n.60 – Il cinema delle origini e la musica futurista

La striscia di celluloide non ancora esposta alla luce è l’inconscio filmico perfetto, nelle cui profondità si cela intatta e indicibile l’opera. Il diaframma, sorta di palpebra in bilico tra il sonno e la veglia, disegna i contorni del buio e gioca a diffrangere il mondo.
Durante la presentazione di Histoire(s) du cinéma al Festival di Locarno (1995), Jean-Luc Godard sostiene che «nel Cinema dei primi decenni c’è uno slancio, una forza che è stata irregimentata per la prima volta con l’arrivo del sonoro […]». Sino a quel momento, in lavori quali Rhythmus 21 (Hans Richter, 1921), Symphonie diagonale (Viking Eggeling, 1924), o Berlin – Die Sinfonie der Groβstadt (Walter Ruttmann, 1927), che coglie il respiro di un’intera città, i movimenti della macchina da presa, i viraggi cromatici, l’uso di nude forme geometriche che richiamano il dinamismo cubista di Georges Braque, o il neoplasticismo e le riflessioni teoriche di Piet Mondrian, racchiudono di per sé una notazione ritmica, musicale e la stessa tecnica di compensazione/opposizione delle luci acquista valenza timbrica. Per contro, al di fuori di precisi schemi (tetracordo, contrappunto fiammingo ecc.), il suono è considerato rumore: gli strumenti (a fiato, a pizzico, a percussione) e, nel canto, l’uomo vanno accordati e intonati in un’amalgama distillata e pura, esatta quasi nel senso ideale della Matematica.
Con l’avvento della macchina, l’impianto regolare e ripetitivo degli ingranaggi progettati e tarati a perfezione acquista, nell’orecchio degli artisti più spregiudicati, un valore formale che si discosta dal rumore. Ogni macchina sembra avere in sé una voce, un suono proprio, frutto di miriadi di cinghie, incastri, sfiati e attriti. L’accordo tra i congegni nel funzionamento, o la somma di più macchine al lavoro nel fragore dell’industria acquistano un contorno musicale sovversivo e nuovo. Le catene di montaggio nei capannoni, le strade tagliate dalle rotaie dei tram, le valvole metalliche e gli scambi, gli scoli, i sibili e i risucchi d’aria, i soffi dei camini e i fischi, le condutture gorgoglianti fanno, della città moderna, una fisiologia complessa ma regolata, una sterminata orchestra obbediente alla bacchetta della Scienza e allo spartito del progresso. La sala del perpetuo concerto futurista è ovunque, dai pontili del porto dove s’alza l’assolo di una sirena, al vicoletto che accoglie e amplifica il coro di una filanda all’alba, dallo stradone impolverato su cui modula le rotative una tipografia, alle pagine d’assedio di Adrianopoli in Zang Tumb Tumb (Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, 1914). Fioriscono così, in ambito musicale, pagine memorabili quali Risveglio di una città (Luigi Russolo, 1914), L’aviatore Dro (Francesco Balilla Pratella, 1920) o Balli plastici (Fortunato Depero, 1918), emblematico progetto di teatro futurista con il contributo di Gilbert Clavel, che anticipa, nella grottesca figurazione del ballo di marionette–automi, alcune linee tematiche e stilistiche di Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927). Mi pare che proprio questa rivoluzionaria estensione della teoria musicale abbia, tra le altre cose, ispirato un Cinema diverso, sottraendo all’immagine il controllo esclusivo della scena, sino a dividere col silenzio una parte che prima spettava solo al buio e al nero: l’inconscio, su cui s’imprimono luce e suono.

Finds of silence – Funde der Stille

genre: objects
technic: installation/archive
material: organic
year: 2016 – ?
ongoing archive on Behance
exhibition: “Stille”, Group Global 3000, Berlin, (13.01 – 10.03.2017)
qr

ABSTRACT

Trees act as living antennas, collect mechanical stimuli from air and soil pressure, adjust their freshly sprouted architecture, embody prints in the slow, continuous growth of their permanent structures. The back and forth vibration of particles, regardless of whether they belong to air, soil or whatever else, affects the living things embodied in the medium.
Each single cell hears sound, in the overall state of tension or slack a tree is capable of. Sound is an active force which constantly tends to shape things, leaving unexpected folds within vibrating structures. Silence, whose boundaries avoid tracing, hides somewhere within and around each shaped thing. It is the haunting, ultimate message morphed into dead trees transformed into a fortuitous sculptural medium.

