entstehen ganz neue Lebensformen aus Kristallen und Steinen. Die etwas autoritäre & selbstverliebte Darstellung in formalistisch-manieriertem Duktus trägt jedoch kaum zu Faszination, Spannung oder Erkenntnis bei. Der Film genießt vor allem seine eigene Rhapsodie & Schnittechnik. Dadurch dominiert ein nur schlecht verhohlener, mir auch etwas peinlicher & abgeschmackter Anthropozentrismus über Bande (schamlos technozentrisch & nordatlantisch ist der Film zudem durchweg). Als räumlicher Videobeitrag zu einer entsprechenden Themenausstellung oder als Material zur Forschung der Inhumanities sicherlich perfekt geeignet. Als Abendscreening bei einem internationalen Filmfestival eher fehl am Platz. Der Film genießt vor allem seine eigene Rhapsodie & Schnittechnik. Dadurch dominiert ein nur schlecht verhohlener, mir auch etwas peinlicher & abgeschmackter Anthropozentrismus über Bande (schamlos technozentrisch & nordatlantisch ist der Film zudem durchweg). Als räumlicher Videobeitrag zu einer entsprechenden Themenausstellung oder als Material zur Forschung der Inhumanities sicherlich perfekt geeignet. Als Abendscreening bei einem internationalen Filmfestival eher fehl am Platz.


(Piotr Pawlus & Tomasz Wolski, 2023, 82′)

In very long shots, the directors show everyday life, tourism, repair work in a state of war – in a sense, the calm between two waves of attacks. Only after 20 minutes we see the full destruction for the first time, 10 minutes later the first explosions and the air alarm. Everyday life in the Ubahn air raid shelter is shown in detail: food distribution and furnishing, the struggle for rations. Children’s games in camouflage vests and armaments, women, mothers, girls, underage boys and old or invalid men. Military checkpoints along the roads, weapons training for civilians, a magician’s show to entertain the soldiers, female soldiers braiding braids, on the front line and under fire. The film sound and the measured silence of the settings allows to hear everything impressively accurately. It ends with a dog digging in remains of a bombed apartment. It was the first film of this festival, after which I stepped into the street in front of the cinema with altered vision and hearing. The sound direction continued.

In sehr langen Einstellungen zeigen die Regisseure das Alltagsleben, Tourismus, Reparaturarbeiten im Kriegszustand – gewissermaßen die Ruhe zwischen zwei Angriffswellen. Erst nach 20 Mimuten sehen wir erstmals die volle Zerstörung, 10 Minuten später die ersten Explosionen und den Luftalarm. Das Alltagsleben im Ubahnluftschutzkeller wird ausführlich gezeigt: Essensausgaben und Einrichtung, das Ringen um die Rationen. Kinderspiele in Tarnwesten und Bewaffnung, Frauen, Mütter, Mädchen, minderjährigen Jungs und alte oder invalide Männer. Militärkontrollen an den Straßen, Waffentraining für Zivilisten, die Show eines Zauberers zur Unterhaltung der Soldaten, Soldatinnen flechten sich Zöpfe, an der Frontlinie und unter Beschuss. Der Filmton und die gemessene Ruhe der Einstellungen erlaubt, alles beeindruckend genau zu hören. Er endet mit einem Hund, der in Überresten einer zerbombten Wohnung wühlt. Es war der erste Film dieses Festivals, nach dem ich mit verändertem Sehen und Hören auf die Straße vor dem Kino trat. Die Klangregie setzte sich fort.


(Tatsunari Ota, 2022, 104′)

I wander with the director and the protagonist through an unfamiliar landscape. Being, observing, encountering. Drifting, serene. A quiet happiness. For a while, the pensive, clumsy young woman and a selectively quite skilled dolt play with stones by the water, in coarse sand, with wood lying around. The search for a small, lost stone then becomes for both the pretext for the further drifting wandering. Several times they lose and find each other again. After nightfall, the protagonist wanders aimlessly on alone; we see the dolt returned home to his apartment. In a gas station left open, the wandering woman loads her phone and falls asleep. The dolt jots down his diary entry. The next morning, the wandering woman notices the dog that had slept in the same room as her and walks it. Afterwards, she takes the train home and sees the dolt in the water continuing to look for her stone.

