warehouse warehouse

Today I am functional

by Christiane Heidrich,  translated by Max Wallenhorst

And while the possibilities rear to be touched, my own body definitely
holds still.

It takes me an hour and a half from my whereabouts to the destination,
that was passed on to me, but where I also want to go.

Seen from afar I hold big objects into the camera on a rotating basis.

My hands look unpleasant. They shimmer, as though they were see-through,
inert. As though laying unintentionally in time, referring to nothing.

I enter the destination, organs contracted. I don’t have a topic.

 

 

***

 

 

The questions I’ll ask myself today all have to do with handling.
The questions I’ll ask myself today all have to do with handling and consumption.

An order lies ahead of me. I cautiously lift my legs and take a look at the giant,
merely recognizable.

I fall in love with the idea of having a plan. I sleep on my laptop better than ever before.

The main part of the project is finished and there’s nothing to tell. I sort myself.
There’s a lot to tell.

My sphere of influence widened. Laughing with my coworkers in the elevator,
every time we sense more resonance.

 

 

***

 

 

Finished identity. Self-contained landscape. To edit the image no further.

If I formulate a request, a Facebook comment,
try to pull a small, sweaty thread through the eyelet and language

gives up at precisely that point, where it mediates too little in too short.

Could you comb my hair like something that went wrong,
but is supposed to come across really well? Bend my shoulders?

Lead the tools, close to the body, even closer to my skin? A kind
of jewellry that I could put on or off. Usage that I could put on or off.

Presspan, crumpled act-drawing, badly converted documents.
Nothing gets unreadable, though.

No real holes here, where our best clients sleep stretched out.

On a slippy field of unanswered messages. On a busy field of confirmed
and unconfirmed events.

Winking into surveillance cameras we know: Inconvenient feelings
are most open for their consumption.

 

 

***

 

 

Your choice, which begins with the shoulders. Carried on by other councils,
successively joining. Guessing at body building and structure,

I unfavourably agree to an inventory. Too happy the names, pivoting,
too dogged, nasal. In this space I simply add other items.

Like angles of bodies, leftovers – nobody can prove their
not-belonging-to-me. Something unhandy emerges for both sides.

Unforeseeable proliferation of sides, signs, quirks. What a preview!
This preview is the stammering glow in my face.

 

After briefly studying Sprachkunst in Vienna, Christiane Heidrich is currently enrolled at the Fine Arts Department in Stuttgart. In her work, she deals with
the entanglement of bodies and applications, tracing the relationality of computed self-actualization in social as well as other types of media. Her work includes texts, videos and images.

Publication of Today I am functional with kind permission of Edit – Papier für neue Texte.

Max Wallenhorst: Christiane, in your work you deal with digital surfaces considered to be neutral and slick – and you try to trace their friction. You work with media, in which these surfaces became the paradigm – with animations and selfies, videos and images. But you’re also writing! What I find super interesting, because a poetic approach towards Adobe-informed digitality doesn’t seem so obvious at first sight. Stupid question: Why? What does writing and text have in store for you and your work?

Christiane Heidrich: The increasing slickness of digital surfaces implies an improvement of software and, that one is capable of virtuosly exhausting their possibilites, which become actualized and more and more. I’m interested in the fact, that this development doesn’t as easily apply to writing. It’s not clear, how to recognize a high-definition text. Does this have something to do with context-specific, professional modes of speaking, „high language“, a certain inventory of the text? Do I associate this writing with the idioms of marketing and technology, because it is there that slick surfaces are present – or do vice versa high-definition enviroments effect speaking? In a text I can unravel the messy blend of appeal and compulsion, that these environments bear for me. I can claim pointed positions of speaking, that antagonize and are entangled, and thus don’t claim neutrality.

Inhowfar is writing a bodily medium for you? Do you have to design a body, so that it can appear in the text or is it already there, anyways?

The body is always already in question and this question moves the text. Not only, where the word body appears or body parts, but there, where the speaking fades in – the need, to at all say something. If there is a designed body, it is on the other side, wears clothes, a haircut, a form, writing the text. At the point, where it’s not about changing the design, in order to become someone else, writing maybe enables something: To play out the design in mobile constellations between I and You, moving through space.

What I so so like about these text: It’s never clear to me, if a sign of liveliness – „the stammering glow in my face“ – if that counts to be a glitch or if it’s just an especially realist rendering effect? Inhowfar does technological optimism or pessimism play a role for you?

Where the capturing of bodies and identites gets more and more precise, I of course look for the gaps, where it doesn’t help this classification, that the glow is clearly visible, where something in the technical withdraws from the technical.