Archiv der Kategorie 'English'

Unstoppable? An Image of the 2010s in Berlin

A commercial wholetrain, with an adhesive design of the urban artist Shepard ‘Obey’ Fairey, who recycles socialist movement graphics from the past for his succesful imagery.

What a powerful statement for 21st century Berlin: this is the kind of art that is wanted here, playful and ignorant mixing of historical aesthetics, peel-off muralism as a train advertising. Funded by tax money.

Read on the Sh.I. blog

Data breaches are not the problem, the app cult is the problem

Cambridge Analytica whistleblower
Don‘t trust this hacker:

“The look of performative guilt on the Cambridge Analytica dude’s face in every photo is the biggest giveaway of his obvious expectation to be given the Chelsea Manning or Snowden treatment despite the fact that everything he says indicates the whole episode has been a game to him“ Toby Shorin

Why the app cult has to be stopped, for

To sum up the privacy problem of social media: Users give access to their data and to the data of their „friends“ by using all these little tests and games, the so called „apps“. The way these apps are marketed you can‘t decide what to share, you get a „free“ product in exchange for data. You can only click accept on the whole access bundle. The only way to „cheat“ this should be to run apps in a sandbox.

From the side of the host (in this case facebook) no controlling contracts for this procedure exists, once the third parties have the data they do whatever they want with it. Because you know, the user accepted this by clicking accept on a free app that only has an accept button and no room for selection access options. It is a deal between user and third party. The conditions of this deal are highly problematic! It is neither facebook selling your data, nor a data breach, just a deal with really bad conditions, your and your network’s data in exchange for some code. This marketing scheme is pushed by all the tech companies that constitute the app cult, be it Google Play, App Store, Windows Apps, Facebook Apps, Twitter Apps.

This company „Cambridge Analytica“ that is currently discussed had users take psychological tests and give access to their friends data. This data then is very useful to run a campaign, because your advertising/propaganda will be highly individually targeted. Don‘t believe the hype around Cambridge Analytica. Their psycho-cyber-warfare phantasies are not the real danger. Changing ways of marketing software are.

In the end facebook and the other tech companies are to blame for this app system. They completely took away from users the possibility to choose what to share. The current contracting system is: you get this for free, in a full exchange for all this third-party service decided.

Time and Value in the Digital Sphere

time clock

After Artistic value in digital communication (2016), here’s a new essay over at Shades Magazine on value in the digital sphere, on the economy of the free* services (*paid for by the digital labour performed by the users).


how to organise the users that are facing the most powerful treat: things that cost somethings are given apparently for free, by rendering the work invisible. We should re-introduce the clock in order to arm the people for the battles around their time. To feel the pain of a calculated life instead of staring at the feed, necessitates to calculate your efforts, and organize with others in order to organise the shaping of the world and life, to re-enter the flow and to hack the feed. We don’t need free culture, we need to renogotiate the value of the work that is done and identify the modes of profit that are behind all that appears free.

Read it here.

Φ – feed art

phi golden ratio parliament fight
A common reaction of these last years to the violence in particularly theatrical images from current events has been to place a spiral over them, in order to perform a fake ‚revealing‘ of their classical construction. Events as images as quasi-paintings. This spiral is of course the golden ratio, or Φ. What is happening here, is that the violent is made beautiful through pointing out order in a situation where order is seemingly falling apart. But in fact order is becoming obvious here, Barbara Kruger’s „You construct intricate rituals which allow you to touch the skin of other men“ was the better proto-meme from the 1980s for this.
barbara kruger rituals touch skin other men

But the Φ spiral gains a special potentiality on the feed. Users move along the feed, casually examining what passes by, a bit like passengers on a train looking out the window and non-reading the graffiti along the train line. The eye jumps from post to post, while the content scrolls. The spiral on and in the image is a counter movement to this. It guides the eye movement back into the feed, a bit like clickbait headlines want to draw you behind or beyond the feed. A contrast to the 1960s Yarbus study about eye-movements according to how tasks guide the visual search process when we encounter images. We search along the feed, and are derailed and led along a harmonic structure through an image. And the fact that we now all know the harmonic structure, the Φ spiral, helps to have us seduced.
Alfred Yarbus eye tracking

The Φ spiral is a very potent graffiti, it goes back beyond the lettrism of writing vandalism, back to the pure art of vandalism, the scratching of lines in walls. A spiral line is carved digitally in the images.

