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Manuela Zechner, 8.7.07

manuela zechner: i feel like a sheep sitting on its own skin

alice: what sort of landscape do you walk around?

manuela zechner: i go from mountains to valleys, and very very rarely i sit by the sea (then it gets very quiet, the rest is hiking up or down)

nicolascout: and what is your favorite means of transport in this landscape ?

alice: what are you looking for, that makes you travel so much?

manuela zechner: it is the donkey, and the donkey is me, and i travel on my own grey skin good question

brittawirthmueller: where is the sheep?

mette: is the donkey a good mule?

alice: are you an utilitarian donkey? do you carry stuff for people?

mette: do you like transporting stuff for other people ? Or do you prefer to transport for yourself?

linsenhuberin: what do you eat on your way?

manuela zechner: i am looking for enzian and hahnenfuss which are rare fl owers i remember from my childhood, and sometimes i look for katzensilber too, stones covered in layers of silver. i hike for the refreshment and surprise that i feel when i come across these fl owers. but it´s restless travel, and sometimes i wonder. fi rst, i carry my own stuff as a donkey. like my thick skin. then from the act of carrying i try to extract things that can work for other people too, usually they´re words or images and often it´s about speaking them then, in my work.

alice: what do you mean, words or images?

mette: like fl owers and fl oods?or sky scrapers and sidewalks?

brittawirthmueller: so you are an upside down donkey!?

nicolascout: why did you chose to be the donkey? some other animal would be lighter ... like a bird? can you give a word on it

manuela zechner: i need to hike slowly here, i hope you dont get impatient

mette: we have lots of air to breathe

manuela zechner: essentially i think i am transporting my own metaphysical beauty case, eating fl owers on the way.

mette: Are you into roses?

brittawirthmueller: so what is the sense in beauty?

alice: are you organising fl ower dinners with other animals?

gilliekleiman: do you stop at each fl ower and eat it (sporadic picnics) or collect them and have a feast?

manuela zechner: the problem is that i go looking for the fl owers, and then i am so hungry when i get there that i eat them; and don´t have enough time to contemplate them sometimes; or i am hungry again as soon as i eat them and decide to move on. but this i am learning to stop with some yogi practices, like a kind of speed fasting.

alice: i’d like to come back to what you said about the rare fl owers you remember from your childhood; do feel these are disappering? are new types growing nowadays ?

manuela zechner: there are other animals not so unlike me (we are cyborgs) and we often eat flowers together yes

alice: what makes a fl ower a good one, or a tasty one?

manuela zechner: i feel these fl owers disappear yes, they fi gure as distant memories that i long for and i guess often i think it could be an important thing to fi nd them back. but these metaphors are rather banal.. nevermind.

mette: what are the difference between cyborg animals and nature animals?

manuela zechner: a good fl ower is one that requires an effort to be found

brittawirthmueller: so a good fl ower is a rare fl ower?

mette: The rarer the better?

manuela zechner: theres just a difference in the technologies these animals use i think, otherwise not much of a difference.

nicolascout: don’t you have the feeling that you sometimes are only eating and that you should also plant some of these fl owers, or maybe trees ?

alice: or maybe the more hidden the better

linsenhuberin: the more hidden the more precious, because theres always a reason for hiding

manuela zechner: not necessarily rare, its more about the process required to fi nd the fl ower..

brittawirthmueller: so a status of extraordinarity

manuela zechner: there could be thousands of these fl owers and the process would be more about walking past 900 and then getting into the 901st fl ower but let me think a bit longer because my metaphors are sheepish

linsenhuberin: or do the seeds come out of your digestion and you plant many fl owers on your way?

manuela zechner: it´s not only fl owers, thats for sure, it´s also stones and things that are totally perishable, like some view on a skyscraper. i hardly know exactly what it will be next. the process is about learning to anticipate what it could be that i want to fi nd and always changing the strategies for anticipation

linsenhuberin: do you use a navigation tool?

alice: do you think that you produce the stones etc. by looking for them?

manuela zechner: i use my variable mule tool for navigation

nicolascout: a localisation tool ?

manuela zechner: i wouldnt say that i produce them, but lets say i fi nd in them some kind of specifi c form or articulation but that articulation is not an end in itself, in working. the question is then what other mule or peacock might the articulation become relevant to and how can we share that sheepish idea and formulation, to learn from each other and offer that process.

brittawirthmueller: so you create your surrounding through articulation?

manuela zechner: in my mind, for sure, i create these instances of discovery through a process of articulation. how that articulation then is transported to the world outside my sheepskin is another question.

alice: i’m sorry i don’t really understand what you call articulation. like joints? joints in a big all encompassing body?

gilliekleiman: does it matter whether other animals found the same stone etc. - or can they? Can the same stone ever be found twice, or by different creatures?

manuela zechner: you cannot fi nd the same stone in the same river twice, some might say. so, i go, i walk, i hike..

brittawirthmueller: a verbal creation of your surrounding? Can i actually see these things you articulate? Can i touch them?

