black thursday

Late morning at the Institute. Still troubles with finding a work-space for me. Jenny has to do a lot of enjoying forms – without any visible end. We create different plans. I refuse the version of IKEA-cupboards. I guess both of us, Jenny and me are a bit stressed in this situation. Jenny, because these forms take a lot of time, seem to have no end and the result is still open. Myself, because if I won’t have a space, I can’t do really work to construct things – which I saw apart from all interactions, recorded in the diary – as main part of my work. Providing space for all possible objects, creating the installation called ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ – THIS would be the center of my impact –  apart from the whole set-up, the concept it self. As mentioned in the description, the presentation is a core-part, therefore highly important. If I can’t find a solution for this situation, I see the project in danger to fail! So, a most delicate point.

I try to explain to Jenny, why it is so important to influence the whole room. Jenny says, that they invited me, with the expectation to create a cabinet. True – that’s what I am planning! Now the cat comes out of the bag: There are different meanings to the word ‘cabinet’.

  • English ‘cabinet’ it referrs to: a small cupboard, a group of ministers and a box.

  • German ‘Kabinett’ it means a group of ministers (or other ‘deciders’) and a (back-)room – often related to natural science, mainly decorated or at least equipped. No meaning for a cupboard at all.

I checked the Etymologisches Wörterbuch to learn more about the origins; It has its origins in the french word ‘cabine’ describing a room at a ship – also small house. Later it was mainly used to describe a private (working-)room for monarchs and the Curio-Galleries. I have to add that in Socialist East Germany a classroom for a special subject was called Bio-Kabinett, Physik-Kabinett, Musik-Kabinett… . So actually I am still satisfied with the German version, that contains and describes perfectly, what I want to do.

Although the English ‘cabinet’ (according to Wikipedia) has the same wide range of understanding – even as room, but the cupboard meaning seemed to be very obvious for many people. Of course my presentation slides contained also cupboards – but mainly I was talking about decorated rooms. Also there were more slides of rooms, only one cupboard, meant to be a close-up of the whole show! Now I get the idea of the image Keng Hoong and Phyllis made for my project. Before I considered it as funny understatement.

Evon interrupted our discussion to get Jenny and me to have food – at the refreshment bar, set-up for today at Quantum-Café. I feel horrible, but follow them. Don’t feel like eating nor talking, at all. I won’t have much energy to cover-up, just want to hide and being sad about this misunderstanding. I think about escaping from this event. Not so easy. Maybe I finish my food and sneak back into office right after. Therefore I sit alone.

But no chance to mope. Marco – sitting some chairs away from me- introduces himself. He is part of Stephanies group – doing Computer-Science. I have some troubles to dissemble my mood. But then I got interested. He explains what Quantum Physics has to do with Cryptography. He says in an ‘classic’ connection, say a phone-call you can copy the signal and listen to it. In the quantum-world this would be impossible. You can not copy a signal. That makes it so interesting.

Easter-fun-party starts. That’s all I needed, right now. Sian is moderating the show – microphone doesn’t work. Asking what Easter is about. No-one really want to answer. Some unmotivated response – reminds me on school. I think about saying, that Easter was a clever Christian move to adopt the former Pagan religion to proselytise Germanic and Slavic tribes. The Easter origins have something to do with Germanic goddess ‘Freya’ and celebrating spring time. The hare and eggs are symbols of fertility. But I don’t feel like that right now and also I don’t know more about and my English is not precise enough – apart from that, I consider this as well-known knowledge.

Some egg-game. Sian picks me out to play the game, great. Esther joins me. We have to peel eggs as fast as we can. One is a century egg. Esther does it. When it is peeled, it looks completely black. Esther and me were the slowest ones, also we expected to paint the egg, not to peel it.

The round slowly dissolves – but I get to know Miklos and Troy. Miklos commutes between Singapore and Paris. He says Jetlag doesn’t get better after years, it gets worse. We make a vague appointment for next week.

Back to the office – figuring out ways of creating a presentation-system. Looking for ready-made fair stands. Not exactly nice, but maybe fits more to CQT-conditions. I write a list with advantages and disadvantages for a self-made presentation-system or a ready-made one. John posted my recommendation to look for Roman Opalka and his work “1965/1–∞” on his google+ site – he seems pleased. A ray of hope.

Board-meeting is about to start. I move my stuff to 6th floor. Six people are present: Debashis, Jenny, Julian, Luo Yin, Momo and myself (Johannes was authorized absent). We discuss the first ideas. I collect all of them in my book. We finish by 6:40 pm – way too long, but we had a lot to discuss. Maybe I should intervene more, to keep it in time and make sure, that we discuss every topic, that we want.

Tough day, today – different challenging topics. The board shrunk – this is an issue, that I hate within these projects. If you start to ‘loose’ people. Even if one tries to convince oneself, that there are many reasons for people to stay away. The chance might be over 80 % that it has to do with reasons, that one can’t have influence (such as interests, circumstances and personal situation). Also, if someone joins and stays. Which is okay – so far. All voluntary projects contain the potentail to be very beautiful, but also fragile and vulnerable at the same time.

Another point that I am unhappy about is, that again, there were no Artists involved. Even if I made fliers and we circled them. Phyllis posted our ‘advertisement’ on different facebook-pages.

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