Visibility

For two days I was already busy to change my rhythm into night activity. The nights were beautiful, peaceful. The dawn is fine. To hear the first birds: Hilarious. But still I was moved by a strong sense of separation. Probably the most striking point about changing the personal daily rhythm was the impact on the social situation. I lost touch with the daily rhythms of the congress participants. When I showed up, everyone else was already working for six  / seven hours. At four o clock in the afternoon they said „Good morning“ and smiled. They asked how I was doing. Mostly, they were nice and showed some interest for my work, which consisted in shifting the temporal rhythm. No one accused me that I would not do anything, but I did not feel comfortable. To sleep, when all other work, alienates. This feeling of alienation was also described by other conference members concerning their own working process. Diving into ones own, uncontrollable labor sphere apparently creates fear of loss. What if the congress punishes you for your absence? We play with the concept of vagabonds, we can do whatever we want, we allow ourselves to be unreadable for others – but the phantom of consensus is still very powerful.

This is a small indication to me of how it may feel like to fall out of the frame of a society. Many homeless people  have fallen out of this framework – and that was one of the reasons for the congress of vagabonds in 1929. But homeless people have no artistic concept about it. They have a concrete physical and mental situation. The first to suffer from exclusion is the excluded. Who can be told „you do not work“, „you social parasites“, „you ugly piece“ is first of all a problem for himself. He must think that he is doing wrong, that he is wrong.  At a certain income or social status it should be required to participate in a training to rise consciouness about how exclusion feels.

At a meeting arises a small conflict with the group „Robin Hood“. A sense of alienation.  Probably just because there is not so much communication between the groups.  Interest = attention, attention = value, value = acknowledgment = sense of security. Lack of attention => reject => accusation => „THEM“ <=> „US“. I find it very surprising how quickly and threatening the phantom of social alienation emerges. I also write my blogs, among other reasons, because I want to give a signal of my work, and of my presence and participation. Do we always have to communicate? Vagabonds claim to be free and independent…

I fall asleep at 7 clock in the morning. Before that, I spent a night in the hospital at the station 5A and wrote a blog text about it in the morning.  By 13 clock there is a vagabond session. And so the group responsability brings me out of bed. I had 5 hours of sleep. It’s day and normal working time. If I want to be there, I need to hurry, even if it is within my leisure time and outside of my nightly working hours. But it’s work as it takes place in the working time of the others. Work is everywhere. So I put a sign in front of my hammock saying „Work 24/7“. If your sleep is considered  as work, you work all the time. Suddenly I work a lot more than I would have when I only had worked during the day.

Many are concerned with the question whether their work is „work“, or whether their work is „no work“ in the eye of the others. And „no work“ would mean: Worthless. Is there – even on a congress of vagabonds –  no ability to follow seemingly meaningless, unreadable activities without mobilizing these senseless fears? It is obviously very difficult. We have signed a contract. We are paid. There must created something in return. The quote of Gregor Gog „general strike for a lifetime“ – here it seems to be a strange polemical paradox. Is it more than just a good sounding political slogan for an euphoric group of intellectuals who never were beggars? Someone on the meeting defends the illegibility: „We work like mushrooms. First nothing is been seen.  But eventually the mushroom grows and becomes visible and readable. “ Wanja mentions the concept of Hannah Arendt „tätig sein“ („doing?“), which of course opens a completely different horizon. This kind of „doing“ needs accaptance, confidence, generosity. I think, our temporary community in the Theater Rampe is quite a confident, humorous, generous group, etc. However, below us lies a nervousness, which probably most of us have sucked in by our life experience: The feeling of not being enough, of being forced to show activity, and to be always visible.

I was previously not aware that the time frame for social belonging is just as important as the activity itself or the place. If Justin Time tries to „do nothing“ in the public space during the working time of others, he works „not“ in the same time other work. And since Justin Time is an artist, and the „doing nothing“ is actually his work and constantly communicating, and so it is perceivable and understandable.  Justin works with his „doing nothing“ as much as those who go to their offices . Maybe he works even more. But he adds something: He makes a gift (I write all of this without having seen his action live).  Passers-by can use his installation in their own way. It is open for discussions. He works, I would say, but his work is the creation of a space that you can not buy. Justin’s art indeed is paid, but the experience that it allows is not for sale. If you had to pay an entrance fee, this work would be loose its value.

Siya, if I understand him correctly, enjoyes to attack the theater as an institution of the middle class. It seems that he finds it absurd that you have to pay for the theater while the experience the theater should offer cannot be bought.  You cannot express the value of a nightly walk with a friend in euros – like the other night my walk with Tobias Yves Zintel. If he had paid me for it, or if I would have paid him for this act the we would turn the experience into an „event“ or into something that can be possessed by one of us. This would destroy the core of its value.

At that point Akseli from „Robin Hood“ could intervene and tell me what the nature of the money is. In his presentation that was the point that provoked me. When I questioned his way of investing because I saw it as a support of the weapons industry, he just smiled mysteriously and said that one must just understand the nature of money – and therefore of the production of value I think.  Well, tell it to me. At that place of thinking I am stucked.  Andreas Liebmann 13. Juni 2014

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