Digital conversation series, Berlin, 2021

SCHMERZ E 01 with JOHN HOLTEN (Excerpt)
SCHMERZ Episodes in full-length

In 2021, I initiated SCHMERZ Conversations on Crisis. An interview series exploring strategies to counter social fragmentation, right-wing alliances and an undertone of crisis. With a focus on digital networks, viewpoints from different disciplines discuss how we communicate with each other today. The SCHMERZ conversations took place on the livestreaming platform Twitch. An edited version was uploaded to YouTube. Preannouncements and excerpts were published on my Instagram profile.

SCHMERZ E 01 with JOHN HOLTEN aired live on Twitch on September 16, 2021.
Like plastic bottles are clogging the world, #populist rhetorics and #nationalist tropes are clogging social media platforms. My conversation with John Holten was fittingly  “anthological.” From #Ulysses and its #postcolonial aspects, to the European #peaceproject, to #identitypolitics, to the #climatecatastrophe. #Empathy and #compassion could become tools of #resistance.

John Holten is a novelist, artist and curator. His first novel The Readymades was published in 2011 by Broken Dimanche Press, which he co-founded in Berlin in 2009. It was followed by the novel Oslo, Norway in 2015. Holten has collaborated with many visual artists on texts and publications in recent years. He is the host and producer of the podcast series Empathy When. He has been awarded Literature Bursaries from the Arts Council of Ireland, most recently in 2017.

SCHMERZ E 02 with ALINA ANA KOLAR aired live on Twitch on October 8, 2021.
With the urge to “re-imagine the way we live,” Alina Ana Kolar and I took a closer look at the #conditions of our lives. Where do we find apertures within the complex #systems we inhabit and create space for #counterspeculation, #radicalthought and tending to the small (big) things?

Alina Ana Kolar is a contemporary art historian specialized in visual cultures and the political semiotics of art. Nourished and trained in Vienna and London (Contemporary Art, Art History, Journalism and Communication Science, Political Science) she lives in motion between the so called art world and the streets. In 2018 she co-founded Arts of the Working Class which she since publishes and edits. She situates her curatorial practice, editorial expertise and art historical criticism in the current and tends to attend to the corners out of popular favour. Through AWC she creates apertures, invitations, platforms to host others, and programs for inclusion, entanglement and sincere care.

SCHMERZ E 03 with MARIO PFEIFER aired live on Twitch on October 12, 2021.
Proceeding from Mario Pfeifer’s investigative video works this episode revolves around questions of #civicsociety, #courage and #violence. Mario Pfeifer unpacks structural #racism and creates counter-histories to the German mainstream #medialandscape. In an “enraged” #society, “Is it possible to talk to a #populist, or not?”

Mario Pfeifer was born in 1981 in Dresden, Germany. Pfeifer graduated in visual arts at Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main, in 2008. Previously, he studied at the Universität der Künste in Berlin and the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig. He was a Fulbright fellow inLos Angeles at the California Institute of the Arts in 2008/9 and received DAAD fellowships in 2010 and 2013. He was an artist-in-residence at Vila Sul in Salvador de Bahia (2020), Cité international des Arts in Paris (2015), Gasworks in London (2013) and the ISCP – International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York (2012). Pfeifer participated in numerous biennales, as well as group- and solo-exhibitions, while his films have been screened at a number of renown international film festivals.

The project was funded by: Association of German Artists (Deutscher Künstlerbund), NEUSTART KULTUR


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