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In my life, in moments of clarity, in moments of being close to myself, the world has felt abstracted, foreign and incompatible. In these moments, I have felt akin to the patterns of eroded signage paint on tar, to the shapes of the clouds, to insects resting on a sun-basked leaf. I have felt disconnected, yet at home in the cracks and ends, at home inscribed into the patterns, nowhere to be found but somehow. (010717)

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I am not sure on which mental or metaphysical level this kind of disassociation occurs. It may be beyond the biological firmware, in the sense that systems of perception are recording everything with ultimate precision, in a kind of sensory equivalent to raw sensor output. It is not fully processed, as the cognitive system occupies itself elsewhere, with more pressing (and de-pressing) matters. But the data of every moment exists, and we exist in it.

Now, the thing to be learned is to re-associate again, to solely be in the moment. To let the sensory data wash through all of our being, and fill everything with the wonder of the phrase I am Here. To understand and negotiate being there (implying the ontological separation from the world) and being here (implying oneness of perceiving and existing).

Psychological Bar Reviews (7)

The coordination between hues of orange of about 24 vintage Polyside Chairs arranged around square plastic tables, four oversized umbrellas advertising SION KÖLSCH and the swooping letterforms so tastefully deployed to the menu headers of Café Hallmackenreuther is ever so slightly off, and thus achieves a kind of perfection any Pantone folder would ruin. The palette is positively exciting, reframing the scenery as an episode of quintessential 1973ish West-Germanness.

A table over, one of the quarter’s apparent doyens is holding court. With white-bearded smiles, patrons, strangers and acquaintances passing the square are waved over – while multiple magazines, tiny glasses of white wine and an eager young labrador keep being miraculously juggled. „Flat white, in a cup“ is the order, which is swiftly downed upon arrival.

Beyond the leafy courtyard, the café itself has opened its glass front, providing ample space to bustle about for a pair of stewards that tends to the crowd reclined in polyethylene. One is green-eyed, lanky and bumbling, a shoddy bowler hat hiding strands of streaky blonde hair and yesterday’s night out. His partner – all sagging thrashed denim and big-haired, nose-pierced, crop-topped street cred – is doing a considerably more professional job, inserting some urban eroticism into an otherwise almost pastoral scene. French, Italian and Kölsch are spoken among maple trees, all softly blending in the most pleasant summer air.

Hallmackenreuther, Belgisches Viertel, Cologne.

I grew up in a small town at the end of a country. There were few people like me. I learned to live inside my head for long weekends and days that failed to make a connection. I left the town the first chance I got. I don’t think about it much, but I still carry the worlds I made there. In a way, I have been casted from that place: its entire opposite, its negative form, but sharing every wrinkle in great detail1.

  1. Ich schrieb diesen Text für Craig Mod’s Ridgeline-Newsletter, der sich mit dem psychologischen Zustand des Gehens auseinandersetzt. Er ist ein Beitrag zur Sektion Fellow Walkers, zu der Craig fragte: What shell have you been torn from?. Er erschien in #38.

Melancholie der Standorte

Als ich nach Berlin kam, aus dem Durcheinander meines Lebens in das Durcheinander der Stadt, gab es eine Gruppe, die sich ausnahm in ihrer Ehrlichkeit und Schönheit zwischen all dem Schutt, den Optionen, den Drinks, der Sonne über dem Brunnen vor dem Dom und den Hackeschen Höfen, die damals noch ein Ort waren. The Aim of Design is to Define Space spielten Rock der klang wie Rave, und alles sah besser aus als bei den anderen. Sie sagten was ich damals hören musste. Der Moodboardpop des allzu geradeaus betitelten Depeche Mode wird mich immer an den Besarinplatz erinnern, die Türme des Frankfurter Tors, den Blick auf die Volksbühne aus der S75. Und daran, was wichtig ist (Frisuren und Schuhe).

Im vergangenen Jahr spielten Aim ein Konzert am Schlesischen Tor und nun gibt es neue Musik, eine 12″ und wohl ein Album, ein weiteres Konzert (Dialog mit der Jugend, the grown-ups are tired), das Alex und ich besuchen werden.

Es gibt nun eine neue Geschichte über diese Stadt zu erzählen, gleichermaßen dunkel und perfekt ausgeleuchtet: Aim #@%!$, das erste Release seit elf Jahren, nach der Volksbühne. Das ist alles, 5K-Schranz, Wut, Klugheit, Schönheit, die eigene Sprache, die rasierten Seiten, das tätowierte Herz. 1992, 1994, 1997. Teile von uns waren immer hier.

One might say that everything was better back then. The girls were prettier, the parties wilder and the drugs better. Back then, The Aim of Design is to Define Space was the best band, which was more Berlin than Berlin was the Aim of Design is to Define Space.

Am Ende dann Schulzkys Aimriff, das immer sein muss, auch für mich. Good fucking day, ihr Bauern.

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