Ich wandere mit dem Regisseur und der Protagonistin durch eine mir unvertraute Landschaft. Dasein, beobachten, begegnen. Driften, gelassen. Ein ruhiges Glück. Eine Zeitlang spielen die versonnene, ungeschickte junge Frau und ein punktuell doch recht geschickter Tölpel mit Steinen am Wasser, in grobem Sand, mit umherliegendem Holz. Die Suche nach einem kleinen, verlorengegangenen Stein wird dann für beide zum Vorwand fürs weiterhin driftende Wandern. Mehrfach verlieren sie und finden einander wieder. Nach Einbruch der Dunkelheit wandert die Protagonistin allein ziellos weiter; wir sehen den Tölpel heimgekehrt in seiner Wohnung. In einer offengelassenen Tankstelle lädt die wandernde Frau ihr Telefon und schläft ein. Der Tölpel notiert seinen Tagebucheintrag. Am nächsten Morgen bemerkt die Wanderin den Hund, der im gleichen Raum wie sie geschlafen hatte und führt ihn Gassi. Danach fährt sie mit dem Zug nachhause und sieht den Tölpel im Wasser weiterhin ihren Stein suchen.


(Vlad Petri, 2023, 67′)

A tender, a depressing, a deeply sad film. At the same time an epochal masterpiece. In 15 rather short letters between Zahra and Maria from Iran and Romania, life between two totalitarianisms is told. All the footage is documentary. The director takes us into the cultural history and everyday life of Romania and Iran between 1979 and 1989, and tells the story of women’s lives under the regimes of fanatical, power-hungry men in both countries. At the end of the film I felt sick. I had cried. “Everywhere you have to obey the rules.” Also after this film, I saw and heard people differently on the street, their movements, expressions and their vehicles. I strongly assume that the sound design of this film was the main tool that created some cohesion to binds all of the diverse footage together in its largely varying quality.

Ein zarter, ein bedrückender, ein tieftrauriger Film. Zugleich ein epochales Meisterwerk. In 15 eher kurzen Briefen zwischen Zahra und Maria aus dem Iran und aus Rumänien wird das Leben zwischen zwei Totalitarismen erzählt. Alle Filmaufnahmen sind dokumentarisch. Dadurch nimmt der Regisseur uns mit in die Kulturgeschichte und das Alltagsleben Rumäniens und des Iran zwischen 1979 und 1989. Er erzählt nicht zuletzt auch eine Geschichte des Lebens der Frauen unter Regimen fanatischer, machthungriger Männer in beiden Ländern. Am Ende des Films war mir schlecht. Ich hatte geweint. “Everywhere you have to obey the rules.” Auch nach diesem Film sah und hörte ich auf der Straße die Menschen, ihre Bewegungen, Äußerungen und ihre Fahrzeuge anders.


(Flora Dias & Juruna Mallon, 2023, 107′)

A decolonial exorcism that gradually approaches the reality of Guarulhos airport outside Sao Paolo through five overlapping time periods – between the 15th and 20th centuries. “It may seem silly, but it’s not”. Conversations as collective searches in train carriages, in rooms and meadows outside the airport, in offices, dancing in the duty-free shop. “Six thousand years ago!” A loose group of baggage handlers at the airport discover the original fauna and indigenous evidence around and outside the airport, they visit caves. “I really like the idea of being buried.

Eine dekoloniale Teufelsaustreibung, die sich durch fünf überlagende Zeitebenen – zwischen dem 15. und dem 20. Jahrhundert – allmählich an die Wirklichkeit des Flughafens Guarulhos vor Sao Paolo annähert. “It may seem silly, but it’s not.” Suchende Gespräche in Zugwaggons, auf Zimmern und Wiesen vor dem Flughafen, in Büros, tanzen im Duty Free Shop. “Six thousand years ago!” Eine lose Gruppe von Gepäckarbeiter*innen am Flughafen entdeckt die originale Fauna sowie indigene Zeugnisse um den und vor dem Flughafen, sie besuchen Höhlen. “I really like the idea of beng buried.”


