A THEATRICAL MUSIC-SCULPTURE by Sergej Maingardt, Jens Standke and Rosi Ulrich

in automn 2019 also to be seen as theatralic VR-Installation at Kunsthof Galm, Brandenburg
Requests under info [at]

For more information about the miniatures please use following links :



™5.6]Smart Factory_ECONOMY
™6.6]Souvereign uncertainty_POLITICS

The 6 miniatures are located between music (live and electronic), theatre (real and projected) and visuals (virtual and live).

The feeling that borders are becoming more and more blurred and that this phenomenon extends not only into political and geographical but also into private areas deeply confuses people. There are no clues to correct behaviour, and misinterpretations are probable. These fuzziness strengthen the longing for clearly defined boundaries. Whom or which images can be trusted if fake news controls opinions and massively influences election results? Where is the truth to be found or can blurriness become a survival strategy?

The theatrical music sculpture BLUR anticipates "blurriness" as a phenomenon that in many areas shapes our images of life, influences our view of the world and ultimately changes society. The individual miniatures are based on current events, such as the forcible removal of a passenger from an overbooked airplane, the 2017 federal election, but also essays by experts and scientists created especially for the production.

BLUR deals with the uncertainty in our society in six different areas:

  • ™1.6]DELTAx_PHYSICS: Quantum Physics, which shaken the image of the physical world,
  • ™2.6]Paralyzed_PSYCHOLOGY: the spectator effect that tries to explain in psychology why decision diffusion can arise in masses,
  • ™3.6]HypeReal_PHOTOGRAPHY: the digital image that is no longer proof of reality through context shifts and manipulation,
  • ™4.6]AND:OR:NOT_FUZZY LOGIC: the fuzzy logic, which works more effectively than binary logic, is integrated in many everyday systems, but is hardly known by anyone,
  • ™5.6]Smart Factory_ECONOMY: the economy that is creating a new future with its Smart Productions, in which people will have a new place, and
  • ™6.6]Sovereign uncertainty_POLITICS: the unsharp formulation of politics that leaves a wide inter-­pre­ta­tion space and open room for a wide range of action.
  • All 6 miniatures are also available as theatrical virtual reality installations (with VR glasses and headphones).

with: Fabian Ringel, Kai Hufnagel, Karin Kettling; Speaker: Oliver Schnelker
Grand piano: Paulo Àlvares; Saxophone quartet: Fukio Ensemble; Voice/Singing: Mascha Corman, Thea Soti, soprano: Frauke Aulbert; choir conducted by: Rodrigo Lopez Klingenfuss

Artistic direction: concept/composition: Sergej Maingardt, video art: Jens Standke, concept/text: Rosi Ulrich, Director: Andrea Bleikamp
Costume: Claus Stump, costume production: Andrea Uebel; Production management: Hannah Greve; Technique: Jens Kuklik; PR & Public relations: neurohr & andrä

after essays by: Prof. Dr. Thomas Kron, Ariel Lasry, Norina Quinte, Dipl.-Psych. Karin Duda-Kirchhof & Dipl.-Psych. Dr. Oliver Kirchhof

UA: PHYSICS & PSYCHOLOGY: 9.11.2017, 20 h, 10.-12.11.2017, Orangerie Theater im Volksgarten, Cologne
WP: PHOTOGRAPHY & FUZZY LOGIC: 30.11.2017, 20 h, 1.-3.12.2017, Orangerie Theater im Volksgarten, Cologne
UA: ECONOMY & POLITICS: 1.3.2018, 20 h, 2.-4.3.2018, Orangerie Theater im Volksgarten, Cologne
13.7.2018, KunstSalon Theatre Prize Festival, Cologne


360° - Video - to move: hold the curser and move over the picture



with: Fabian Ringel / Voices: Karin Kettling, Oliver Schnelker / Electronics: Sergej Maingardt
Artistic direction: concept/composition/music: Sergej Maingardt, video art: Jens Standke, text/concept: Rosi Ulrich, director: Andrea Bleikamp
Costume: Claus Stump, costume production: Andrea Uebel, Production management: Hannah Greve, Technique: Jens Kuklik, PR & Public relations: neurohr & andrä


We find ourselves in an ambiguous situation that is difficult to assess, the observation of others does not open up a meaningful approach to action. There is no indication of correct behaviour, a misinterpretation is quite probable. People have always sought truth, struggled with it, held on to it, defended it, and in the end are desperate for it. Certainly they were in the mythical times, but today this security is like a washed-out photograph that, as an image of reality, is only suitable for stimulating the images in one's own mind.

Let's get to the bottom of the origins and trace the causalities into today. The path leads back to the mythical discoveries of the 20th century. We look for the traces of history, like a physicist who wants the quantum to appear in the cloud chamber, and encounter events, individual singularities - we connect these points in the belief in linear processes and causal relationships. Assemble them like a photography. This is how we write history. And how much we hope not to fail.

