„protokolle’s“ English version
While others are locking themselves into their galleries, ateliers and studios to follow their artistic producing, I can only use a good friend’s old Laptop to express myself in those confusing times. It comes with an Australian keyboard and a battery that is always low, but still, it’s the only mean I can use at the moment, so I have to make the best out of it.
On the one hand the poverty of the means, but on the other hand – oh, how many new experiences are there now; how many unseen, unheard and untold stories are emerging at the moment! Since the coronavirus occupies Europe’s public news sphere it seems that there are more things happening than during the last ten years. For the first time my generation (the Millennials one, I’m born in 1996) is hit by an universal event. Nobody can withdraw, nobody can rely on the popular I’m – not – interested – at – all – attitude that is born by a spirit of superficial thinking and feeling; nourishing that spirit again from day to day. No – this time the strong feeling arises that one cannot withdraw and has to be part of a global history. Everybody is brutally thrown into the tide of events.
One can see clearly now the importance of his or her own life and of personal decisions, while the cosiness we all were used to is rapidly disappearing. While we’re all born with a highly individualistic world view, the only thing we know is the product of our own effort (and not the product of common cooperation) – but never we had to take a real one. Since the end of the cold war the western European societies were witnessing a growth in wealth in every part of their lives – outrunning the growth of the 1960 – 70s. All considerations of social improvements now derive from a bubble of privileged reflection, which itself can afford to rest idle. The wealth has grown too big that one would really like to change anything about the conditions of human existence; much rather one lies down after a opulent meal for a 30 – 45 minute nap to enjoy a coffee afterwards. While individualism was praised it became less important how one would decide in one single moment – more important is to move and act in general schemes, promising security, reliability and coziness. For example the scheme school – study – work promises a life without any material sorrows and it’s not really important how one follows the single steps as long as they’re mastered at all. With the coronavirus something entered our lives that seems to destroy those schemes and that can best be described with the term “singularity”.
..James Clerk Maxwell demonstrates in 1861 how to take a coloured photographic image..
The term “singularity” was first used by James Clerk Maxwell to describe unstable systems (and thereby to explain their collapse or transformation). Used in this context the term describes a relation in which a small cause has a big effect; in which a single event leads to a radical shift. Maxwell then develops eight characteristics to describe singularities which can either appear in social or in dynamic systems. If such an event takes places in a dynamic system it is always accompanied by a mathematically defined or definable instability. The Russian mathematicianAlexander Michailowitsch Ljapunow contributed a lot to the definition of the instability. It is defined as the most basic characteristic of a singularity, which is the shift from one state to another, and it’s sum is in fact nothing else than the extent to which the new state is different to the old one. Ljapunow came from a well educated home and he was following a university career quickly and single – minded. He was born in 1857 in Yaroslavl, that was the second biggest city in Russia until the foundation of Saint Petersburg in 1703. He went there to study, starting with chemistry but turning to mathematics after a short time. If and how much he was in contact with Maxwell’s ideas and works is unknown, but he corresponded with the frenchmen Henri Poincaré, who was one of the most important recipients of Maxwell’s ideas. But that was already after his time as a student in Saint Petersburg, which he completed successfully in 1885 with the publication On the stability of ellipsoidal forms of rotating fluids (Об устойчивости эллипсоидальных форм равновесия вращающейся жидкости). With this work he not only gained his graduation but also immediate international recognition. A truly singular event for Ljapunow. When he would move to Charkow to take over the vacant chair for mechanics his new students were also witnessing a singular event. His disciple Stekow reports from his inaugural lecture:
“A good looking young man, with a similar appearance compared to the other students, entered the auditorium together with the old dean, professor Lewakowski, respected by all the students. After the dean had left, the young man started with a flattering voice his speech concerning the dynamics of systems. This topic was already part of the lectures held by professor Delarju. I was in the fourth grade. I’ve heard the lectures of Dawidow, Zinger, Soletow and Orlow in Moscow. Also I’ve already been visiting the university of Charkow for two years, so the mechanic – lectures we’re well known to me. But I didn’t know the subject from it’s very first beginning and I’ve never seen it in a textbook. So all the boredom flew by completely. Alexander Michailowitsch gained within one hour – without knowing it by himself – the auditorium’s respect with the force of a natural talent, rarely seen in such a youth. Since this day the students were looking at him with a different view and showed extraordinary respect. Often they didn’t even dare to speak to him to not unveal their lack of knowledge.
