[NetBehaviour] stone bridges, QRRR and counter-Munich

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Tue Jul 26 22:15:04 CEST 2016


I'm afraid i feel more like a coward
and if everyone who goes on, only for surviving, is a hero
then the word, too, is utterly meaningless to me. far from heroic,
I feel demoralized, small, degraded, maybe like many others; and if we are privileged
enough, in some countries or towns or villages, to feel relatively safe,
to carry on, and thus, as some friends told me tonight after we met for
soccer practice, to behave "as if nothing happened so not to let terror
control our life and civil liberties,"  then what? 
do we carry on to make art, make another piece? go to a workshop, attend a symposium, 
read a good review (I just read one about an art work called "Those that are near. Those that are far"
by Walid Raad), carry on? 

I guess I tried to precisely point to that hateful liturgy in the poem I
quoted the other day.

Johannes

________________________________________
From: netbehaviour-bounces at netbehaviour.org [netbehaviour-bounces at netbehaviour.org] on behalf of Alan Sondheim [sondheim at panix.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2016 8:52 PM
To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity
Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] stone bridges, QRRR and counter-Munich

Yes! I agree, among everyone here.

On Tue, 26 Jul 2016, Ana Vald?s wrote:

> Dear Alan and dear Johannes and dear Ruth and Marc and so many others dear
> to me. Dear because we share a feeling of despair and frustration but we are
> stubborn enough to believe in beauty, in sharing, in creating...In the
> middle of the horrors of the Holocaust camps people created, in Rwanda poets
> found time and places to write, in Chile Victor Jara sang at the Stadium
> before they cut his hands. I truly belive as Albert Camus wrote once we are
> heroes. Not because we make heroic deeds but only for surviving and for
> coping with the small chores of everydays life.
> Ana
>
> On Tue, Jul 26, 2016 at 4:38 PM, Alan Sondheim <sondheim at panix.com> wrote:
>
>
>       We go on because otherwise one's giving into fear, I'd say
>       "just" giving into fear, and statistically and otherwise one is
>       almost entirely safe, not however in Turkey or other countries
>       where the singularity of the iron fist overshadows all. Turkey
>       is turning into another hell; I don't think (and I'm speaking
>       ignorantly) France for example is. The U.S. remains to be seen
>       of course. But there are other natural disasters, and disasters
>       the result of negligence or stupidity as well. And we can't
>       forget that there are other moments of exaltation; otherwise one
>       is living in a constant state of anger, anguish, depression -
>       and that is unbelievably counter-productive; that's happening,
>       it seems (according to the news) to be happening everywhere in
>       the United States now, fury from the left and right
>       simultaneously, and I fear fury as much as anything; there has
>       to be another way. So the question is NOW - what is to be done?
>       Should we accelerate the violence and rhetoric in a kind of
>       incandescent accelerationism, or should we learn, even at this
>       late stage, to listen to one another? (I admire the work of so
>       many on this list who believe in, open up to, the commons where
>       listening and activism, art and non-art, prevail.)
>
>       - Alan
>
>
>       On Tue, 26 Jul 2016, Johannes Birringer wrote:
>
>
>             apologies. yes, it was loaded, and terror is a word
>             I now dread to hear, day after day, and day after
>             day, and I am sorry i linked something that you had
>             sent us, Alan (not about the historical Johnstown
>             incident, but about your poetic media work with the
>             QRRR and the bridge), with a few lines that I had
>             jotted down from a a Munich poet who recently died.
>             I was trying to ask the question how we go on, what
>             warns us to be fearful or to resist fearfulness for
>             our lives (condemning, perhaps, others or seeking
>             for culprits to blame), to believe in the kind of
>             democracy we cling to or hope to live in if we are
>             fortunate, and what do you do when the tide quickly
>             or gradually turns. I write to friends in Turkey
>             yesterday, who tell me artists and academics have
>             now been forbidden to travel. Just imagine you are
>             told, sorry, you can't lave the country. You climb
>             on a train, and watch out to spot the aggressor who
>             may have a backpack on their shoulders, with a bomb.
>             You stand in line to a rock concert, and the person
>             near you blows himself up. You go to a fastfood
>             restaurant, some one pulls a gun and starts
>             shooting. You dance in a disco, someone starts
>             killing people on the dance floor. You walk on a
>             promenade, somone drives over you in a huge truck.
>             You attend a peaceful pro democracy rally, as folks
>             did in Kabul, and then there is an explosion. I was
>             asking for a counter narrative.
>
>             regards
>             Johannes Birringer
>
>
>
>
>
>             ________________________________________
>             From: netbehaviour-bounces at netbehaviour.org
>             [netbehaviour-bounces at netbehaviour.org] on behalf of
>             Alan Sondheim [sondheim at panix.com]
>             Sent: Monday, July 25, 2016 1:58 AM
>             To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed
>             creativity
>             Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] stone bridges, QRRR and
>             counter-Munich
>
>             "Terror" is already a loaded term and it effaces
>             sometimes what one might
>             want to reveal. We just have different attitudes
>             here. And poverty wasn't
>             the issue in Johnstown at the time. I apologize
>             again, however; the
>             discussion is too loaded for me as well.
>
>             On Sun, 24 Jul 2016, Ana Vald?s wrote:
>
>
>                   Dear Alan I think life is inclusive and
>                   terror in Munich and what happened
>                   in Johnstown are not exclusive but
>                   includes each other. Poverty and to feel
>                   different are the mothers of the terror
>                   as well.
>                   Ana
>
>
>                   Den 24 jul 2016 21:41 skrev "Alan
>                   Sondheim" <sondheim at panix.com>:
>
>                         First -"Lone wolf" - from the WSJ
>                   - "The Phrase Lone Wolf Goes
>                         Back Centuries A phrase used to
>                   describe the culprit in the
>                         Sydney siege stretches centuries
>                   back to Native American chiefs,
>                         Kipling and Crane."
>
>                         I've heard it all my life.
>
>                         Second - The bridge and what
>                   happened at Johnstown is quite
>                         different - two books are David J.
>                   Beale, Through the Johnstown
>                         Flood, and David McCullough, The
>                   Johnstown Flood. As I
>                         mentioned, I think, a minimum of
>                   2209 people died from drowning,
>                         the physical force of buildings
>                   bearing down upon them, and
>                         fire. The bridge was a retaining
>                   wall for debris, buildings,
>                         fire, people dead and alive, and
>                   animals dead and alive.
>
>                         It seems problematic to me -
>                   having been up and down in
>                         Johnstown, seeing the poverty
>                   there now, and so forth - to
>                         immediately have this slip into a
>                   dialog about the Olympics and
>                         the usual discussions on terror.
>                   Johnstown wasn't this; it was
>                         also very much about class
>                   differences, etc., but it was also
>                         about heroic efforts to save
>                   thousands and thousands of lives
>                         (which involved everything from
>                   creating hospitals from scratch
>                         to building railroad tracks in a
>                   very few days, etc.). It's not
>                         that I don't think the other
>                   issues and dialogs are important -
>                         they're absolutely critical - but
>                   the issues are not the same
>                         between the two.
>
>                         When I was in Johnstown with
>                   Azure, we walked to the damsite
>                         (where the dam gave way), where
>                   the Little Conemaugh River still
>                         flows - and for us and many people
>                   there, the issue is the vile
>                         pollution from mine runoff - which
>                   kills but slower - that's
>                         evident everywhere; the River ran
>                   bright orange, nothing lived
>                         in it at all, and it's part of the
>                   watershed.
>
>                         I apologize if I'm overstepping my
>                   bounds here, in the
>                         discussion; I just feel odd about
>                   the slippage into a discourse
>                         which seemed to me to efface what
>                   happened 5/31/1889 in
>                         Johnstown, what's happening there
>                   now as well.
>
>                         Alan
>
>                         On Sun, 24 Jul 2016, Johannes
>                   Birringer wrote:
>
>
>                               Dear Ana
>
>                               not wanting to engage in
>                   ideological fracturings
>                               here, to be honest; you must
>                   be refering to the
>                               passage that my friend from
>                   Houston had sent me in
>                               the reference to the Olympic
>                   Games of 1972, he
>                               spotted a sinister irony in
>                   the choice of the site;
>                               you will recall that the
>                   militant group 'Black
>                               September' , a palestinian
>                   organization, took
>                               responsibility for the
>                   hostage taking, there is
>                               little disputing that, and i
>                   had no intention of
>                               causing harm with labeling.
>
>                               I was more interested in the
>                   perversion of term lone
>                               wolf (which was a literary
>                   term i think, from
>                               Hesse's Steppenwolf). My
>                   friend from Texas also
>                               pondered the scene he found
>                   on the internet captured
>                               during the Munich shootings
>                   last Friday: "An
>                               extraordinary altercation
>                   took place between some
>                               individuals filming the
>                   Munich killer as he wandered
>                               around a roof car park which
>                   was empty. A fair
>                               amount of invective was
>                   directed from the group
>                               doing the filming at the
>                   killer below. His response
>                               to this was to repeat, "I am
>                   German." A strange
>                               response. There is perhaps
>                   no easy answer to the
>                               question, 'What did he
>                   mean?'"
>
>                               maybe you have an answer.
>                               regards
>                               jb
>
>
>
>                   ________________________________________
>                               From:
>                   netbehaviour-bounces at netbehaviour.org
>
>                   [netbehaviour-bounces at netbehaviour.org]
>                   on behalf of
>                               Ana Vald?s
>                   [agora158 at gmail.com]
>                               Sent: Sunday, July 24, 2016
>                   9:11 PM
>                               To: NetBehaviour for
>                   networked distributed
>                               creativity
>                               Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour]
>                   stone bridges, QRRR and
>                               counter-Munich
>
>                               Johannes I am always moved
>                   by your words. You have
>                               such a touching way to paint
>                   with words:)
>                               When you use the words
>                   "Palestinian terrorists" I
>                               react. Because I has been in
>                   Palestine several times
>                               and the only terror I met