We look at the faded photograph, which is supposed to be an image from the past, but is still only a trace into the future. And the longer we look at it, the less we seem to recognize it - image dot or pixel - no difference can be discerned. Our technical and, consequently, economic achievements depend on the settlings of the early 20th century. As Werner Heisenberg, for example, with a youthful freshness that resembled to have the nerve of an impertinence, he postulated the principle of the uncertainty principle, which asserts that objects in the atomic realm do not emerge until we try to look at them - but do we not all consist of elementary particles?

These settlements, however, extend far beyond the present day into the near future as the spectre of an automated, man-made industry 4.0, which, freed from all classical thinking - in physics as in life - succeeds with the help of improbabilities in achieving a higher precision than classical science - and even in a shorter time.



360° - Video - to move: hold the curser and move over the picture



We find ourselves in an ambiguous situation which is difficult to assess, the observation of others gives no indication of the correct behaviour. A misinterpretation, a misconduct, is quite probable. People are still searching for truth, struggling with it, holding on to it. They defend it and in the end they are desperate of the many faces of this truth, which is called history and yet is only politics.

There no longer seem to be any causal relationships - only individual discrete events that are joined together in the brains to form a continuous line. This series of historical events forms a catastrophic movement that sweeps people away to spit them out again in an uncertain future.

The longer we look at the blurred photography that is supposed to be an image of this past, the less we seem to recognize it. For it was only through photography itself that the fuzziness came into the picture: this idea of a subjective perception, a gap between two stable states, the image of the non-visible.

In this gap, this ambiguous situation that is difficult to assess, it hits the vague people who, due to the great uncertainty, are unable to arrive at any moral knowledge or ethical evaluation of the situation. Let us get to the bottom of the origins and follow the motives. Thousands of times we look at the images of this one unheard-of event and yet we do not recognize any meaningful approach to action, nothing that could testify to elementary value. Like the image of an insecure mass of people in the midst of an overbooked plane facing a great sharpness in the implementation of commercial and political interests. An invisible but clearly defined goal of profit maximization seems to be pursued here. But the question of whether a sovereign blurriness can be deduced from this dilemma will only be answered in the future, in a future in which wave and particle, observer and actor will merge into a third.


360° - Video - to move: hold the curser and move over the picture



We look at the blurred photography and vaguely remember the unpleasant feeling of having found ourselves in an ambiguous situation that is difficult to assess. The observation of the others gave no indication of a correct assessment of the events. Misconduct could not be avoided. The disgust at the images of violence dug deeper traces into the continuum of events than the experience itself. How could we have known what had actually happened?

In search of the truth, it got lost in the images and dragged people through history in an enormous catastrophic movement - as if to spit them out in a future whose images remained immensely familiar and at the same time disturbingly mysterious.

The exploration of causalities and the hope of recognizing linear processes took us back to the beginning of the 20th century, when the youthful freshness of science suddenly lost its face in the fatal connection that physics had to make with politics. Like the quantum that, with the help of an enormous amount of energy, jump from one track to another across the nothing, quantum jumps of violence, destruction, and arbitrariness were breaking through and produced a whirling movement that finally brought us under the eyes of the others to the limits of our own ability to act in an overbooked plane. Had we learned to deal with the images in the turbulence of events, or would they continue to fade away the closer we look at them?


360° - Video - to move: hold the curser and move over the picture



We are in a clear system, zero one, yes no, on off, either or determine our view. Clear distinctions define our perception. To name something means to distinguish it from something else. That gives security. We are for or against, there is right or left. That makes it clear and unambiguous - simple! It helps to survive: Friend or enemy, danger or security. Fair or unfair, luck or misfortune, wave or particle. Precisely delimitable with sharp edges and dividing lines. A third must not exist. For already in the revelations of St. John chapter 3, 15 to 17 it says: "I know what you are doing. I know that you are neither warm nor cold. If you were at least one of them! But you are neither warm nor cold; you are lukewarm. Therefore I will spit you out of my mouth." And so the anger of God hits vague people, for they are not punished like sinners, but they are spit out and excluded from the community.

Whereas in Aristotle's world there was a clear distinction between things: what is one cannot be another at the same time: that is, not man and woman at the same time, today hybrids populate our world, hybrid forms, hybrid beings, cyborgs, crossbreeds, interacting implants, intersex. Fuzzy Logic is the theory behind modern mixed forms, a logic based on fuzzy belonging to different sets. It knows the two sides of a distinction, but also the whole infinite middle in between and the flowing nuances between true and false. The Fuzzy Logic recognizes that there can be both an "either - or" and a "both - and". Because vagueness not only saves costs, it can even be useful. Strategically, vagueness is used, for example, in politics. The more openly interpretive and vague the political statements are, the more possibilities for connection are offered and the less voters are put off. Machines with artificial intelligence, adaptive systems, automation and control technologies have been using fuzzy logic for decades to bring about stable and rapid decisions. They create the smart home, smart automobiles, smart production lines with smart products and smart decisions that determine when it's time to leave a system before we even think about it.

