CHAPTER V: December 2018
Dear friends, let’s celebrate.
As the year comes to an end, we as Kulturfolger, would like to present you a gift, wrapped both in English and German. 
It’s not just any gift; this one comes as an ambiguity. It is a beautiful gift, luxurious, and relational, but as well poisonous, binding and challenging. It evokes responsibility. This gift is between You, the artist Silvio Vujicic, and Kulturfolger. This gift is not only an object, but is also a transaction and a social relation. This gift talks about collectivity closely interlaced with a giving; about communities that become visible the moment certain objects start circulating between their members. And yet, there is no gift-relation without something being given and received. It is the movement of the gift, which creates the bond between you and us, us and you back again. Something given, and something passed on. We parasite on each other, we feast off each other’s table.
To refuse a luxurious gift is an insult, if not a declaration of war. The greater the gift, the greater the responsibility.
So be careful with your next move.
This gift is a relation, an origin of a relation to come.
Our gift comes as a black box, as a luminous trace of the social bond.
The black box containing a gift is as well poisonous.
It all depends on the dose, and intention.
A poison is a gift, one that saves lives if treated with care.
The same goes from Silvio Vujicic. Between poison and stimulant, between beauty and accident. A fine balance of dramaturgy.
We have seen it before, in the historical tales of gift, of poison.
Tale nr.1: Begining of time; A fictional cadeau empoisonné: An apple. Counts of indictment: Desire. The fruit passed over from Eve to Adam, the first relation of love, of disobedience, of knowledge, of risk, and of mad prophecy. It was because of the apple passed around between them that Adam and Eve discovered themselves not only as sinful and mortal, but also as lovers. A bite that changes everything.
Tale nr.2: Athens, 399 BC. Counts of indictment: treason and corrupting the young men of Athens. Socrates received his dose of death sentence as a potent infusion of the hemlock plant. A gift of self for the order of the state. A gift through poisonous giving. A principle.
Tale nr.3: Rome, as early as 331 BC. The occasion is so special, so rare, so perfectly plated, so impeccably orchestrated. Poisoning carried out at the decadent dinner table or common eating or drinking area. In charge of counts of indictment: Nero, Claudius… Jealousy
In the grand finale of the year we don’t want to poison you, just stimulate you, if you accept. It is a gift that could become anything, a potential for pleasure. It’s all about luxurious relation and subtle tension. A Gift by Silvio Vujičić has a capacity to detect and provoke the many meanings of the gift. It is crystallization and sublimation. A hazardous dose of crystalline xanthine alkaloid, better known as caffeine, one of the strongest unregulated psychostimulant on the market in a form of five artifacts. Positioned on heating plates, artifacts are vehicles. They facilitate the transformational activity of whose essence we can say nothing more than that it is immense in its potential, certain crystallization between pleasure and accident. While heated, the sculptures saturate the atmosphere of Kulturfolger space induced by sublimation of 99% pure caffeine crystal. Now, for only one night we are gifting you with stimulation, pleasure and invigoration only while you are breathing. Don’t despair; the antidote is in the gallery window, neither inside nor outside. A crystalline structure of Potassium Ferricyanide (III) whose figure is tentatively assembled, frozen at a specific moment in the process of its materialisation. This chemical compound, as story goes, was initially used in the production of ultramarine dyes known as Prussian Blue. A beauty used in painting as a cure to radioisotope poisoning.
A poison, and a gift, or both? It’s up to you.
You are welcome.
In many Germanic languages "poison" is named by a word equivalent to English gift (such as Old High German gift, German Gift, Danish and Swedish gift; Dutch gift, vergift). They share the same etymology, which might have started as a reference to the Ancient Greek punishment of being given poison to drink when sentenced to death. The dose is from the Greek word for give. Poison, is indeed derived from a stem meaning to drink, and so these two words are not as different as they might seem, possibly even sharing a common referential ancestry together with potion. This being referred to euphemistically as a gift or a dose of medicine
CHAPTER IV: 05.09. - 15.11.18
New chapter deals with 3 new concepts in the context of Luxury. To give a certain atmosphere of what it is about, we start with a quote:
I do not know any living being, cell, tissue, organ, individual, or perhaps even species, of which we cannot say they store information, that they expand information, that they emit it snd receive information. I know of no object in the world, atom, crystal, mountain, planet, star, galaxy, of which one could not say again that it stores information, it deals with information, they emit and receive information. (Michel Serres)
We are surrounded with infinite streams of information, with abundance of data, with rich narratives, with multiple meanings surrounding information. What is truth, suddenly becomes unstable, a subject to interpretation.
Data we are surrounded with, carry no inherent meaning, but it carries a potential for interpretation. It's a liberating idea in an academic discourse, but it can also result in an endless sea of genericness, where everything becomes relative or the same. If we think of information as something that is part of decision making, control and complex systems theory, then we reduce its potential to a set of rules, and then we are also unable to fathom a possibility which could radically change our understanding of the world. If we start observing our planet instead of being a fixed planet of finite resources, but rather an informational planet composed of endless information, we could potentially have access to endless energy as well?
