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Archiv für September 2008

The mixer

This week we just can’t igno­re the most dis­cus­sed new ger­man twit­ter user: It’s the Secretary-General of the ger­man par­ty SPD, Huber­tus Heil. He used twit­ter during his visit in the United Sta­tes, whe­re he atten­ded the Oba­ma show in Den­ver. The­re are qui­te inte­res­ting nega­ti­ve and posi­ti­ve reac­tions to this new hob­by of Mr. Heil. You can find the­se reac­tions in twit­ter and in an arti­cle of the ger­man life­style magazine
Der Spie­gel.

It’s a cor­rect esti­ma­ti­on to say that some­ti­mes you’ll be cri­ti­ci­zed imme­dia­te­ly if you do some­thing for get­ting publi­ci­ty. You can see the arti­cle in Der Spie­gel qui­te easy­ily as that of kind of cri­ti­cism. But not every cri­ti­cism that comes up quick­ly is intrin­si­cal­ly wrong.

We don’t mind poli­ti­ci­ans doing things that nor­mal citi­zens do as well. We do mind if they’re just pre­ten­ding to do so. It’s one cha­rac­te­ris­tic of the poli­ti­cal stra­te­gy of Oba­ma, Heil’s idol and rea­son to come to Den­ver, to make clear he’s not that kind of faker. Belie­ve it or not. In Ame­ri­ca the media don’t belie­ve that com­ple­te­ly and the­re­for they’re tal­king about play­ing cards.

One thing that is crys­tal clear is that Heil’s sho­wing up on twit­ter was plan­ned as a part of his poli­ti­cal actions. You can see that in one of the dele­ted tweets of his account:

Most irri­ta­ting this plan did not result in pre­sen­ting any own poli­ti­cal idea. It also sounds like this who­le action wasn’t his own idea. And though twit­ter is much about pre­ten­ding and the idea that the­re is no non­con­for­mi­ty of tweets, becau­se the­se belong to the sub­jec­tive man­ner to descri­be rea­li­ty, Heil is defi­ni­te­ly a can­di­da­te for TMI to us.

This is so becau­se Heil con­ti­nuous­ly mixes pri­va­te, jour­na­listic and polit­cal stuff in his tweets. It’s not clear if he wants to be on twit­ter as a pri­va­te man, a poli­ti­ci­an or a jour­na­list. Actual­ly the­re are enough jour­na­lists and Heil’s pri­va­te life does not attract many people.

In this week’s tweet this mixing is inherent:

Heil tells us that the mem­bers of the ger­man Bun­des­tag Rolf Müt­zenich and Niels Annen bought a skate­board and shoes during their visit and that they now can get back to work all together.

Is this a poli­ti­cal infor­ma­ti­on or a pri­va­te one? We do think it deals with pri­va­te mat­ters of Müt­zenich and Annen. And for sure the­re will be jour­na­lists to see this in a poli­ti­cal con­text. Anyhow, Heil does not make clear what rele­van­ce his tweets have and how they should be seen as.

Perhaps we should read Heil’s state­ments as the fol­lo­wing tweet should be read, whe­re he tells us how Oba­ma should call his wife:

Bull­shit. [1]

So final­ly it turns out that the twit­ter ques­ti­on to Mr. Heil has to be posed more exact­ly: “What the fuck are you doing?”

__________________________________________________

[1] fol­lo­wing Har­ry Frank­furt On bull­shit, Prince­ton Uni­ver­si­ty Press, 2005

Der japanische Zettelknicker

Es gibt der­zeit einen japanisch-amerikanischen Insi­der. Die Ame­ri­ka­ner ver­ste­hen nicht die Inten­ti­on die­ses klei­nen, japa­ni­schen Video­clips, fin­den ihn aber lus­tig, was den gan­zen Insi­der nun auch schon aus­macht. Hier mal das Original:

Was will uns die­ser Japa­ner sagen? Ich wür­de ja eine neue Oscar-Kategorie vor­schla­gen. Der Oscar für die ein­dring­lichs­te neue Kör­per­hal­tungs­aus­drucks­ges­te geht an.….

The schemer

This week’s tweet is not much about fun. It’s in a way just a state­ment. IKEA paid a guy to stay in a room whe­re he’s being filmed all day. This was posted in quiet a few blogs alre­ady. And as Nils now turns out to be one of the top ger­man twit­ter users regar­ding coun­ted fol­lo­wers we had a short look at him.

You know, in the old days action artists did some­thing spe­cial. Some­ti­mes that was dis­tur­bing. And that kind of dis­tur­ban­ce was the essence of their art.
The art of this guy is just to sit and wait. But not in the Sid­ney Young­blood man­ner. He’s just wai­ting in a room for the new IKEA cata­lo­gue com­ing out in Sep­tem­ber and that’s all he does in August. And as the time runs out in August he tells us:

In the moment when he could real­ly do some­thing spe­cial, a thing he could have pre­pa­red him­s­elf for the last coup­le of weeks, he is not able to pre­sent it in a way that does not lea­ve ever­yo­ne bored behind: “I hope the post­man brings the new IKEA cata­louge. I’m real­ly loo­king for­ward for try­ing out my new life.”

Boy, IKEA stuff is not for life. It’s for not spen­ding much money. If that is a top­per of your old life and the star­ting point of your new, we’ve real­ly got no clue how simp­le you are.