This note on golden ratio spiral memes was written for the phi pavillon of the wrong biennale 2017.

Kunstwert in digitaler Kommunikation – Artistic value in digital communication – H καλλιτεχνική αξία στη ψηφιακή επικοινωνία

wrongrid wrong biennale

The vastness of the digital realm destroys its own restrictions. Its endless wealth is provided in the form of art, inexhaustable, this generates potentials. In that sense, the net is a catalyser for activity beyond its own media. This happens, like described above for visual art, in constantly when we encounter artistic visuality, but it remains important how consciously this is happening.





aus: Ruins. The body in the eye of art. In: Offline Samizdat Magazin Nr. 3 (2014)

The gravity problem in the equestrian statue

Progress in the technology of casting allowed for the equestrian statue to rise from the ground. In the animation we can see this historical development in just seven frames.

view at Homeostasis Lab

shituationist institute birthday speech

While we agree that sometimes the outcome of the experiment are just zombies that stumble home on friday morning after thursdays rave, we still would like to ask if they are that much different zombies than the sleepy school kids on their way to class that cross their way at the metro station in the morning, as they leave and head for their respective institutions. Both in school and in the club different modes of destroying and evolving your mind and the rest of you can be imagined and are performed, that’s all.

read: 5 years of shituationism

Paris 2013

July 2013 saw two discussions about graffiti in Paris. One included two scientists of the EHESS and the ministry of culture discussing with writers coming from the 19th district of Paris, the Paris region in general, from South Africa and from Senegal about the artification of graffiti and the role of graffiti in gentrification. The other one was a meeting initiated by the Graffiti Research Lab, on the topic of tagging. One highlight included the audience, a lightwriting-artists and a calligrapher discussing lively about the beauty and ugliness of fire extinguisher tags. -> A report on the Just-blog

Deutsche Bank Macht Kunst

a quick english translation can be found here
deutsche bank kunsthalle berlin
Berlin konnte sich keine Kunsthalle für Gegenwartskunst leisten, nun macht die Deutsche Bank eine. Und ruft unter dem Motto Macht Kunst dazu auf, Bilder einzuliefern, die alle aufgehängt werden, um 24 Stunden gezeigt zu werden. War es 1848 noch so, dass im Zuge revolutionärer Veränderung die zentrale Kunstinstanz und Institution (der Salon) für alle geöffnet wurde, so existierte bereits ab Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts eine Krise dieser Institutionen (mit Gegensalons und z.B. dem unabhängigen Pavillon von Courbet auf der Weltausstellung). Erst wurde eine Gleichheit der Zugangsbedingungen unter den Künstlern etabliert (Salon in der Revolution), dann die Gleichheit auf dem Markt ausgetragen (Vielheit der Ausstellungen ab den 1860er Jahren). Danach kam das Jahrhundert der gescheiterten Gegenbewegung (Surrealismus, Dada, Lettrismus, Situationismus, Fluxus, Happening…), mit am Ende einer Altermoderne, die Künstler nur noch als unbezahlte Praktikanten für das Kunstevent braucht und schließlich die Gleichheit und die Marktkonkurrenz auf die Spitze getrieben hat: Im Jahr 2013 läd die Deutsche Bank explizit auch lediglich Kunstbegeisterte ein (der Aufruf richtet sich an diese, und an Künstler, Hobbyfotografen, Studenten…), Leinwände abzuliefern. Allein die Einschränkung auf Leinwände zeigt schon, es ist ein Kunstevent, es geht nicht um die unbezahlten Praktikanten in der Schlange, sondern der Kurator ist hier der Künstler, sozusagen der einzige der wirklich in ein Verhältnis mit der Bank getreten ist. Der Kunstbetrieb eignet sich die Struktur von Streetart an, alle dürfen mitmachen, solange sie einen Platz finden und ihr Werk geeignet ist flach an einer Wand zu hängen. Die Auflösung der wissenschaftlich-kritischen Institutionalisierung, die Hektik der Konkurrenz, das heißt Künstler nicht ernst zu nehmen, sondern mit Hobbyisten zusammen aufzuscheuchen. Die reformierte Kunstinstitution reformiert die Künstleridentität.

