On May 3, 2018, the official World Press Freedom Day, my alma mater, the Deutsche Journalistenschule (DJS) in Munich (Germany), conducted the wonderful project #journalistenschule: In times of so-called „Fake News“, alleged „Lügenpresse“ („lying press“), internet hoaxes and conspiracy theories the idea came up that current and former students of the German journalism school should visit any high school in Germany, their own former school or another, and talk with students and teachers about their profession. Altogether at over 100 high schools all over Germany we met over 7600 students and discussed with them ethical standards, possible mistakes and the crisis of the credibility of journalism in times of mainstream and social media.
Students of the politics course of the Theodor-Heuss-Gymansium and me discussing the currents threats of democracy, free press and quality journalism
Albeit journalism is not anymore my main profession since several years, I of course still believe strongly in the necessity of quality media and a free press for any democracy.
Visiting Joyce Hinterding & David Haines in the Blue Mountains (NSW), Australia
“Like linguists turn to coding, silversmiths turn to electronics”, says David Haines. For the Australian artists it seems to be the most natural thing in the world to artistically transcend materials, media and genres. Haines, who just has been awarded the 2017 Australia Council Visual Arts Fellowship for two years, to delve further into his “abiding interest in aroma as an art form” and develop a substantial exhibition across the range of his practices, is one half of the intriguing Australian art couple Haines & Hinterding. The other half is Joyce Hinterding, a former silversmith and nowadays an artistic expert on energies, especially on Very Low Frequency Radio Waves and Natural Radio.
During my research stay in Australia Douglas Kahn was so kind and generous to introduce me to his dear friends and neighbours Joyce and David. The couple invited me to visit them at their lovely home in the bush of the Blue Mountains to learn more about their art practices – an unexpected, spontaneous visit, which turned out to be one of the highlights of my research trip down under. After a nice spring roll lunch and some conversation we wanted to go and see some kangaroos together. However, I quickly became so fascinated by the multisensory artistic cosmos of Haines & Hinterding and our conversation lasted so long that the kangaroo visit had to be postponed.
What makes the works of Haines & Hinterding so fascinating to me is the fact that they are outstanding examples of artistic research.
Reading & Workshop with Ulrich Blumenbach
Seminal novel, ingenious translation.
The novel Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (1962 – 2008) was published in 1996 and is regarded as a masterpiece of US-American literature. Like no other writer of his generation David Foster Wallace knew the Oxford English Dictionary by heart, was highly educated and could mimic various linguistic styles perfectly. Thus his book became not only an encyclopedic novel with 388 endnotes, some of which stretching themselves even over pages. The novel also displays a huge arsenal of figures, each of them speaking more or less in a unique way.
On Tuesday, the 17th of May I will present the current state of my dissertation project at the Research Colloquium of the English Seminar at University of Basel. I am very much looking forward to this event.
Crashing of the airship LZ 129 Hindenburg on the 6th of May 1937 in Lakehurst, New Jersey (USA). Herbert Morrison’s radio report about the catastrophe is one of the oldest documents of radio history. Foto credit: Sam Shere
This is what my talk will be about:
„The antagonism between the technological development towards perfectly clean digital radio sound and the common idea of radio as a noisy analogue medium is crucial for contemporary radio research. From a literary and media studies perspective this antagonism can be scrutinized very well in the extensive corpus of over 40 radio plays by the German radio artist Andreas Ammer. Especially three of his works, which he created together with the German noise musician FM Einheit, are examined thoroughly within my PhD project. These plays are “Apocalypse Live” (1994), “Deutsche Krieger I – III” (1995/1997) and “Crashing Aeroplanes” (2001). All three of them broach the issue of “the noises of radio art in the digital age” by the means of catastrophic plots.