On Fri, 5 Oct 2012, Johannes Birringer wrote:

[strangely I am trying to re-read them while watching Alan's machinima on Anita Berber and Sebastian Droste, now that is a very strange dis/traction to the 1920s and the queering of Berlin's underground & performance, cabaret and film scene)

Those performances were incredibly complex, and spoke to issues of suffering, addictions, and death, as you know; I don't see this as a distraction any more than any other past history is. These people - I'd include Valeska Gert - were walking a very thin edge, and some of them escaped and some didn't; some escaped themselves and some didn't. So here are performances that are recorded at best in film and with Berber hardly that - yet through text and images, they're uncanny.

Why wouldn't empathy or affect work through video etc.? I've seen video from films shot at safaris for example which still haunt me, as well as Martha Stewart's video she made for PETA, which I assigned students (yes, it's _that_ Martha Stewart). My own work (which you'd probably find a distraction here) is very much concerned with these issues online - that was the basis of my Eyebeam residency.

Grave matters here this week. After Alan, may I also dis/tract you by passing on to you a brief message just received from Argentine friend asking me about the camera work in Madrid during recent public unrest and protests, when drones?/surveillance helicopters? flew over the city, like angels, taking a look at the wounding?

- Alan
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