the screen generation III: cargo cult and gadget cult

„Rather than give out laptops (they‘re actually Motorola Zoom tablets plus solar chargers running custom software) to kids in schools with teachers, the OLPC Project decided to try something completely different: it delivered some boxes of tablets to two villages in Ethiopia, taped shut, with no instructions whatsoever. Just like, ‚hey kids, here’s this box, you can open it if you want, see ya!‘“ Ethiopian kids hack OLPCs in 5 months with zero instruction

the OLPC (one laptop per child) project found, that if you give learning technologies to kids, they learn something. what a surprise…

but the experiment went like this: people who are poor and thus excluded from education learned very fast how to handle a hightech device by motorola. after a short period of time the kids knew how to write in english, they learnt it by using the devices, and taught it also to their parents. dropping some fragments of wealth and then leaving the people alone with it, in the past from this came cargo cults (see WP for some documentations), religious practices, that fixed themselves to the technologies of transmission, resulting for example in cultist statues, that resemble the planes that drop relief items. connected to this would be the gadget cult. people who learn at a screen, don‘t just learn, they also learn how to be a screen worker. the difference to just placing children in front of a TV would be that these new screens have more interactive interfaces. instead of just being able to switch channels, now the kids can choose apps. but how similiar that is, that’s also a sad side of the project: instead of just giving access to high-tech, another cult was served, the app cult. it wasn‘t planned to teach the kids how to handle computers, but they should become users of very specific software. the kids didn‘t stick to this regulation, apparently they hacked their devices. it’s nice that this happened, but we wouldn‘t have needed this experiment to see that the app cult can be stopped. this is proven every day everywhere, by the speed in which every locked device is given mod-chips and jailbreak-codes.

queering faciality? about the fag face project.

„Accumulate cum so that your face becomes a volatile liquid surface with no eyes, nose, or mouth; keep the smell from rimming so that your face and ass are irreducible; let the pubic hair gather into different consistencies of stickiness; wipe the shit left on your fingers under your hidden, cum-filled eyes like war paint. Transform your face into a hypertrophized state of fag-ness. Let these new excesses dissolve readability. Let your fag face configure with these materials into that which is not identifiable. Once 1000 cocks have cum on my head and 1000 asses have wiped their shit and sweat there, try to tell me what my face is. We accelerate like this—fuck like this—to become faceless. Because a face is never ours.“ – Zach Blas on, March 15, 2011

The fag face project of Zach Blas / was presented through some texts and a 15 minutes video, and during the transmediale this year in berlin and it is currently in competition for funding through A response:

You want to provide as tools or weapons three kinds of masks: The first mask is the mask that unites homosexuals under what you suspect to be a kind of common mouth formation that supposedly can be unconsciously analyzed by humans. So the person carrying the mask would only be recognized as part of a group that performs a specific oral sex practice, and not identified as an individual. First step. The second step is aimed at providing a training ground for a new faciality, through building a mask that has more extreme dimensions of expression than what humans are capable of performing. The third step then is to evade recognition and facial expression altogether and go into a fog that provides invisibility as a precondition for revolt and queerness.

By setting the camera eye and the human eye in one, you reduce the problem to recognition, and therefore you argue as if without recognition of individual faces there would not be the exclusion of those that are defined as deviant. Where you touch the question of oppression of deviancy, you introduce the fog, as a little trick cloud in which everything is invisible and that makes everything possible.

And, as a basic problem in your project, you cut off the discourse around faciality, that you try to take part in, by putting a mask before the face.