manuela zechner: ..and i am waiting to understand on my way, what it might be that i can fi nd access to and that i can make relevant to myself and others through articulating it. it´s often to do with articulation in the verbal sense, but also often in the sense of the articulation of a process, a method, so it can also be experienced in other ways than, say, reading or writing. but there are instructions, most of the time.

linsenhuberin: is it like putting all the left over from your fridge you can fi nd in a pan and make a nice meal out of it?

manuela zechner: no no no

linsenhuberin: what do you mean?

manuela zechner: its more like, theres a full fridge but you know whats in it, so you go and see if you can fi nd something you didnt expect to eat

alice: you invent recipes?

nicolascout: Do you also go then in the fridge of other people and create a new meal for them?

manuela zechner: articulation is when you take the wool of the sheep and then make a pullover out of it

brittawirthmueller: sometimes you fi nd things in frigdes that were long forgotten.

manuela zechner: recipes one could say yes, because i like the idea of cooking for other people. the danger is always, that what i cook is neither desired nor tasty

linsenhuberin: but dont you let them also cook by themselves in your kitchen?

manuela zechner: and that in offering it, i am making pretense

nicolascout: Maybe you can also fi nd the ones who will want it ...

manuela zechner: for sure, it´s about how to offer it, i think this question concerns all of us..

manuela zechner: i think we can come to be interested in all kinds of food if we share it out in the right way

alice: recipe books help sometimes, or tv shows like this englishman, whatshisname

gilliekleiman: jamie oliver!

alice: does he present good stuff in your sense?

brittawirthmueller: making food that’s cheap and tasty and proposably healthy

manuela zechner: its just not so easy; what plate to put it on, whether to put it on a plate at all, whether to print a jamie oliver quote on the serviette, whether not to cook it at all, whether to hide it, to color it pink, to dry it and cut it in thin slices, etc

alice: are you part of cooking clubs?

manuela zechner: but actually i am talking about the wrong thing here, because the question is more about how to eat the food together, and not how to make it palatable. yes, many such clubs

alice: can i join?

manuela zechner: sure, we are always looking to learn about new ingredients and recipes

brittawirthmueller: what is then the best way of sharing a meal?

manuela zechner: there is no best way

nicolascout: do you believe there are many eaters for this food

brittawirthmueller: but you have to fi nd ways of sharing

manuela zechner: it´s the kind of micro food that grows with every new person that gains interest in it- i don´t know how many eaters there are, but for sure its not going to go off in the meantime, and if there is many then there will be enough food for all. it is self expanding food. do you not wonder about this food issue?

alice: yes for sure

nicolascout: oh yeah

manuela zechner: recently i made a good cake i think

alice: it took a lot time to understand that eating won’t shorten the supplies

linsenhuberin: how does it taste?

manuela zechner: yes, it took a lot of learning and talking

mette: was there enough for everybody or did people want more of the good cake?

manuela zechner: the cake is good and plenty but hey, one has to move on from ones cakes too, so thats the challenge. it’s a self expanding cake, did i not mention

brittawirthmueller: eating as a self-reproductive process. i am wondering about the energetic in and output!

manuela zechner: i was very happy when i learned about those technologies with which you can make cakes grow in the most unexpected places

mette: yes me too how much energy does one get out of a piece of the cake? or maybe rather which kind?

manuela zechner: theres a complex set of energies, like beingtogetherly energy and nutrition energy and ontosynaptic energy and the juicefactorial energy etc.. many of these are not quantifi able i think.

alice chauchat: do you have preferences?

manuela zechner: i am becoming more and more suspicious of cakes that care too much only for one kind of energy value and not another, thats for sure.

brittawirthmueller: if it is selfproductive it needs to have some sort of reproductive energy

manuela zechner: but i dont prefer one or the other- it always changes, in what fi eld i am particularly able to articulate energy making processes. what do you mean by selfproductive?

mette: Would you like to make cakes which change taste with time, like long term but conserved in a way that keeps the getting stronger. almost like an old cheese?

brittawirthmueller: i thought its a cake that reproduces itself through beeing eaten?

nicolascout: So if I understand well, you also created a technology to articulate different kinds of energies ?

manuela zechner: yes, old cheese, that sounds good, or wine. but its ok to make some that get green and toxic after a while.

nicolascout: Or is it ancient techniques ?

manuela zechner: i try to work on mini technologies that can help towards articulations in different fi elds of energies yes but energies is actually not one of my homewords. both old and new techniques. the cake can always give more if you want more

nicolascout: what do you use instead of «energy» ?

manuela zechner: it doesnt automatically grow and grow, but when you want a piece of it, you can be pretty sure to fi nd access to it.

nicolascout: Like the horn of abundance

manuela zechner: as a sheep i might say wool instead of energy or maybe cheese but then we´re back to edibles; but hey, it´s 5pm and i could say much more of course but this might lead us too far we should go hiking together

nicolascout: It looks very delightfull... thank you for opening our stomach and warm our shoulders.