Titanic Europa and the Berlin Zoo

Painting on the surface of the spectacle
Bild: Angel Vergara – Feuilleton (Detail)

Europe seems like the Titanic, the course is non-historical and blind, yet someone pretends to steer, we are all dancing, some on the lower deck of Macedonia, and some on the upper deck or the liberal lounge of Berlin. In the middle of an ocean, we cannot see what is behind the iceberg, nor the horizont: revolution is the same fetish as progress, the ship will sink itself, or it will be sunken. We should try to be able to still think en-face of a cuming insurrection or more civil war or more integration. Progress for me is when social modes change towards a reconcilitation of global equality and diversity. Because this only opens the space for what we cannot yet imagine: freedom. I think the autonomy is not in the small community, but in other ways of communication (this means in the art). So this can happen at mass events, or in a painting, in a song or in a book. Today with hyperspace we cannot only talk of situations of “real” life. Also in general there is no real, in the sense of a seperate tangible, life anyways. (*)

In Berlin, the living conditions are mostly hidden, the parts of the city are basically gentries and ghettos, one part full of yuppies (in the original sense, young urban professionals) with kids and the other parts full of jobless chaos. Everyone is more free than in the rest of Germany on the one hand, but in a real marxist sense, double free: free of higher living standard, and free of hard work. So many smart and grown up people work in call centers and try to be artists the same time. Without thematizing this! And this is the big problem, the mass consciousness seems deranged. Here in berlin we have the real spectacle: not coming from the newspapers or anyone externally of our own lifes, but a collective production of images. These years these models of counterculture-industry even get successfull for tourism. If it wasn’t for real, one would have to imagine it, it’s like a zoo run by the animals and every breed of animal thinks the others are a danger to the zoo. Instead of criticising the zoo itself.

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(taken from our conversation about today’s situation in Athens and Berlin)
* These last two sentences are a bit cryptic in their shortness. More on the critique of immediate community and on the conditions of social situations is in this text.