In detail: (mehr…)

the screen generation II

screen generation

“In twenty-first century, whoever controls the screen controls consciousness, information and thought. The screen is a mirror of your mind, get it? If you are passively watching screens, you are getting programed. If you are editing you own screen, you are in control of you mind. George Orwell had it wrong. He was too optimistic. He wrote in 1984 that Big Brother would watch us from screens on the walls of our living rooms or bedrooms. But that is nothing. You could always duck out of sight. The current horror is that Americans voluntarily stick their amoeboid faces toward the screen six or seven hours a day and suck up information that Big Brother is putting there. Here is the key to our future: We can and will control our own screens. We are designing software that will empower you to produce and direct your own mind movies, your own prime-time shows.” Timothy Leary – 1987 Rolling Stone Magazine

Timothy Leary and George Orwell got it wrong, your own screen is your means of production in the market competition. The diffuse spectacle gets produced in an integrated mode (Debord). Work expands into free time (Adorno). A podcast economically is not a primetime show, because it’s tendency is superflous, hobby work. States will soon have to provide a basic income for the superflous people out of work, resulting in the eternalization of the poverty of the precarious proletariate. This is the real meaning of Big Brother, not a policy-maker, but state as a father figure that cares for you. You don’t get fed with information, you get fed with the self-reflection of today’s citizenship, with the ideology of the republic, with the consciousness of the free market. The tendency of this ideology being produced as media products by all, does not automatically question the hegemony of power. By reformulating the analysis of state and power to seemingly concrete entities little “Big Brother” in the sense of central authorities that need to be attacked, the perspective of using the means of production for subverting the mode of production got hurt. In the field of ideology it’s not the people against The Man today, it’s the people against themselves, the praxis of future politics will have to evolve from a process of critique. Participation is an empty phrase, as long as markets and thus the dogma of profitability are used to regulate it.

(just a little follow-up to The Screen Generation, Cult of the Dead Cow TexXxt #412 08/29/2008)

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.

(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.


translation of these notes on Gesichtsphilosophie
gesichtsphilosophie faciality history face philosophy

The interface not only crosses space: to look at means to empathize, to look at a face means to conceive feelings. Not towards the immediate. The modus is not dissection, but empathic association of constellations.

Appearance is partly played and partly unconscious visual expression of feelings. Language therefore is the fitting model, not the laid open heart, face recognition, lie detector. The communication without masks would be the abolishment of art, which in other concepts would be sublated in a play of miens. Otherwise hope would be scattered.

Search for the small – if even existing – fissure between the played facial expression in accordance with types, and that which is not possible to typify in the played mien, the true play, which even can survive in the image making process, and which has to resist twice, the industrial style and the identification constraint of the normed role models. It seems to get more abstract when the whole body is speaking, faces are too trained.

The face is caught in the crisis of history, aim to do Good Gesichtsphilosophy (a play of words, remixing the word Geschichtsphilosophie – philosophy of history – and making a philosophy of the history of the face), not just philosophize around on the face. It is not about truth, immediateness, the total mediation of all with all, the total transparancy, the knowledge about the inner and outer life of all fellows, it is about less pain (until the last pain of being human, the endlessly free human) and about another quality of being, it is about the conditions of the faces, the faces that are subject to history.

The mien presents itself as a played and conceived as played sign, in which, more obvious than it is with the words, a open space is kept in mind. It is basically a challenge to pick up this topic in art, for you have to consciously construct an open process, which goes against the grain for parts of contemporary art and its mentality of aiming at effect, be it highpass at the mixing console, color field signals, battles of symbols, cartoon figures or hard words poetry. Also not meant is arbitrariness, unpolitical, meaningless, endlessly open snapping and blotting.

Some work on this through stencils. As abstraction of the facial expression, to be sensed like seen through cloth. On the contrary: Mona Lisa, this incomprehensible and successful cultural product.

Play of miens: an utopist idea, in which the people freely play with a central means of communication, the playful system of signs, the face. Just that there is no historic break, like today only lookism, as a forced adaption of superficial norms, and tomorrow the free play of miens, but in the option to be quiet and letting the face speak, lies one of so many possibilities of communication. To be not understood, but to ask for empathy. This story needs models.

