anna romanenko / björn kühn

catalogue of liminal being, an underwater skype radio broadcast

may sixteenth twothousandandfourteen between three sixteen and three thirtytwo pm
she: i dont like this switching mode here, you switch on and off and on. am i on? alright i just dont feel very comfortable here and i dont see why anyone else should. my talk here is gonna be very brief. so, we also have been doing some strange teaching here and we have prepared a paper in two parts. the first is: why teaching questionmark and the second is: the diving assessment cen- ter full stop björn has by the way gone under water so its just me for now. maybe i tell you where we are right now. from leipzig you go north pass berlin, then you go east. cross to poland pass gdansk (danzig) thats how you arrive at kaliningrad, this small russian enclave, former königsberg. and from königsberg there is this narrow strip of land going further east. if you continue up the strip you come to the lithuanian border. cross it. and than you are here. the russian border is right there behind me, walking distance. you walk 10 min. and than there is a rope with a sign saying: state border. behind it there is the no mans land with russian military patrolling. its all former germany by the way. east prussia (ostpreussen).
now i start with our first part: first: why teaching questionmark actually, the question is not why teaching, but rather: why propaganda? for we assume that every true teaching can only remain true if you abandon the question of teaching techniques and arrive at plain propaganda.
in propaganda your subject is at its clearest. it doesnt hide behind anything. you see. everything is rising. temperature is rising. the water level is rising, ice-caps are melting. it has been all over the news lately, have you seen? and this rise, of temperature as well as the rise of water, it all will have an effect on thinking and on perception. we have to embrace this fact.
one can also say our time is catastrophic. not only environmentally. if you google world war three, 90% percent of the hits you get are from the last three months. yesterday, when i arrived in lithuania i asked an old lady how to get to the old ferry terminal. i asked her in russian, everybody speaks russian here in lithuania. some heritage from the soviet times. this woman, she looked at me and realized from my accent that i was russian. did you come from kaliningrad? she asked. did they let you through? i heard they dont let people through anymore. and then she continued: tell me, i dont understand, are we at war? one could see this woman had ex- perienced world war two, she would know what to do, she said. she would grab her little granddaughter and go under. only go out to get some water and food. she knows how war works. but the woman was confused, she told me, there were soldiers on tv and in the background you could see someone mowing the lawn. so what is this? is this war? i didn‘t know what to tell her. it is not war, but it also not no-war. we are somehow sliding slowly into some undecidable direction.
we have been accustomed to a situation where from one day to the next the rules of the game change, a game in which we all are, like it or not, a part. under the hegemony of flexibility we learned to affirm change as the main principle of existence and, for our convenience, also introduced some enjoyment to it. there is this good thing to moving in water, it reduces your sense of gravity.
so, let me ask a stupid question: is there a possibility of Change with a capital C inside the mode of constant adaptation, constant change, if you wish. Change seems to be yesterdays delusion, the only thing left is transition. in and out of work time, dinner time, leisure time, war, not war, as if there still were these things.
these things and spaces, for the spaces cannot be occupied any longer. their time cannot be filled. because time has already col- lapsed into twisted pockets of junk, constantly pulling down the edges of the space, which used to be your reading space, or your exhibition space or other spaces. they are all in the same black hole your neighborhood has disappeared to. did you realize you dont have any neighbors any longer?
have you been to the funeral? no, i suppose, for there is no one to bury. it used to be this way on the ships, where people just dis- appeared in order to die. in times of transition there is no burial either, for there is no corpse where there has been no body.
now i come to the second part: second: diving assessment center we have been doing some strange teaching around here. considering that everything is rising, that the water is rising, coming closer to our bodies, we decided to conduct a preemptive action. not sitting here, waiting for the water to come, but to actively de- scend towards it, as good as we can, embrace it. accustom to the marine environment. we have been doing some strange teaching here, in the water, close to the no-mans land, in the no-mans water, stayed in water, hoping to mutate we saw our fingertips crumb- le, altering the fingerprints and then the whole body also.
and we have been diving. there is hope to the partial oblivion your body and mind is subjected to during the physical dive. it enforces a condition where you are thrown back to your own body into a state where the body is perceived in a way that is similar to the perception of the outer world. the weight is vanishing giving way to volume. sounds transform, movements slow down and
the light breaks. the senses reflect from your surface – like prey it floats.
cooking fot the symposion
this somewhat narcissistic state of the partial oblivion creates a new vessel of reflection. there is grace to that and horror. the hallucinating mind is a diving one, conjuring up sha- pe shifting units and entities of pure semblance, setting up a new environment for no one to visit. this bubble of perpetual solitude close to the vortex of non-being is the place you have been aiming for. only from here you can become a diving species.
we have built a place under water, in the baltic see. you can come and we‘ll teach you diving. sign up on: