“Photography is a vulgar addiction that is gradually taking hold of the whole of humanity…”

– Thomas Bernhard, Extinction (1986)

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In the Penal Colony

“The traveler reflected: It is always questionable to intervene decisively in foreign circumstances. He was neither a citizen of the penal colony, nor a citizen of the state to which it belonged. If he condemned this execution, or even wanted to deceive it, one could say to him: You are a stranger, be quiet. To this he would have nothing to reply, but could only add that in this case he did not understand himself, for he was traveling only with the intention of seeing and by no means to change foreign judicial constitutions.”

— Franz Kafka, In the Penal Colony

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Das Harte und das Weiche

das Harte und das Weiche, das Saubere und das Schmutzige, und eben, als Hauptopposition, das titelgebende Trockene und Feuchte

–littell, das Trockene und das Feuchte

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The Centre Cannot hold

The Second Coming
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?


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And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Genesis 1:28

and the reason for the expulsion was the discovery of sexuality; or some kind of enlightenment, either way, he wanted them gone and here the program was set into motion. Fast forward sexuality turned into a commodity and the program threatened to come to a screeching halt, as this multiplication has exhausted that subdued earth. And, Mr. Senator, while you were reading out loud to us this passage from a book that you want to have banned, burned, and want to see bonfires to cleanse yourself in: Did you have an erection? And when you imagine drilling into the white-covered Alaskan soil to provoke a black ejaculation of oil – do you have an erection then? The obsession of evangelicals with other people’s sexuality; and their obsession to subdue the earth, intricately linked to this moment of expulsion from paradise…

Paradise, Berlin, October 2022

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Das ist die Welt

Das ist die Welt;
Sie steigt und fällt
Und rollt beständig;
Sie klingt wie Glas;
Wie bald bricht das!
Ist hohl inwendig.
Hier glänzt sie sehr,
Und hier noch mehr,
Ich bin lebendig!
Mein lieber Sohn,
Halt dich davon!
Du mußt sterben!
Sie ist von Ton,
Es gibt Scherben.

— faust, hexenküche

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All Disappears

When you want to understand something you stand in front of it, alone, without help: all the past is of no use. Then it disappears and what you wanted to understand disappears with it.

— Sartre, Nausea 

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The Two Per Cent


I feel like in times of these kind of seismic shifts, we tend to over-estimate the future and romanticize the past. 

I never thought so much of this “bearing witness “-stuff: war and conflict-photography has been fucked up  for quite a while now, the systems of control are pretty much everywhere in place and we did not need AI to do that, thank you very much:  proof for the weapons of mass destruction were doctored and the actual truthy pictures of Abu Ghraib did not cause much of a ripple in the miltary-industrial complex, except for Lynndie England… war will still be beautiful, as David Shields pointed out,

 and that a non-white Napalm girl could have moved the heart of America enough to end a war is an ongoing myth we tell ourselves in order not to lose faith in our cameras:

And has the heart of photography not been hollow for a long time before the advent of AI?! Does it really make such a big difference when the third hand of a model on a magazine is an actual  woman’s hand  photoshopped  in or if this model does not even exist in the first place? What’s staring at me  from the newsstand never  felt real: the commodity is an imaginary thing and the photo is only a complicit part in its construction. If a photo in a catalog is from an actual sneaker or just a stitched together Frankenstein-shoe does not rob me of my sleep. Like with all kinds of automations: this was mindless, boring, repetitive work for a soulless landlord\corporation- yes, it brought food on the table but it never exactly was the kind of work that advances mankind- it only sells more shoes.

We derive our self esteem as photographers from the two percent images worth looking at and often tend to forget that the other 98% are used for manufacturing consent and selling stuff. I can’t find tears in me if AI is rampaging through these 98%…

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