Therefore, we would like to propose an intellectual journey, where we would allow ourselves to think in terms of infinite information streams that could grant us endless energy?
We would like to suggest this turn, provoke it, dissect it and convince ourselves in this possibility through series of multiple events, by placing artistic works in the triad of energy - information - infinity, and taking initial situation of artist collaborating with scientists as a test-field for articulating new forms of luxury. Our annual theme Luxury provokes artist to question our understanding of science again: research, especially molecular, can only be done with immense financial and energetic efforts.
We got so used to have a disciplinary purity between science and art, almost as two opposing disciplines that either have nothing in common or they basically contradict each other. But can we seek something that has always been there: in diverse philosophical, scientific and literary texts—a complex, twisted, and enfolded passage between the science and the humanities. Because maybe “there is no pure myth except the idea of a science that is pure of all myth".
What we would like to demonstrate is that science should not be regarded as offering an objective or unmediated view of the world; rather, it is a cultural formation that has its history and complex place among other discourses.
CHAPTER III: 15.06. - 01.09.18
This is the third chapter of Luxury series. In the next two months we are dealing with Fashion, Matter and Transcendency. Again, some complex concepts that we intertwine, knit together or put in a conversation. Why are we interested in the concept of fashion in the context of Luxury? History of fashion knows well the language of opulence, of luxury - starting from gold covered costumes for commanders from the Byzantine era, to precious baroque silk dresses that were designed in such way that they are cut out almost barbaric, but just in order to show another layer of silk protruding out. An endless play with hiding and revealing, with elusiveness. Baroque era has also gifted us with The Fold - its vibrating dynamic of the pleats, creases, draperies, furrows, bows and ribbons of fashion. In fashion, the fold is engaged in a game of concealing and revealing the body in motion. It all about eros. The fluid, flowing, flexible folds of high fashion reveal ever closing or opening of the body, or the matter to the world. For Deleuze, the fold, or the process of folding, is a process of becoming. If a matter can fold, it is capable of becoming. In the fold, experimental fashion designers create conditions to transform normative images of human bodies and actualize multiple becomings. This is the richness of fashion.
But besides opening to the world and playing the eros game, love of luxurious iconography and use of beauty and history in fashion is used to instil faith. In one of the episodes of The Young Pope, we are observing main character's transformation from Lenny Belardo to Pope Pius XIII. It's the day of his first address to the Cardinals and both his outer appearance and his message need to be in sync. He puts his white soutane, trying on different Prada shoe styles, adorns himself with heavily embroidered pallium, but the final accessory is his tiara, known as a triregnum. Worn by Paul VI, it was the last papal tiara to have been used. God's ambassador is ready in full splendour.
We are witnessing that the luxury is about emitting the aura of detachment from this earthly life. Luxury brings us closer to gods - no matter whether in religious or political sense, and fashion serves as a vessel to it.
Fashion is a lightweight concept, both in body and bone. There is no need for the whole universe to take up arms to crush it: because a drop of water, or a whim of a designer is enough to transform it. And while fashion is, by its very nature, ephemeral or ‘of the moment’, it is also communicating on a common plane - fashion creates new and different worlds, over and over again. It feeds itself with many, it never stops, and it is multiple, flowing, viscous. Fashion escapes inclusion in; it lies beyond the scope of common, but it is still part of the common ground. The matter of fashion is transcendental. The question that opens up is can we see fashion as an exploration of the power of being liberated of the codes of dressing?
CHAPTER II: 04.04. - 15.06.18
Welcome to the second part of LUXURY, where Kulturfolger deals with Space - Vector - Density.
Three new concepts, seemingly unrelated, yet intimately connected, condensing into Luxury. Vectors as tools and transmitters, conjure up space with dense flavours—a limitless space of fluctuating densities. Still, we must be cautious; as the vectors of the contemporary don’t only operate on a mathematical plane, they are also coming from myths, narratives, and stories.
For start, let's ask: What would it mean for a space to have a vector? Can a space have density? Is there density in a vector? What is a mythical vector? How would this space look like when it would potentially have any combination of properties?
Space is extent or an area; a room to do something, but also a period of time, a distance, an interval... a space of love and ideas. If we ask what is the world in terms of its spatial elements, we get answers of proximity distance, of homogeneous space, of grid structures, where the path is given and unproblematic. Space is seen as a measure and transport that forms the basis of Euclidean geometry. In it, everything can be coordinated, calibrated and quantified without complication or confusion.
This might have worked for some years, centuries even, and this local-bound thinking of space leaves something to be desired. Space no longer exists independently, singularly, isolated or alone... it is multiple, pervasive: is a result of interaction and bodies relating one to another.