Jede einzelne Zelle hört Geräusche, ob der Baum angespannt oder entspannt ist. Schall ist eine aktive Kraft, die unaufhörlich die Dinge formt und in schwingenden Strukturen unerwartete Falten finden lässt. Stille, deren Grenzen keine Spuren hinterlassen, verbirgt sich irgendwo innerhalb und um jede geformte Sache. Sie ist die eindringliche, letzte Botschaft, die in tote Bäume verwandelt wird, die wiederum in ein zufälliges plastisches Medium verwandelt sind.
Continue reading “Finds of silence – Funde der Stille”

Group Global 3000 – Kunst und andere Nachhaltigkeit: “Stille”

groupglobal3000-2017

Ausstellung – Performances – Gespräche
13.01.2017 – 10.03.2017, freitags 17-20 Uhr

Vernissage: 13 Januar, 19:00, Leuschnerdamm 19, Berlin, mit Whathappensnext-Ensemble Berlin, Metastilistische adhoc-Kammermusik: Connie Voss und Gudrun Doberenz, Stimme, Max Stehle Saxophon, Hartmut Arweiler, Gitarre, Reinhard Gagel Akkordeon und Leitung.

Der Verkehrslärm ist allgegenwärtig. Zuhause dudelt TV, Hifi, unterwegs Radio, Smartphone, mp3-player, Kommerzgeräusche im Supermarkt. Werbung schiebt sich optisch und akustisch ins Bild. Manche halten es nicht mehr ohne Geräusch aus. Lärm stresst und macht krank. Stille hieße, sich spüren, aushalten, ruhen, erholen, genießen, Heilung. Eine kostenlose Bereicherung.
18 Künstler/innen zeigen dazu mit Objekt, Photo, Malerei, Grafik, Video, Sound und Performance ihre Positionen: Sandra Araújo, Gudrun Arndt, Yegor Astapchenko, Federico Federici, Francesca Fini, Anne Glassner, Stephan Gräfe, Michael Hess, Stephanie Hough, Geeske Janssen, Anneke Kleimann, Maria Korporal, forschungsgruppe kunst,  RZEPRASZAM, Korvin Reich, Dina Shenhav, Svoradov Theatre, Sarah Wölker. Continue reading “Group Global 3000 – Kunst und andere Nachhaltigkeit: “Stille””

Poem after the waste wall

Most parts of the Wall were pre-fabricated segments, originally designed for other kind of buildings. It was never seen as the wall of a house, though.

An almost invisible thread
had guided crowds for years.
Rushing out from shelters
and bunkers, they gathered
here to eavesdrop winds
and western whispers
behind the wall. The firm
back of the winter’s hand
halted them all before it.
It didn’t upturn the hourglass,
nor did it shake and clean
its clogged throat.
The days were dust,
the dust that was their house.
Now none dares to speak to
those who’ve chosen to forget.
And we all go with them.
Dead men only speak
a language of regret.

The wall jumpers

I shake my head. Dead days lie ahead of us at the trial.
We would wander aimlessly long after the shutters were up, unable to work or sleep. We had hardly spoken in years.
As she disappeared, after sitting with me on a pavement around Alexander Platz overnight, I must have discovered what wall jumpers felt like – who knows from what heights fallen. No shelter. No heaven. All books and papers burnt, all lines broken, all nails cut, all suspects confessed Continue reading “The wall jumpers”

Taking stock of the Berlin Project (Original Manifesto)