We already pay with likes, maybe we soon pay with a smile, the city becomes the catwalk of those who are superflous, the total integration of culture industry reconciles itself with bio politics. The class of the face performers and the laid open miens of the governed, who cannot control themselves. We have to recognize our tender mien play.

welcoming the end of activism

Instead of doing oracles of coming insurrections we present you with this text welcoming the end of activism. The attempt is to create from the analysis of the failure a history that exactly makes this failure and not the myth of the prior status the deliver-worth content.

read it here
or in german here

cyberpunk is dead

notes on the development of the so-called social web and the role of cyberpunks inside this process.

read the full text on

a shortened version here

une traduction française par Yannick Primel

a mix of the comments that the text received


why do we feel free only in small social circles? why is the global society such an uncomfortable place? and how should thinking about words and images help? let’s look at one word and some images.

squat tempelhof? fail.

squat tempelhof cops

In Berlin, some thousand people gathered to squat the shut down innercity airport Tempelhof last saturday, 20th of june 2009. The event was understood as a major action against the gentrification (a political term used to denounce the process of refurbishment of houses and displacement of poorer people – through the raising rents – from the inner city districts) of the area. Local government plans to establish a park and some upper class houses, together with some kind of new media district.

It was prepared in a way that different kinds of participation would be possible: going in with force (opening the fence), going in when force has been used by others, or only diverting the security forces.

During the day people were walking around the airport, people with backpacks were checked, police was everywhere at the fence. Clowns were arrested for diverting cops and going towards barriers, some people were arrested for throwing flower seeds over the fence. Some black block people tried to tear down the fence with ropes and grapnels. Bystanders didn‘t divert the cops, so the black block were hindered from action immediately as cops showed up. First failed attempt.

In another area one person on bike was catched by a plain clothes cop (allegedly during an attempt to cut a hole). As the person lay on the floor black block persons ran to the situation and the cop showed his pistol (with opening towards ground).

Later the day there were two big manifestations announced. The crowd was to split up and make the attempt to go in. The split up was failing due to coordination flaws. In the southern gathering point 2 of the 3 colours to follow were not visible. So everybody went in one mass. Police lines were broken through by just running through them. Some people from the south mass went to the fence to open it. The big mass stayed with the music on the street and didn‘t support them. Second failed attempt.

Now street parties were everywhere (a bit away from the fence) and black block gathered for a riot on the northern street outside of the airfield. Nothing more happened, police had the whole situation under control and no one got near the fence.

The local government couldn‘t just open the field, since the ownership is still split, so reformist appeals towards them were irrelevant. The interesting factor for the activists would have been if the local people could be mobilized against the fence that stands for government control of the space. The symbolic content of this action should have been to intervene in the decision making process about one of the biggest inner city open areas in europe. So the constant talking about how hard the police acted and the scandalization of the fact that the police showed a gun to the black block just diverts from the fact that this mobilization failed. It failed because the participants announced they were right with their demands and that they have the legal right to participate in the decision making process, and now feel being treated in an injust way. But this right would in any ways be something that is not existing, because it is only existing in the way of plebiscites that are not officially binding for the local government. Tearing down the fence would have been nothing else than an symbolic act of direct democracy in the normality of capitalist city development.

squat tempelhof cop spraycan pincer

#griots – andreas alexandros grigoropoulos

koukopoulos: earlier, the weapon-replica shop in Omonoia sq. was looted. There was a guy going around with a light saber, really.

aus dem twitter-realtime-feed der ausschreitungen in griechenland nach dem mord an andreas alexandros grigoropoulos: #griots. auch als flickr-tag.

from the twitter-realtime-feed of the greek riots after the murder of andreas alexandros grigoropoulos: #griots. also as a flickr-tag.

Opening night of the O2 World Berlin

o2 world berlin eröffnung
Picture by Björn Kiezmann, Creative Commons by-nc Licence

Report on some derive and direct research in the protest against the opening of the O2 World in Berlin on Wednesday, the 10th of September 2008

illegale 2008

illegal art exhibition in the sanatorium of beelitz (near berlin).

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