(Claire Simon, 2023, 168′)

We accompany the doctors during the first admission and the follow-up of the patients in the largest gynaecological clinic in France, in Paris. We hear about the unwanted pregnancy of a 15-year-old, we accompany a 25-year-old’s abortion with pills, we hear about a 17-year-old’s transition to live as a man. A hysterectomy due to a genetic predisposition to cancer, endometriosis in a newly married 30-year-old, in an unmarried 28-year-old. In a very detailed sequence, we observe the removal of endometriosis tissue: medical high technology is combined with very intimate conversations about pain, desire, lifestyles and, later, about one’s own death after all forms of chemotherapy have failed. Female staff rush through the long corridors, some strolling, others wandering.

In the last third of the film, we see one woman, the director herself, particularly frightened by a devastating cancer diagnosis. We see the operation being explained to her, then we see in detail the entire birth of a child, the Caesarean section of twins, a young woman is diagnosed with cancer again, she has to reckon with childlessness and possibly with immediate menopause. We see the process of in vitro fertilisation again in detail, and we see the nurse explaining the technical details to her young colleague at the microscope. We see a conference of attending doctors, a protest against the violent treatment of patients by doctors. Erik Satie is played during the process of anaesthesia. We hear about the menopause of a trans woman. An epic panorama. All diseases, all inseminations, all genders, all pains and pleasures.

Wir begleiten Ärzt*innen bei der Erstaufnahme und fortgesetzten Betreuung, Nachuntersuchung von Patientinnen in der größten gynäkologischen Klinik Frankreichs, in Paris. Wir hören, gleich zu Anfang, von der ungewollten Schwangerschaft einer 15-jährigen, begleiten das Durchführen einer Abtreibung durch Tabletten bei einer 25-jährigen, hören von der Transition einer 17-jährigen Person zum Mann. Hysterektomie nach genetischer Krebsdisposition, Endometriose bei einer frischverheirateten 30-jährigen, bei einer unverheirateten 28-jährigen. In einer sehr ausführlichen und detailreichen Sequenz beobachten wir das Entfernen von Endometriosegewebe: Medizinische Hochtechnologie tritt in Verbindung zu sehr intimen Gesprächen über Schmerz, Begehren, Lebensweisen, später auch über den eigenen Tod nach Scheitern aller Chemotherapieformen. Mitarbeiterinnen eilen immer wieder, als Trenner, durch die langen Gänge, manche schlendern, andere wandern.

Wir erleben, im letzten Drittel des Filmes, wie eine Frau besonders erschrocken über eine drastische Krebsdiagnose ist – es ist die Regisseurin selbst. Wir sehen, wie die Operation ihr erläutert wird, dann sehen wir wiederum ausführlich die gesamten Geburt eines Kindes, den Kaiserschnitt von Zwillingen, einer jungen Frau wird wiederum eine Krebsdiagnose gestellt, sie muss mit Kinderlosigkeit und womöglich auch der umgehenden Menopause rechnen. Wir erleben wiederum ausführlich den Prozess der künstlichen Befruchtung, sehen direkt wie die Mitarbeiterin ihrem jungen Kollegen den Vorgang technisch detailliert am Mikroskop erläutert. Wir sehen eine Konferenz der behandelnden Ärzte, einen Protest gegen übergriffige Gewalt durch Ärzte beim Behandeln ihrer Patientinnen. Erik Satie wird in der An?sthesie gespielt. Wir hören von der Menopause einee trans Frau. Ein episches Panorama. Alle Erkrankungen, alle Befruchtungen, Geschlechter, alle Schmerzen und Lüste.


(Christoph Hochhäusler, 2023, 123′)

The older I get, the less I can bear deliberate physical or verbal violence as a fictional plot driver. Why should I do this to myself? It was probably a mistake to choose this film.

Here, undercover investigation into online drug trafficking forms the backdrop of a love story between a trans woman and a gay investigator. “All this shit happens because people need names.” From the start, the constellation amounts to a near-universal disaster. The vehicles scream advertising contract and product placement. My plot point aversion kicks in full force here, unfortunately. Sorry, it’s me not you.

