Magazine article Artforum International

Christian Von Borries

Magazine article Artforum International

Christian Von Borries

Article excerpt

Berlin-based conductor and composer Christian von Borries is also a creator of site-specific projects. His work has I been commissioned by Documenta 12, Kunstfest Weimar, the Lucerne Festival, and the Volksbuhne Berlin; in 2002, he cofounded the record label Masse und Macht; and last year, he produced his first film, The Dubai in Me. This month, he will present Global Design, a multimedia orchestral work staged on a cargo ship in Hamburg's Free Harbor.

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1 INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY The faux-pas term of the 2000s, intellectual property is nearly impossible to protect. There are only two options left: a police state, or to turn the whole thing off--to drive tanks into the Ukraine (major server farms such as Tangram are based there) and shut down every single machine. Let's just abandon it now; the idea of intellectual property never helped artists or those on the receiving end anyway, just corporate interests. Richard Prince--unthinkable today! And the old European business model that grounds the concept doesn't translate well to other cultures. For example, the Chinese language has many words to describe things that are neither copy nor original, some even suggesting that a copy is the more valuable of the two.

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2 ANDREAS NEUMEISTER is an author from Munich and the Jenny Holzer of our time. Give his assault of ready-made new German words a read--frozen face syndrome, zen mail, patriotic investment, downshifting, toxic shares, Newropa, plamegate, tweenager, soft news, iPorn, rankism, lazy interactivity, modern patriotism, midisage, edge city, adult pop, debriefing, shockumentary, non-target, stealth politics, agenda setter--or consider his slide show of three-letter words: FBI, Gap, MIT, MTV, BMW. Please don't say new language doesn't affect us! Neumeister knows that words alter the way we think.

3 WANG HUI A professor of Chinese language and literature at Beijing's famous Tsinghua University, Wang is the author of the best book regarding Western misconceptions of contemporary China. The End of the Revolution: China and the Limits of Modernity (2010) helps us understand today's world. According to Wang, when Chinese visitors travel to Germany, they want to see Karl Marx's birthplace in Trier (no Americans there!), Beethoven's birthplace in Bonn, and the Hugo Boss outlet mall in tiny Metzingen. To misquote an old Soviet saying, "Learning from the Chinese means learning to prevail."

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4 AERNOUT MIK The filmmaker who reinvented the silent movie, making it anti-narrative, looped, and multiangled, Mik creates high-end cinematography in precisely conceived settings that depict in images what Gustav Mahler conceived in music--a disturbed world of uncertainties. Mik's new video, Shifting Sitting, 201l, features an alienating court hearing projected across three screens, with multiple Berlusconis. Don't trust what you see! Mik doesn't, tending to speak in allegory, always mistrusting political narration.

5 HITO STEYERL The filmmaker who reinvented the "poor image" and the political art film, Steyerl makes videos that would be unthinkable without Baudrillard's theory of simulation and Situationist discourse. In her recent piece In Free Fall, 2010, Steyerl uses low-resolution found footage as a political tool. Surprisingly and unfortunately, not much of her work exists online. Apparently, being so low-key can be a political shortcoming.

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6 FRIEDRICH KITTLER The media archaeologist who gave us Discourse Networks 1800/1900 (1985) and Gramophone, Film, Typewriter (1986), Kittler taught us that one cannot analyze twentieth-century technology without considering the military-industrial complex. …

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