Maxwell occupied himself in 1857, even before his remarks to singularity, with the mathematical theory of the stability of Saturn’s rings. The rings are an ensemble of several bodies with same mass, orbiting Saturn with a certain speed. Maxwell followed the question when they would theoretically be stable, i.e. which have to be the conditions for their real stability. He then concluded that they have to consist of independent parts, being either liquid or solid. With that the independence of the single parts became the basic condition for the stability of a system. In general one has to expect that Saturn’s ring orbit will fall victim to (self) destruction, caused by disruptions within the system like collisions of the bodies. Because the parts are independent of one another the system is stable. And because the parts are independent of one another the system will destroy itself. The independence is the reason for the functioning and the finiteness.
By chance I met another reader of Maxwell’s theories while I was taking a long walk through the city. Those wanderings, how I’m calling my walks right now, lead me often to unknown streets, passing by dim windows covering the tenants‘ fear. I can feel it very well, even through the glass. They locked themselves from the outer world and are now living in front of their screens, thrown back to themselves, behind their drawn windows and become paler and paler with every day passing by while the sun is climbing higher and higher. The depopulated city seems to be dangerous and spooky, in the next moment calm like on a Sunday’s morning and contemplative, then again grim and hostile to life. It’s buzzing noise has stopped, it’s tact has somehow lost the rhythm and through it’s asphalt veins drips just a small runlet of blood. All sources are ebbing for the moment. The restaurants closed; the coffeeshops closed; the boutiques closed. But not only the physical desires are suffering, also the intellectual ones are suffering an unknown hunger. Then ew life is without concerts, exhibitions and speeches; without sound, taste and colour hour for hour passes by; the same death bells are ringing every quarter of an hour and are echoing a hundred times louder through the alleys; leading the way for the processions.
It was during one of those wanderings when I stopped in front of a public book closet. Normally I’m not really attracted by them; too many badly written books are waiting too long on the shelves, but now, in the middle of this intellectual wasteland, I felt the strong desire for new thoughts and new emotions. The book closet was alluring me from quite a distance, promising relief. Helplessly I followed it’s call. When I opened it’s glassy door I was remembered quickly why I would normally avoid such a closet. There was the sickening smell of old, cheap and already yellowed paper making it’s way to my nose. Immediately I had to think again of all the living rooms with the drawn curtains and the high shelves made out of a dark imitation of tropical wood. In the middle of this room there is an old men or women sitting in one of the two big armchairs, the book lies open on the thighs, and the lifeless hands are hanging down to the ground. There were only a few backs of the books attracting my attention and it took quite an effort until I managed to take one of the books into my own, still not lifeless hands. I couldn’t tell why it was the one and not the one next to it. The intuition, especially the artist’s intuition, is full of changes and it’s the biggest luck and the biggest agony of every artist that he has to follow his intuitions every moment.
In my hands I was holding a book, the rims slightly yellowed, around 1,5 centimetres thick, with a white, cheaply factored cover. The front cover looked like a scientific publication. It was a minimalist design, only in black and white, but already now I’m doubting the author’s exactness and reliability while writing the book. It was published 1987 and treats the relationships between some American press moguls and the Nazis between 1930 and 1945. I wasn’t aware that such a connection existed.
One of the chapters speaks of a certain William Randolph Hearst, who is described by Thomas Walker, also known as Robert Green.