Je älter ich werde, umso weniger ertrage ich vorsätzlich körperliche oder sprachliche Gwwalt als fiktionalen Handlungstreiber. Warum soll ich mir das antun? Vermutlich war es ein Fehler, mir diesen Film auszusuchen.

Verdeckte Ermittlung im Onlinedrogenhandel bildet hier den Hintergrund einer Liebesgeschichte zwischen ener trans Frau und einem schwulen Errmittler. “Der ganze Scheiss entsteht doch, weil die Leute Namen brauchen.” Die Konstellation läuft von Anfang an auf ein nahezu allseitiges Desaster hinaus. Die Fahrzeuge schreien Werbevertrag und Produktplatzierung. Meine Plotpointaversion schlägt hier leider voll durch. Sorry, my bad.


(Viera Cákanyová, 2023, 78′)

Perhaps this is another (or even the?) favourite film of this festival edition. A post-humanist exploration of what human life on this planet might once have been. “Let nothing disturb you.” A requiem for you & me & our entire existence. “Who cares what the future brings.” An urgent recommendation. “Anything you experience is part of the experience.”

Vielleicht ist das ein weiterer (oder der?) Lieblingsfilm dieser Festivalausgabe. Eine posthumanistische Erkundung dessen, was menschliches Leben auf diesem Planeten einst einmal wird gewesen sein können. “Let nothing disturb you.” Ein Requiem für Dich & mich & unsere gesamte Existenz. “Who cares what the future brings.” Eine dringende Empfehlung. “Anything you experience is part of the experience.”


(David Wnendt, 2023, 119′)

Novel adaptation about a childhood in Gropiusstadt in the late 1990s. Violence and failure. “Give me back that fucking gun!” Left almost after 30 minutes. My companion stayed interested, so I stayed too. The disaster unfolded largely as expected. Slapstick, ghetto staging and school comedy routines. Excessive toxic masculinity in every single male character. “Fuck off, you germ!” Scuffle, broken bones, constantly on the mouth, Tilidin. Well, well.

Romanverfilmung über eine Kindheit in den späten 1990ern in Gropiusstadt. Gewalt und Scheitern. “Gib’ mir die scheiss Knarre zurück!” Bin fast nach 30 Minuten gegangen. Meine Begleitung blieb interessiert, drum blieb ich auch. Das Desaster entfaltete sich weitgehend wie zu erwarten. Slapstick, Ghettoinszenierung und Fuckyougoetheduktus. Exzessiv toxische Männlichkeit in jeder einzelnen Männerfigur. “Verpiss Dich, Du Keim!” Handgemenge, Knochenbruch, ständig aufs Maul, Tilidin. Nuja.

In The Year of 2022

(as always: in alphabetical order;
January 6, 2022)

Words Of The Year

Callum Angus
A Natural History of Transition

Imogen Binnie

Natasha Brown

Rita Indiana

Ronald M. Schernikau

Sounds Of The Year

The Mars Volta
The Mars Volta

Hans Otte & Herbert Henck
Das Buch der Klänge

Plastikman & Chilly Gonzalez
Consumed In Key

Daniel Rossen
You Belong There

Wet Leg
Wet Leg

Performances Of The Year

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Waldbühne Berlin, June 29th, 2022

Marcela Lucatelli
Volume Copenhagen, August 26th, 2022

Maulwerker & Fernanda Farah
Takt Sinn Copenhagen, November 9th, 2022

Kelly Lee Owens
Resident Advisor 841, July 18th, 2022

Jenny Gräf Sheppard
RMC Copenhagen, September 16th, 2022

Thoughts Of The Year

Daphne Brooks
Liner Notes for the Revolution

Saidiya Hartman
Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments / Lose Your Mother / Scenes of Subjection

Jared Marcel Pollen
Into the Maelstrom

Paul B. Preciado
Can the Monster Speak?

McKenzie Wark
I‘m Very into You / Philosophy for Spiders / Reverse Cowgirl

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