Now, let's do an exercise in imagining.
How do we connect space and density, with a vector?
A space is a place, a place is an office, a place or function with divine service, a function is seeking for an affair, what one has to do; an affair is all about intimacy, intimacy brings closeness, closeness becomes tightness, and tightness forms density.
In order to reach luxury, we need to envision multidimensional space without any borders, with a multidimensional vector to lead the way.
Imagine density as a cloud. Clouds hover between sky and earth, between chaos and order, they are ephemeral in nature, difficult, impossible to classify. They are unstructured, are endlessly moving and shifting, and always ask for a different point of view. A cloud is a luxury itself, a space of possibility made up of fluctuating points, dots, and particles- random and fortuitous, continuous and changing, never captured in a single reality. A cloud creates and atmosphere, is an atmosphere, and is also a part of another atmosphere. A cloud is a sumptuous surrounding, a cohabitating.
Clouds are inhabited by angels, by messengers, and by Hermes, mortal and divine, shuffling souls into the afterlife. As vectors, they transmit, and they are carriers, conveyers of meaning and information.
And for us to freely float, the rule is the same; we must learn how to become witty tricksters, just like Hermes himself.
Yes, our universe is cloud-like and adequately, our perception of it needs to change. Clouds dissolve into crystals and water-drops. A new dot-like universe is emerging, a jumble of atoms and bits, particles and gaps.
We slowly develop new ways of floating through a heavy ghost-like atmosphere with unexpected and emerging messengers, which embrace us. This is Life. This is Luxury.
Kulturfolger, a complex cloud, a passage overflowing with messengers as artists, architects, and computer programmers all playing the game of luxury: space-vector-density.
CHAPTER I: 13.01. - 30.03.18
Welcome to Kulturfolger.
Kulturfolger is luxury.
Luxury is something we can say it belongs to the domain of private pleasure: luxury gives you more than you have the right to expect - it gives thicker chocolate coating, more fruit, more education, more intellect, but also more responsibility. Luxury is opposite of conspicuous consumption.
What we want to provoke here, is can we think of luxury as a desire of human culture to go beyond common, to break the boundaries? Maybe we first need to transcend the naturalized distinction between the necessary and unnecessary, or excessive.
Why is luxury such a tainted concept? Luxury annoys us. Because we are constantly reminded to have a good footprint, to save, to be sustainable. But can we envision having endless energy that is not just bound to ground. We already have abundance of information. How to deal with it? This abundant thinking breeds sophistication. It is decadent. And a bit scary.
Luxury is not a joke.
Luxury is not showing off.
Luxury is reading books.
Luxury is discussing philosophy.
Luxury is many interpretations.
Luxury is sending man to the moon.
This year we will have 5 chapters - acts. In each of these chapters, we will have three concepts. Three, in order in escape duality, and to have a rotation and a negotiation between them. Since luxury is a cliché, with negative connotations, we want to bind it with concepts that surprise us and are important for critically engaging in 21.st century. Therefore we are putting luxury in a triangle that steps out of duality of negative and positive.
First triplet is time - negentropy - relativity.
For this year - Time is luxury. We either have it too much or too little - both are luxury. Time is luxury only if it’s relative. Why? Because luxury gives time the possibility of multiple interpretations. Time as relativity, as Einstein suggested, depends on the viewer, on the speed of traveling.
It's just like in the generic sea, rare islands of negentropy, or order, become luxury. A sophisticated luxury.
This is exactly the triangle we are trying to work with - time - negentropy - relativity. And the time we have now is very intellectual; it is exactly the type of luxury we are trying to catch.
A beautiful format to discuss these complicated topics is Chef's Table. Let us use the analogy of elaborate French menu to explain the courses to follow. This first part of Kulturfolger consist out of 11 courses, one each week. We started with an hors d'ouevre, an appetizer where we ate humans. Is this the ultimate luxury or is it creation of entropy, the break of the order? A soup followed, that you can eat hot or cold, which is here to tease and stimulate your appetite. Our masterchef is Sabine Maja Bremermann. We are outside of clichés. Is this art, is this branding? Is this luxury? It's relative. Later, a fish dish, with delicate bones, lightly poached Quote Club. Followed by entrée with video works by Eirini Sourgiadaki & Anna Rubi. Releves talks about death of self, death of imagination, showing The Several Ways I've Died In My Imagination.
Then let's make a break, have a Sorbet, with audio-video performance with Yara Mekawei.
Each of these 11 meals will leave traces in the space, creating entropy or negentropy. If we make it, it's negentropy, if not, it's entropy.
Under EVENTS follow what is happening at Ida 46 during January, February and March.
Luxury is the responsibility of surplus where you can narrate, enchant, recognize mastership, comedy and tragedy. Be part of many grounds, create unimagined paradise within the rational. It's a new nature of abundance. It's LUXURY.