Thinking in Tanks II – project pitch

During the past months I have explored the telegramosphere. I went deep down the rabbit hole between conspiracy theorists, furry-fetish-role-play-channels, bitcoin advertisements, anarchists memes and black magic wielders. Within Telegrams option for so called supergoups and super channels lies the potential for an alternative social media network evolving unseen by most peoples eyes. What is happening there? By combining the classes original goal of creating a character who’s following a certain ideology with artistic research I plan to explore that parallel universe during the next months to map the digital unconscious of our global society. The aim is to learn about artistic research and the final result could be either an (experimental) audio piece or a visualization.

Working structure / To do‘s:

- who’s my digital alter ego? Is it possible to get a fake number for that?

- Gather and connect basic information on Telegram - Who’s behind it - History - Technical issues and functions - talk to hackers and people who now stuff about encryption

- Roam around and get inspired

- keep record every step to not get lost - also keep an audio diary of the experiences, could be useful

- Collect Channels and contents (postings, photos, voice messages) - Attila Hildmann - Martin Sellner - (…) - visualize the interconnectedness of Telegram Channels

Infos: 1579729?utm_source=pocket-newtab-global-de-DE global-de-DE

I grew up in Northern West Germany in a pretty catholic envorinment, but I was baptized as a protestant, eventhough most of my family doesn't really care fore religion and officially stepped out of church a couple of years ago. In all of the past two generations on both sides of my family people migrated, mingled with other thoughts that's how I often explain myself a certain sense of belonging anywhere and nowhere at the same time.

It is hard to compare my core value system to a given set of ideas or even a known ideology. Maybe typical for a person of my age at this time and place my core value system is pretty ecclectic. I am definetely influenced by different, at first glance maybe even contrary values, therefore a person I once met called me a typical (post-)modernist - whatever this means.

My mother and films like Princess Mononoke taught me to appreciate nature, while growing in a world of plastic and peer pressure tried to convince me of consumption, maybe even in a sustainable way. One moment I think there's so many possibilities and then I see myself giving in to cynism; everything seems pointless, "it's all rigged" and you can't convince everyone to boycot capitalism...

I want to get a critical perspective on my own filter bubble. Taking a superficial look around myself I see certain ideas of the progressive left mixing with neo liberalism evolving into something that I stumbled upon being called "progressiv neoliberalism" or "neoliberal multiculturalism" [1]. I identify this ideology as a widespread believe system among people of my age in and around the universities.

Slogans I came up with so far:

- Fake it, till you make it. - You can be & become whatever you want to be (if you work hard enough).

  -> a paradigm often featured in Disney Films 

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For my research I am trying to finally read some of the classical literature (Adorno, Marx) but also some new stuff about the link between identity politics and neo liberalism (Francis Fukuyama, identity) but also some contemporary critique on capitalism (Byung Chul-Han) and last but not least i found a theorist that discussing the problematic alliance between (feminist) identity politics and capitalism (Nancy Fraser).

My speech:

Picture a bee. It cannot fly, spoken from the perspective of physics, but it does it anyway. It's the mindset, friends. Focus on what you want, not how you can get it. Then you will lift off.

Who wants forgiveness, when you can get attention? You are beatiful just the way you are, let the world see it. Shine. Who wants to work, when you can also play? Konfuzius said: "Enjoy your job, and you will never have to work again." Let us learn from that. Who wants to be, when you can become? Whatever you want to be. Whoever you want to be. You can do it.

I am not selling you an ideology, I am offering you a dream. The dream of equality, freedom of the individual and progress.

Follow me and let us wake up together, to let the dream come true. Let's do it. Together. Change can be fun :-)

Ritual Magic + Progressiv Neoliberalism

Ritual Magic: - Man is made to evolve („sich weiter zu entwickeln“) - Storytelling is basically casting spells - Get control of yourself and thus your mind, the universe, through rituals - Focus itself is to be achieved

Progressive Neoliberalism: - Ideas of self improvement and discipline, rooted in the protestant work ethic, also developing yourself is becoming more of a trend according to Byung Chul-Han for example - Storytelling is used to sell, especially in contemporary marketing - Get control through self surveillance - Focus is a mean to maximize utilities (example: the paradigm of minimalism amongst the urban media people (digital nomads, the less you have, the more flexible you are)

The major difference seems to be, that ritual magic is more focussed on the inside of the users, while progressiv neoliberalism in most examples leads to expressing yourself as some kind of brand to the outside world. It is pretty much about presenting the world an idea about yourself via social media, in applications and so on. But this is not necessarly contradictional to the ideas of ritual magic. Julien Blanc seems to be the perfect example of an individual between both ideas. He is advertising self improvement through meditation, using is own scandalous story as a pick up story to present himself as reformed, by staging the manifest evidence for his businees model. He also is very much a metaphora for capitalism itself – change is only giving in to, when no other way of growth seems possible. He pulled back from the public after he got critisized for his appearences as a "pick up artist" (aka sex offender). Then he changed is business model, but there is hints that he barely changed; just the way global capitalism reacts to contemporary critisism by environmental activists, feminists and minorities, but does not its basic modus operandi.

Slogans: The pursuit of enlightenment (illumination, epiphany). Your mind, your word, your world. Find yourself, and win free spirtual counselling.


[1 ]Nancy Fraser:

Byung Chul-Han Die Krise der Freiheit - Psychopolitik im Neoliberalismus

Psychopolitik Müdigkeitsgesellschaft Transparenzgesellschaft

Wie der Kapitalismus uns zu Selbstausbeutern macht

identity politics:!5375695/

Adorno: Minima Moralia Dialektik der Aufklärung

Sybille Berg - GRM