Thinking Together

On, Of, For, With Benjamin Patterson

A Conversation with the Maulwerker

With Ariane Jessulat, Christian Kesten and Steffi Weismann

Thinking Together, the festival’s discourse format, is dedicated to time-related issues and questions that lay at the heart of the festival.

Clusters of threads move across the white image area, emerging from a lump-like structure.

Visual concept & design: Eps51, Berlin

  • In English

Past Dates

In this conversation Ariane Jessulat, Christian Kesten and Steffi Weismann – and guest, artist Ann Noël – reflect on the ensemble’s long term involvement with Benjamin Patterson’s work and legacy, in the meantime, problematizing the exclusion of female and BIPOC members from the history of Fluxus. This conversation revisits various encounters, performances and concerts that the panelists shared with Patterson through the years.

With every re-performance of Fluxus pieces, the fundamental question arises as to how much must or can be lost through the re-performance alone. Certainly, it is too easy to put one's feet on the table and argue from the safe position that Fluxus cannot be performed again. With this sweeping judgment, one gives the existing Fluxus activities a uniformity that they have never possessed. The somewhat more differentiated questions: “Which Fluxus activities should still be performed today?” and “Which Fluxus pieces still have their lively appeal after 50 years?” are questions that the Maulwerkers have always asked themselves when dealing with Fluxus.

“But if the roots of all intermediary approaches between stage art, visual art, music and performance are condensed in the conceptual simplicity of some Fluxus activities, then the question of topicality does not arise. Then Fluxus is not a contemporary phenomenon, but a surrogate of all unifying approaches in art and thus highly topical, especially today.” (Ariane Jessulat) On closer examination, the Fluxus group consisted of different artistic personalities. To focus on Benjamin Patterson in this concert, with whom the Maulwerkers already played together in 2012 and 2014, gives the opportunity to examine again his individual handwriting.

“It matters what matters we use to think other matters with; it matters what stories we tell to tell other stories with; it matters what knots knot knots, what thoughts think thoughts, what descriptions describe descriptions, what ties tie ties. It matters what stories make worlds, what worlds make stories.” (Donna Haraway)

Thinking Together is the discourse format of MaerzMusik – Festival for Time Issues. Dedicated to the materiality of thought – the bodies, minds and senses that share this space –, the format provides time to connect to stories and through questions that lay at the heart of the festival.

Consisting of lectures, workshops, public talks, reading groups and experimental settings, Thinking Together invites artists, participants, guests and hosts to reflect present time related issues through the lenses of sound and vice versa.