™5.6]Smart Factory_ECONOMY

360° - Video - to move: hold the curser and move over the picture



We find ourselves in multivariable situations, starting and target values can be interpreted in many ways. The observation of others is outsourced and is evaluated and constantly updated by complex algorithms. Causal relationships have given way to a stream of interpretations. New results, columns of numbers define the hierarchies of above and below, of good and bad. They have already become moral instances and determine future action. The opportunities for one's own career, for political decisions and election programmes are measured by these rankings and repeatedly adjusted to them. In their deep trust in adaptive networks, people have handed over the search for truth to intelligent systems. These systems enter into the depths of images. In the photographies, they search pixel by pixel for errors and manipulations until they reach the smooth surface and deliver high definition images of artificial narrations. Like the paradox of quantum physics, in which probabilities determine the occurrence of events and parallel universes are quite possible, humans move simultaneously in different worlds that are both real and artificial.

The hope of recognising linear processes once led us back to the beginning of the 20th century, when the youthful freshness of progress in a seemingly naïve gesture connected science and politics and pushed people through history in a maelstrom of violence, destruction and arbitrariness. Implicated in a net of dependencies, it finally spits them out in an all-embracing comfort zone where the objects can speak and follow moral principles. Whereas in the past commercial interests led to overbooked aircraft, today people have become a part of the value chain, which places them in the gentle chains of omnipresent smart production and connects them with robots and machines

™6.6]Souvereign Blurriness_POLITICS

360° - Video - to move: hold the curser and move over the picture



We went back to the origins in the early 20th century when quantum physics broke the causal chains and discontinuity began to determine events. We had to realize that fuzzy logic, with its ambiguous flowing assignments, is the logical answer to a world of hybrids, cyborgs and miscellaneous beings and has contributed significantly to the acceleration of technological development. The washed-out photography of the last century, when youthful freshness changed the world in grandiose naivity, has already given way to the manipulated universe of high-definitioned sharp images whose stranded information content refers to the diversity of possible interpretations. In the near future, connected systems will process thousands of the truths contained in the individual images and thus create a moral authority. In this near future man lives in a smart welfare paradise that already fulfils his future needs in the present and extinguishes the thought of contradiction long before it is born.

"But today we are still in a radical transformation. Digitalization and political upheaval change everything. Not only Germany, but the whole world is at the beginning of a new era. We believe that we will also need a new way of thinking for this new age. A thinking free of prejudices, free of habits, free of 'That's how we always did it'. A way of thinking that is directed forward and that does not seek solutions in the past. For we are in a state of transition, that's for sure. And the possibilities it offers are just as secure. Let us use them. Let us strengthen people's faith in themselves! Our country needs courage, fresh ideas and new determination.

Our cultural life is unique and our country is more democratic, open, modern and free today than ever before. We are proud of our democratic constitutional state, which puts human dignity first. We fight for these values. We are a country with an unmistakable, strong identity that offers its people home and support even in turbulent times. We must show our colours for democracy, freedom, human rights, the rule of law and Europe. 
Let us stand up for the values that have made our country and Europe strong and livable: human dignity, justice and equality, freedom and democracy".


The half-hour meditation on Heisenberg's theses is a one-man show in which actor Fabian Ringel has to deliver a breathless tour de force under high pressure. He is supported by the challenging video installation by Jens Standke.

In this way, the evening's visitors take a seat on beanbags in which they let themselves fall and can direct their gaze to the ceiling covered with semi-transparent canvas, on which the physical explanations are illustrated with abstract sequences of images. Driven by pulsating minimalist electroscores, particles and electrons represented as white dots form and condense into ever new formations. Even if physicists are not necessarily able to speak out enlightened when Heisenberg's fuzziness or Schrödinger's cat is spoken of next time, a hunch remains that the so-called reality is perhaps not as concrete and factual as it seemed a moment ago. Is perception merely the human attempt to create patterns and make sense in order to distract oneself from the prospect of incoherent chaos? (Robert Cherkowski in Choices 11/17)

In the schedule of WEHR51, produced 2017 and 2018 by the, in cooperation with Freihandelszone - ensemblenetzwerk köln
sponsored by: Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia, Cultural Office of the City of Cologne, Fonds Darstellende Künste e.V. and ON - Neue Musik Cologne