The Berlin Project has been outstanding for me for a long time, inspired by an old second hand guidebook published few years before the wall fell, which I had found by chance in a street market. A dedication on the inside cover addresses an unknown woman: ‘Paula, September 1989′ spurring her into taking a trip to East Berlin, “with care”. No underlining or other marks suggest whether she did, or which way she would eventually choose.
When I first wrote to British poet David Nettleingham about this, I intended to make for Berlin, travelling through time stirred up by those old roadmaps – crammed with and dominated by physical barriers, social prohibitions and subterfuges, and by the mysterious fascination of documents and excerpts which I had collected during my stays in Germany over the years. I wished to finally compare the original guidebook with a contemporary copy, though somehow aware of the ultimate uncertainty of them both. Where did the frame end and real picture within begin in such an historical entanglement? What faces lay behind the mask? What voices behind the language? Ich und Ick, was und wat, Appel und Apfel: the Berlinisch replies to both an official language and a newer slang are born and restlessly absorbed in the perpetual flow of passing strangers. In the most secretive way, misspelled words retain the naïve inspiration of speech, like the colourful splinters of a shattered object. No neat boundaries survive: words demolish cultural barriers and animate the vivid spirit of Babel anew, within an underlying process of creative change.
The more information we recovered the more a spell was cast on Berlin, re-attaching it to the vague idea of some seat of the soul. What has remained of the wall other than its colourful memorials, in front of which a crowd of sightseers queues up everyday to save another smiling shot? Are Mehringhof, Ufa Fabrik, Kerngehäuse, Schwarze Risse (the anarchic bookshop) still there? And what about the famous Café Kranzler, Das Sowjetische buch? Have all of these names survived only on these maps? What path would we tread while moving eastwards, according to the fussy expatriation procedure suggested in the guidebook, following the Grenzübergangstelle; maybe standing again in a queue where the Andere Staaten gate was, waiting for our turn?
Despite the widely shared and accepted image of Berlin as a hip, germ-cell of new trends, the irrefutable contradictions emerging from its bedrock draw a veil over the scar tissue covering the wounds, without really healing them. Clearing away the rubble from the Second World War has not soothed the grief and the Cold War that followed was an even harder, since invisible, fight.
While Berlin treasures its hidden places and looks after each more or less irregular inhabitant who has made it his wish to be there, something still unforgiven nourishes the Stadtgeist. The new topography is driven by the mandatory force of a vanguard building plan. As it allegedly absorbs old relics within a thick concrete shrine, it seems much more concerned about its propaganda impact, in favour of a peaceful coexistence of ancient Eastern/Western rivalries in the name of wider interests, than about facing the actual expectations of people.
The policy of disregarding the widespread request of radical freedom, with the hope of appeasing it, is indeed creating the opposite effect, spontaneously drawing the alternative movements behind the scenes together to concerted common action. The failure of the recent attempt of eviction of the Tacheles arthouse, a former department store due to be demolished, squatted in since 1990, and the subsequent revolt of the artistic community marching across the quarter, is just another hint of the simmering discontent. Walls let whispers and draughts pass easily throughout Berlin.
It is facing this variegated background that Nettleingham and I have decided to start our personal research into the literature, politics, films and art of the old city interleaved with the new, picking up ideas, stories, photographs, quick spontaneous street interviews and other audio/video samples; working out contrasts and personal experiences. In this process, Nettleingham is much more involved in the social implications of the new city growing within/without the old one, and I tend to give prominence to the “walled in” feeling under the shadow of an invisible barrier.
Our aim is ultimately to produce a series of joint socio-artistic works, multi-layered, rich in different languages, bringing together all the collected materials, and unveiling the skeleton or the soul of Berlin.
The developing state and progress of the project is currently updated on the pages of a blog, reworked and revived with each new stay in the city.
We are very grateful to Canterbury City Council’s Creative Canterbury initiative for their support in the research and development of this project and hope new partners will soon show interest and get involved as well.

Das ist der Weisheit letzter Schluss:
Nur der verdient sich Freiheit wie das Leben,
Das ist der Weisheit letzter Schluss:
Der täglich sie erobern muss.

Faust, Atto V
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Bücherwald Prenzlauerberg (and more): bookcrossing in Berlin

In the past few days, ten draft copies of Requiem auf einer Stele have been bookcrossed in Berlin and its outskirts. Most of them are labelled with their unique ID (859-11287638). They are in every respect identical to the commercial edition but for the draft cover.

Details of the releases:
· on 26th July 2012 six copies were left on the shelves carved in the special dead trunks in Sredzkistrasse, Prenzlauer Berg;
· on 27th July 2012 two copies were set on the tables outside two old bookshops selling second hand books in Knesebeckstraße;
· on 1st August one copy was left on a seat at Tegel Airport Terminal D, and one other on seat 15F on Lufthansa flight LH 3490 from Berlin to Mailand-Linate;
· a few other copies and small bookmarks may have been left in different places around in Berlin.

All those who will read this post after turning to the net in search of information about Requiem auf einer Stele, will be presented with a new copy of the book and a copy of the new Red giants and dwarfs pamphlet (out soon). Just provide information (a photo maybe?) of where and when you picked up a copy or bookmark.

The Conversation Paperpress staff and I believe that poetry must always stretch from one hand to another. Words spoken and shared retain part of their meaning while simultaneously modifying the rest in the joyful variety of intonation.

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