>                   was that exerced by the
>                               Israeli soldiers at the
>                   checkpoints making us run
>                               from their rubber bullets
>                   and from their gas
>                               grenades.
>                               And many of the old Israeli
>                   politicians, as Menachem
>                               Begin, Sharon and others
>                   were called terrorists by
>                               the English when they bombed
>                   the King David Hotel
>                               killing many civilians and
>                   when they killed the
>                               envoy from the United
>                   Nations Folke Bernadotte.
>                               You are born in a country
>                   who exerced terror over
>                               Europe and Africa killing
>                   civilians and executing
>                               Jews, homosexuals and
>                   dissidents. The English
>                               exerced terror over the
>                   Boers in South Africa and
>                               were the first creating
>                   concentration camps.
>                               The French called the time
>                   between 1791 and 1794 the
>                               Regime of the Terror when
>                   not only the French
>                               aristocracy but also the
>                   political dissidents paid
>                               with their life their
>                   dissent.
>                               My point is terror is such
>                   an ambiguous word and I
>                               think no one should label
>                   others with it since
>                               terror seems to be inherent
>                   to all people and to all
>                               cultures.
>
>                               Ana
>
>                               On Sun, Jul 24, 2016 at 1:56
>                   PM, Johannes Birringer
>
>                   <Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk<mailto:Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk>>
>                               wrote:
>
>
>                               Receiving a note from Alan
>                   Sondheim, on the road, he
>                               mentions a stone bridge
>                   where he
>                               created a piece "changing
>                   the bridge lighting to
>                               produce,
>                               sequentially, and on
>                   different lighting
>                               levels/apparatus, SOS, QRRR,
>                   and
>                               MAYDAY (QRRR is an old radio
>                   code for
>                               warning/danger/disaster);
>                   this
>                               alternative with flame-light
>                   images on the bridge
>                               side (invisible from the
>                               trains that run above it)
>                   representing burning
>                               crushed buildings and
>                               people....."
>
>                               i am not sure why I think of
>                   the bridge, but a
>                               friend from Texas, after I
>                   told him
>                               about the chaos in Europe,
>                   the shootings, the
>                               terror, the military
>                   putsches, purges,
>                               and the new security
>                   measures, the increasingly
>                               heated debates on refugees
>                               and migration, Islamism,
>                   fascism, and violence,
>                               well, he noted that the
>                   shootings
>                               in Munich took place on the
>                   site of the former
>                               Olympic Park.
>
>                               The Olympia shopping centre
>                   is a two-tiered
>                               glass-covered mall that was
>                   built on the site of the
>                               1972 Olympics.
>                               The Munich Games were
>                   overshadowed by a terrorist
>                               attack in which 11 Israeli
>                   sportsmen and a German
>                               policeman were
>                               killed after being taken
>                   hostage by Palestinian
>                               terrorists.
>
>                               Now we hear that the
>                   shooting last Friday was by a
>                               young "lone wolf" (and what
>                   exactly do they mean by
>                               lone wolf).
>
>
>
>                               A Munich-based poet, the
>                   late Paul W?hr, once wrote
>                               about Die Wirklichkeit unter
>                   Beschuss (reality under
>                               shooting attack)
>
>                               alles ist doch in Ordnung /
>                               es geht weiter /
>                               ich glaube /
>                               ich glaube es geht weiter /
>                               ja des glaub ich schon.
>
>
>                               (translated)
>
>                               everything's all right, no?
>                   /
>                               life goes on /
>                               I believe /
>                               I believe life goes on /
>                               yeah, I believe so /
>
>
>
>                               that short QRRR, I tend to
>                   think, was meant as
>                               W?hr's satirical comment on
>                   "weltfromme
>                               Bekenntnisformeln" ,  pious
>                   liturgies that we tell
>                               ourselves, as we must repeat
>                   them and murmur them in
>                               the face of the all the
>                   constant flare ups.
>
>
>
>                               Johannes Birringer
>                               c/o Interaktionslabor
>                   G?ttelborn
>
>
>                   _______________________________________________
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>
>
>                               --
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>
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>
>
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