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Paul Feigelfeld
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I understand Paul Feigelfeld to be quite a sensitive man. By this I mean weirdly intimate. He’s apt to find your inner angst and discuss it at length with a true willingness to solve it. He has a rare empathy that sets him part from your average Facebook poster. He’s an expert on ideas that exist in far reaches of unnamed intellectual circles. He wants to dig deeper whether you like it or not.

It might be useful to know that Paul has the apartment of a seventy five year old man in an old building with uncomfortably high ceilings. The place is full of quite new things all slightly out of balance. Like the man himself, you can get yourself into unexpected situations in his company.

Gin and Electronics

Paul Feigelfeld about Friedrich Kittler's preference for Tanqueray
21.10.13
3 min
Post

After Eva’s Sunday manifesto, it is admittedly hard to decide what, and how to write. How to continue, and what to decide. Let’s go where it hurts, she wrote. Austerity instead of oysters. She even used exclamation marks! Manifestos always make me sad. There is a distinct melancholy to them, a clandestine consumption, a nostalgia for something that has not yet happened. The true impact of the manifesto is the virtual, oscillating, scintillating moment, present and absent. Even though writing inscribes and stores, can it transmit the unnamable? »In at one ear and incontinent out through the mouth, or the other ear, that’s possible too. No sense in multiplying the occasions of error. Two holes and me in the middle, slightly choked. Or a single one, entrance and exit, where the words swarm and jostle like ants, hasty, indifferent, bringing nothing, taking nothing away, too light to leave a mark.« [Beckett, The Unnamable] »Wer, wenn nicht diejenigen unter Ihnen, die ein schweres Los getroffen hat, könnte besser bezeugen, dass unsere Kraft weiter reicht als unser Unglück, dass man, um vieles beraubt, sich zu erheben weiss, dass man enttäuscht, und das heisst, ohne Täuschung, zu leben vermag. Ich glaube, dass dem Menschen eine Art des Stolzes erlaubt ist – der Stolz dessen, der in der Dunkelheit der Welt nicht aufgibt und nicht aufhört, nach dem Rechten zu sehen.« [Bachmann, Die Wahrheit ist dem Menschen zumutbar] I wasn’t there when Eva, Georg, Sam, and Carson plotted the coming insurrection. I will comply and write about juniper-based highballs: I do not particularly like Gin and Tonic, although it has been ever present in my life for the past ten years, being Friedrich Kittler’s signature drink. Every Tuesday and Thursday, after the first early afternoon classes in the brickstone factory building in Sophienstraße the Chair für Aesthetics and History of Media was located in, we’d head over to Oxymoron, Kittler’s main haunt, where he inexplicably also got a 20% discount. The usual fair during the two hours before evening class – his legendarily smokey “Oberseminar” or the programming course we taught together – comprised of a meticulously mixed Gin and Tonic, and maybe another one, or a bouillabaisse, if he was hungry. You can actually go there and try to order a “Kittler”. If the waiter has been there long enough, he’ll know. It’s not a regular Gin and Tonic. It comes in modular form. 4 cl of Tanqueray Gin, a small bottle of Schweppes Tonic Water, a quartered lime, and a glass of ice cubes, to be mixed yourself to avoid a watering down because of the ice. At his Treptow apartment, the usual was: “Sie wissen ja, wo alles steht, Herr Feigelfeld.” We would then debug C code.

Bleeding Edge

23.09.13
2 min
Post

I woke up this morning and my vacuum was full. My mother asked me on Skype which party I would have voted for, had I the right to vote in Germany, which I don’t, being Austrian. I’m not sure if I’m going to vote in Austria next week, given that I have been gone for 13 years and have no idea what’s going on. Another vacuum, the political. I went out to buy vacuum bags, which seems to be a bigger and more corrupt industry than printer ink and toner. Dust must be the greatest conqueror of them all, it occupies everything and will always be there, will always return. I made a mental note: research the history of the vacuum cleaner. I couldn’t find the right vacuum bag for my model, the Rowenta Power Space. That sucks, or doesn’t. Back home I found a package containing Thomas Pynchon’s new novel “Bleeding Edge”, as well as an email from Christopher, asking me to participate in the 60pages project, so naturally I decided that “Bleeding Edge” must be my first pick. It is set shortly before September 11th, 2001 and shortly after the collapse of the dotcom bubble, in another vacuum. There are covert FBI sting operations going on in the donut empires of the USA, a cruise ship carrying “AMBOPEDIA Frolix”, a yearly gathering of the American Borderline Personality Disorder Association, but also catering to people self-diagnosed with Generic Undiagnosed James Bond Syndrome (“Hasn’t made it into the DSM yet, but they’re lobbying, maybe the fifth edition…”), a video pirate whose strange method of zooming in and out of the cinema blockbusters he pirates is dubbed a “neo-Brechtian subversion of the diegesis” by an enthusiastic NYU professor, and all that before I reached page 15.

Gin and Electronics

Paul Feigelfeld about Friedrich Kittler's preference for Tanqueray
21.10.13
3 min

Bleeding Edge

23.09.13
2 min