Strategies of Avoidance
# 32 | Kunst? Nein Danke! | Berlin
soup | September 2013
Instead of doing the opening Kerstin Karge, Florian Kuhlmann and I invited to, we are preparing soup and sit around talking with visitors of the gallery.
# 31 | to be bored | Berlin
time | March 2012
Since March 2012 I am occasionally taking some time off to be bored. I am not doing anything else during these periods and there is no documentation of them at all. Besides being extremely time consuming these sessions often lead into states of dullness and disillusion and make it quite hard to get back into a regular workflow.
# 30 | to be late | Leipzig
time, patience | since October 2011
Since 2011 I am working at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig, Germany. For each appointment relating to this job, for example class meetings, consultations and excursions, I am at least one minute late.
# 29 | to be out of contact | Berlin - Internet
time, patience | August 2011 - January 2012
In August 2011 I have been invited to the NonBiennale at the web art center, curated by Jose Vieira. Ever since I received his official invitation to the event I never answered his e-mails, picked up his phone calls or in any other way came into contact with him or the festival team. I did not work something out for this event.
# 28 | to have another child | Berlin
time, doubts, patience, hope, love | July 2011
In July 2011 our second son Emil was born and joined our family life. Ever since we are constantly tired and out of energy. Keeping up a professional artistic work now seems to be almost impossible.
# 27 | to get ripped off | Berlin
someone, furiousness, doubt | June 2011
In June 2011 someone broke into my appartment and stole my computer. Besides the camera it was the only thing he or she took. With the computer I lost all of my data, work, presets and trust in the place that I am currently living in.
# 26 | to play | Münster
fun | April 2011
In April 2011 I have been invited to come to Münster and to present something at Berliner Kunstverein. But instead of working something out or to develop something on site I simply visited some friends and we played the popular german board-game: "Mensch-ärgere-Dich-nicht!" We also did this during the prize-giving of the academy of fine arts, münster and everybody present was welcome to join our game.
# 25 | to go on holidays | Gran Canaria
rest, joy, time | November 2010
In November in 2010 I just dropped everything and together with my partner and our son we went on holidays to Gran Canaria. During our one week stay we slept in every day, met a lot of people and went swimming in the atlantic ocean. This wonderful and recreational time without art has been enabled with a scholarship by the association Schwankhalle in Bremen, Germany.
# 24 | to be out of ideas | Leipzig, Berlin
good will, time | July – November 2010
Since I got invited in July to participate in the symposium I tried to think about a contribution for this event. Unfortunately nothing appropriate came to my mind.
# 23 | to rest undecided | Leipzig
various ideas, indecision, time | September – November 2010
Since I got invited to participate in the exhibition "Zerreißproben" I thought about several appropriate contributions for this show, I imagined the one or the other possible piece on site and I talked to the curator once in a while to find out what else might be conceivable for this event as well. The time in which I could have worked something out, has been exclusively spent on collecting all kinds of possible art pieces without specifying any shape, appearance or presentation. While resting in a mode of indecision I was neither able to determine what finally had to be presented nor capable of forming concrete concepts from my sketches.
# 22 | to delete | media devices, Leipzig
files, time | September 2010
On September 27th I accidentally deleted all data concerning my artistic work from the harddrive of my computer. The deleted files could partly be recovered over the internet and I was able to rebuilt some things from my memory. Still countless sketches and concepts irrevocably disappeared this way, making it difficult to work and require an humongous effort in terms of time to reconstruct them properly.
# 21 | to procrastinate | Leipzig
important things, good will | February – September 2010
In February 2010 I have been invited to participate in the group show "Abstrakter Realismus" in September/October of the same year at the Kunstverein in Leipzig. But each time I tried to work something out, I had to take care of something else first. Over nine months there was always something that appeared more important, more interesting or simply more comfortable at this moment. I fixed the car once in a while, I went out with friends quite often, enjoyed the warm days in parks, spent a lot of time with my son and even went on holidays twice. Finally I did not work out anything at all.
# 20 | to diminish | Helsinki, Leipzig, Nordhausen, Berlin
body, self-control | January 2009 – July 2010
Over the course of one and a half year I lost 30 kilograms of weight. This amount equals to almost one third of my original body weight. Ever since I am constantly freezing and out of power very easily. Also besides weakening myself through this unhealthy and longlasting procedure of self-diminishing I spent lots of time on a rigid self-control and on convincing people in my surrounding that I am really doing alright. In sum this change hinders me in terms of time and energy from getting my work done properly. It is also yet unclear how much effort it might take to reach back a defensible state of health.
# 19 | to break up | Leipzig
tension, fights, emotion, affairs | November 2009 – May 2010
Because of an awful tension, continuous disagreement and general deadlock, which was mainly caused by our daily routine with the arts, my partner and I broke up our decennial relationship in November 2009. Until May 2010 we made each others lives a misery. The overwhelming emotional chaos, a continuous fight on our son, several nasty affairs up to evil-minded actions as well as all related organisational steps and costs regarding the dissolution of a shared household, the modification of official documents and reports, multiple relocations, etc. made it absolutely impossible to focus on my artistic work. This part was closed at the end of May with a declaration of peace.
# 18 | to scatter | Leipzig - Berlin
equipment, studios, appartments, different cities, time | since April 2009
In April in 2010 I partly moved to Berlin without any specific reason. Since then, besides wasting a lot of time and money on travelling between Leipzig and Berlin, I am constantly on the run and unable to concentrate on neither one of the two places. Trying to organize at two studios, two accomodations and basically at two different environments with only one set of equipment makes it quite hard to work efficiently and often impossible to come up with results at all.
# 17 | to not read | Leipzig
literature on art, art history, philosophy | since December 2009
Since December 2009 I do not read anymore literature on art, art history and philosophy. Instead I try to find reasonable applications and usages of art books, magazines, catalogues, etc. for things of the everyday life.
