We live in a world of splendid contradictions. longdistance-cargocycling.org donates (again) to artenglück.de, a purveyor of wild flower beds to save remaining bio-diversity. Generous donation for a common cause with funds generated from plenty of cargo cycling trips.
The results of our actions: expensively compensated. There appears to be a requirement to reflect their impact in the first place.
Ruptures appear, we hit the wall. No fantasys to shape the future of our World. Too many competing narratives.
Today, we tell ourselves stories that we wouldn’t believe in the future.
Entrenched in bipartisanship, unable to sense the emerging space of possibilities. My bike as a silent observer, an epitomised option for an utopian alternative modernity. Contours of those realities already appear to exist, in pictures.
Towers provide orientation. The world over, the sight of a tower symbolises refuge, identification, safety. Seafarers, worshippers, and even the odd cyclist, rely on their dominating impressions.
A beacon provides physical beams of light, a church tower offers hope for religious enlightment; and following the invitation of the latter, a cyclist might not only find sacred comfort, but also more secular distractions right in the middle of urbanism.
However, I observe an intriguingly new breed of towers, popping up at the fringes of urbanity. Slim, with spiritual symbols of its own, it appears they offer rewards of different sorts. The cyclist, coming nearer, feels like having to navigate a sea of four-wheeled gadgets full of adorers flocking to this symbol of a new religion seeking convenience and speed.
It seems, if you follow the welcome pull of one tower, you have to manage another´s repulsion.
Perhaps the voices of those who kept asking whether my initiative was economically viable and who would pay for my experiments were very loud. Or the new just didn’t want to come into the world.
It seemed to me that in 2021 I was moving in a space of efficiency, where a constant “more of the same” commercialized the cargo bikes; a drive for efficiency that requires you to optimize existing systems. We are happy about cargo bikes in the cities, but actually those very inner cities cry for help; cry for a new thinking.
But there was another space, that of functionality. In there, cargo bikes are a multiplier of sufficiency and regionality. But apparently there were no doors from one room to the other.
In a system of me (A), the public hearing (B) and the narrative (C), which moved in the field of tension between a sportiive recognition of cargo cycling, the search for commercial realization and an integral claim, surprising results emerged:
B is stubborn; B thinks A and C are messing around. B is unsure who is leading: A who focuses on sportive recognition, or C who stresses an integral claim? C is completely on the side of A.
B complains: “A doesn’t manage to put the matter into words so that B understands it”. A’s behavior makes B angry. A invited B to come along, gets a swatter.
What is needed?
For C: put your fist in your pocket, explain, offer. For B: A and C can do what they want. For A: A would have to dissemble if it got involved in B’s language
… on the other side of the fence“, goes a popular saying.I decided to check it out in The Netherlands.
Both sides of the border: Green, lush meadows; flat land, at least in the north, in Friesland. Where’s the difference? My interest in the sweet specialties of our neighbours is pretended; actually, the food is only a side issue of my request to cycle sensibly again: When it comes to cycling, the Dutch are actually greener – in the truest sense of the word!
A biker’s paradise – the paths are wider and the surface smoother. A permanent embodiment of a real appreciation as a road user.
A cargo bike without a load? A film without a picture? The current program of Kunsthalle Osnabrück is irritatingly barrier-free: I cycle 357 km to find out how it achieves to bring down mental barriers.
The artists rearrange our established mental responses. A film without an image to concentrate on sounds and description of scenes and images? Sounds removed from the movements that generate them?
I enter the church. The ship is empty save for the row of screens facing away from the entering visitor. Half of the floor is covered with a patterned carpet. Box-like blocks on top..
The air is filled with a roar, it echoes persistently. The screens show film sequences. The deaf actress practices drums. The sounds of practice become irrelevant as the objects in the rehearsal room are rearranged.
Sudden silence; a call on the protagonist’s smartphone. The gestures of sign language are reflected in the mirror of the hairdressing salon. The roar resumes.
Do we expand our field of perception? We absorb information in different ways than usual, but how? An enriching visit
Kunsthalle Osnabrück: Raumkonzepte im Dialog mit dem Behinderten-Forum Osnabrück – Anna Erdmann/Franziska Goralski (Die Blaue Distanz); Alison O´Daniel (I felt people dancing/The Tuba Thieves).