November 16, 2016

Warning: This Is Self-Promotion. The Shape in the Air. An Art Philosophy for the 21st Century

A week ago I presented my newest publication in collaboration with the electronic duo Ducks! at Bar Babette in Berlin. It's titled The Shape in the Air. An Art Philosophy for the 21st Century and published in the mimas atlas series of Hybriden-Verlag. "An art philosophy for the 21st century" is a big subtitle of course. It sounds kind of preposterous to do so in the early year 2016.  Also for a book based on a conversation between only two persons - that is me and the Artist, whose true name, for the sake of suspension, I won’t reveal to you yet. Also in the book you have to be careful not to skip it: It’s mentioned only once, and even then you’ll have to use your intellectual capacities to put the first name together with the last one.

Of course, the subtitle is a reference to my favourite Andy Warhol, who wrote The Philosophy of Andy Warhol. From A to B and Back Again, which is according to me something like the bible of contemporary art. it deals with all the essential topics of life. Art essentially deals with exactly those topics although their surface might change: love, beauty, fame, work, time, death, economics, atmosphere, success, art, titles, and underwear power.

When I finished my book, I had this silly pride of having written an art philosophy of the 21st century in only 28 pages, which is, I think, with our current attention span, a very 21st century thing to do. But then Hybriden Verlag made the fontsize bigger and turned it into about 45 pages, which makes it into a less spectacular endeavour, but still an achievement of some sort. 

The book is set up like a detective story. I just have always wanted to write a story in which I use the word  “swell”  like the great detective writer Dashiel Hammett did. You’ll have to buy the book to see if I truly did so. I mean, you can imagine how hard it is to bring the word “swell” together with art in one sentence. 

I’m pretty old-fashioned in my choice of detective series, unlike Patti Smith, who is, this I read in her last book M Train, a fan of the Swedish high-tech ones. You know, I like Columbo where the murder is commited right at the very beginning and you see who did it, and the rest is just watching how Columbo will find out what you already know. 

Just one more thing - this book is not about finding the Artist. The Artist is not missing nor is the Artist hard to find. I meet the Artist almost every day, and if not, then we call on the phone. 

I would like to thank the Artist, and also Will Furtado who guided me in the process of writing, Jennifer Danos who did the proofreading, Lani Bagley and Craig Schuftan of Ducks! for giving the text a rhythm, and Hartmut Andryczuk for publishing the result.

The Shape in the Air. An Art Philosophy for the 21st Century (mimas atlas #19, Hybriden-Verlag, Berlin), in collaboration with Ducks!  The book includes a CD and an original drawing. You can buy it here

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