# 16 | to party | Helsinki
fun, drinks, institutional money | March, November 2009
In March 2009 I applied for 1.000 Euros to the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts stating that instead of using the money on artistic material or projects, I would use it to set up a party for all students and staff members. Recommended by several professors the money was partly given to me and it was exclusively spent on drinks and snacks. The party took place in November in the entrance hall of the Academy.
# 15 | to not interfere | Cologne
time, parking spaces | October 2009
This part has been realised for the project "Lückenhaft" in 2009. On the parking space that has been given to me for the time of the project I did not intervene in any way. Thereby it was possible to continue using the space for parking and its significant function for the public space could be preserved.
# 14 | to disagree | Leipzig
time, effort | March – September 2009
For over half a year now Tibor Müller and I have been seriously trying to collaborate in a new art piece. But each time one of us came up with an idea or suggestion the other one would aggressively argue against it or simply make fun of it. In result we did not even came close to develop a new work. Ongoing.
# 13 | to forget | mind
time, effort | August 2009
Today, on August 1st 2009, I had a quite interesting idea. But before it might turn into a concept and later on into an art piece I will not think about it anymore and from now on I will try hard to forget about it.
# 12 | to leave out | Leipzig
time, tension | July 2009
Number 12 of SOA has been realised for my final exam at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig, Germany. After the presentation has been announced to the examination board and the audience I immediately offered to answer any further questions. After about fifty minutes of intense discussion the event was over and I unfortunately had failed the test.
# 11 | to occupy | Leipzig
technical devices, labor time | June – July 2009
At the Academy of Visual Arts I am trying to occupy as much equipment and assistance as I can possibly get. Therefore I randomly borrow the maximum quantity of books, cameras, computers and other devices available. These devices are stored in a locker in the basement of the academy without being used by anyone. I also reserve working places and distract technical personnel of the school to keep them from being available.
# 10 | to not realise | media space
effort, time | June 2009
After one month of intense research and conceptual effort I have fully worked out a new interactive crossmedia project. Neither now nor at any time in the future is this work going to be realised. To ensure that it is definitely not put into practice its concept will not be described, recorded or specified in any way.
# 9 | to pass up a chance | Tallinn
solo exhibition | April 2009
In April I have been invited to present my works in a solo exhibition at the Raja Gallery in Tallin. Thankful for this great opportunity I went to Estonia but I decided to not interfere in the space in any artistic way. In result I did not present anything at all. For the regular opening hours of the place I have been around and surfing the internet or talking to people that came in. A note on the invitation card informed about my intention to avoid an artistic production.
# 8 | to participate unproductively | Helsinki
effort, time, group exhibition | March 2009
For the group exhibition "This is not the place" I regularly attended the team meetings, I helped to set up the event and I assisted to layout the information on the presented material. Beyond that I did not work out or present any artwork for this exhibition. The only way to recognize my participation has been through the invitation card all participants have been listed on and a brief information on site.
# 7 | to relax | Düsseldorf
hotel room, time | March 2009
In March 2009 I have been nominated for a scholarship of the German National Academic Foundation. But instead of participating in the exhausting organisation of the event or struggling for an acceptable presentation in the overcrowded Academy I went maundering along the Rhine, did some reading and slept in. After three days I informed the comittee about my recreative time without art.
# 6 | to remain uninspired | Stockholm
exhibition, time | February 2009
While visiting Magasin 3 in Stockholm I attempted to remain totally uninspired. Therefore I did not listen to the explanations of the guide and I tried hard to neither be interested nor concentrated on the presented material and its contextual embedding. Every time I became aware of starting to pay attention to something I instantly interrupted this connection by moving on or forcing myself to focus on something else but art.
# 5 | to leave untouched | Helsinki
studio, time | 12 m², 17 m² | January – May 2009
For the time I was studying at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts I have left my studio space at the sculpture department as untouched as possible. Every now and then I stopped by to have coffee, talk to people and to check my mail.
After two months even though I had no use for it I applied and received a second space which was even bigger. Both unused spaces have been slowly recaptured by fellow students until they had finally disappeared completely.
# 4 | to advertise | Leipzig - Helsinki
100 posters | 84,2 x 59,6 cm each | February 2009
Number 4 of SOA is focusing on the announcement that commonly goes ahead of the presentation of artistic products and events. The format of a poster herein functions as the advertisement for an upcoming event or one that is already taking place. Certainly an actual presentation is not at all happening. Besides informing about an ongoing procedure these posters are also excluding a possible audience as they do not specifiy time and place of the promoted action.
# 3 | placing signs | media space
signs | since January 2009
Unavailable, wrong, incompatible or missing information interrupt the untroubled data flow and establish good conditions to hinder production in general. The best examples are misdirecting or faulty links on the Internet that are usually symbolised by the well known 404 notification. Every once a while these symbols and signs are used and placed to interrupt or cancel an interaction.
# 2 | being not available | media devices
unavailability, time | since May 2008, repeatedly
For number 2 of the SOA series I have been not available for one week. Therefore I left my residence and moved away about 500 kilometers. All technical devices that connected me at the time have been left behind switched off. Incoming calls and e-mail have been taken care of by autoresponder services informing about the state of unavailability. The deprivation is repeated every once in a while.
# 1 | wasting time | 1st and 2nd life
time | October 2007
The SOA series has been started with a collaboration piece of Phillip Sadofsky and Stefan Riebel. We pointed out certain times of the day when we seperately from another tried to do nothing. For the same length of time we were performing this non-action each in his world. Through repetetive training sessions we are trying to reach a state of being without doing as a state of concentration and self-discipline. These sessions are repeated every once in a while.