If this pro­ject was just a litt­le bit more intel­li­gent may­be you could see some iro­ny in it. For sure the­re are some guys in twit­ter, that sit befo­re their com­pu­ter the who­le day. Seen that way this pro­ject could be a mir­ror to them. But how numb is it to say the solu­ti­on to that pro­blem was shopping?

This who­le thing is an old idea with no new ele­ments and it deals only with mini­ma­lism. A mini­ma­lism that is sup­po­sed to be spe­cial due to not ful­fil­ling expec­ta­ti­ons. Dear IKEA and Nils: We had none. And that’s going to be the essen­ti­al thing con­nec­ted to you.

The clever doggie

If peop­le on twit­ter don’t talk about them­sel­ves or their pro­blems, they talk about news, tv, films, other peop­le or ani­mals. If they talk about ani­mals, qui­te often they talk about their pets. And if they talk about pets then they talk about things they did wrong. You can hard­ly ever read a descrip­ti­on of a real­ly right­ful done action of a pet. Or may­be that’s just my per­cep­ti­on. It just seems not to be too inte­res­ting to talk about that.

If twit­ter users do not talk about their pets, but about ani­mals, it’s about ani­mals in their envi­ron­ment not belon­ging to them. Brittt is one of them. It does not slip her atten­ti­on what and how ani­mals act that are near to her. So she writes:

The first thing I thought is some­thing, I sup­po­se none of you thought. I thought: What a cle­ver dog­gie. He comes into the room, reco­gni­zes that the win­dow is open, jumps upon the win­dows­ill and does his busi­ness out­side for not soi­ling the room. Good boy!

Too sad a second later I thought that wasn’t Brittt’s sto­ry. She in a way wan­ted to tell that a dog was shit­ting out­side her hou­se and that she could watch him doing his busi­ness. And the open win­dow seems to be a link to me that she even smel­led that hap­pe­ning through her open window.

I don’t wan­na care. I think my sto­ry is much more compelling.

The nothing

Ladies and Gents, this week’s tweet is THE tweet.

It’s the ulti­ma­te tweet.

It con­ta­ins basics any twit­ter user uses. And it’s more. It’s art.
What kind of art it is, is what we need to find out.

So here’s what the tweet of the week is all about. Doomsham­mer says? Wri­tes? Shows? This:

This is more than just a tweet. This is more than just play­ing a tiny tech­ni­cal game. This is a theo­reti­cal and prac­tical expres­si­on of the nothing:

On the one hand you don’t find a sin­gle viewa­ble sign to identify.
On the other hand and as a result of the for­mer you don’t find any abs­tract infor­ma­ti­on wit­hin this tweet apart from the author’s name, the soft­ware he uses, the star and the time the tweet was made. If you want to talk about this tweet you are urged to refer to nothingness.

It was Mar­tin Hei­deg­ger clai­ming the not­hing noths (“Das Nichts nich­t­et.”). You can object against Hei­deg­ger that his hard­ly under­stan­d­a­ble usa­ge of tur­ning nouns into verbs is not a pos­si­ble way to iden­ti­fy truth. But this objec­tion could fail due to just reve­aling yours­elf as being pighe­a­ded. The mista­ke of defi­ning how to iden­ti­fy truth could lie in your own assump­ti­ons. But without try­ing to glo­ri­fy Hei­deg­ger we have to sta­te that Doomsham­mer shows there’s still some­thing after the not­hing has left.

Lea­ve is defi­ned by Hei­deg­ger with the following:

This is in english: “Lea­ve is the absen­ted arri­val of the hiding of kee­ping the pro­gress in the begin­ning.” So Doomsham­mers’ expres­si­on is both the absence of any tweet con­tent and the begin­ning of any tweet.

So do not let Doomsham­mer fool you by lin­king to his own tweet as a tweet of emptiness:

You might still want to say, we’re mis­sing the point. We’re over-interpreting the who­le tweet. We don’t have any inte­res­ting TMIs left and are urged to lift this up to one. Doomshammer’s just a nerd having fun with his iPhone.

So if that would be right our text would be TMI. If not we would have pro­ven the incredi­ble kind of art of this tweet.

We actual­ly think we can pro­ve our thesis.

We can’t do this theo­reti­cal­ly but wit­hin prac­tise, wit­hin one of the artist’s tweet. Take a look at what Doomsham­mer threw like an unsa­tis­fy­ing pain­ting into the trash bin just a second befo­re reve­aling his masterpiece:

The masturbation smiley

This week’s tweet is one you could have suspec­ted as that kind of type this pro­ject would have star­ted with. Tal­king about infor­ma­ti­on that is just too much on twit­ter is most­ly infor­ma­ti­on about sexu­al habits.
This is one of them and one that is qui­te compromised:

The sim­pli­ci­ty of the messa­ge turns out to rise a lot of questions:

Does Tony real­ly do that what he claims to do or is he just kid­ding? Is that an infor­ma­ti­on he real­ly wants to sha­re with others? What kind of pro­fit would someo­ne else have with this infor­ma­ti­on? Is the­re no one wit­hin Tony’s world that feels uncom­for­ta­ble with his?

Tony doesn’t seem to bother about tho­se ques­ti­ons. He even seems to be a rather rela­xing guy having the time to post a tweet while com­ing into action. But why is he adding a smi­ley to his post? Does he think: Well, you hadn’t expect I would real­ly wri­te this, he? Is he thin­king adding a smi­ley makes an action cool? Is the same con­tent bet­ter without a refe­rence to smi­ling (bes­i­des on the avatar) ?

Well, think about that. Or rather don’t :).

September 2008
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