A Questionnaire: Tom Kummer

Tom Kummer, 04.07.2017


Was war heute Ihr erster Gedanke?
Aufstehen? Oder liegenbleiben? Wahnsinn oder Genie? An was will ich überhaupt noch glauben? Brauchen wir Glauben? Und wieso sehe ich in Bern nie tote Vögel auf der Straße? In Los Angeles war das anders. Da gab es Road Kill überall!


Are you serious?
Very serious … to the point that people think I am lying or making fun of them.


Los Angeles oder Berlin?
Ich liebe L.A., weil die Stadtwüste und ihre Menschen immer noch so teuflisch schwierig zu »lesen« sind. Berlin ist mir zu soft geworden. Vielleicht fehlen dort die wirklich kranken Köpfe.


John McEnroe or Martina Navratilova?
Borg was my guy. But then I realized that McEnroe was the smart one. And Borgʼs image of the iceman
was just a sign of dullness. That was very disappointing. When I was 16, I thought Navratilova really looked hot. But I was afraid to tell that to anyone.


A question to which “yes” is always your answer?
Want to play some basketball, one-on-one?


Fahren oder Schwimmen?
Fahren. Der Blick durch die Windschutzscheibe bedeutet Kino, ein Raum, in dem fantastische Ideen zu Realitäten werden. Mit Nina hatte ich immer die schönsten Gespräche beim Fahren. Es floss einfach so aus uns heraus, und es gab kein Entkommen im Wagen.


What is the problem with solutions?
Everybody seems to be happy with solutions. Not me. I love chaos. My belief system tells me: only conflicts, disfunctionality, troublemakers like me, scandals, and more drive us forward, create progress …


Was macht Sie verrückt?
Stress. Zeitdruck. Arbeiten.


Blind or deaf?
Deaf … but nothing against blindness!


Welche Götter?
Film-Regisseure waren für mich Götter. Jedenfalls jene Autorenfilmer, wie man sie damals noch nannte, die an einer neuen Filmsprache arbeiteten.


Is it true?
No idea.


Wann werden Sie rot?
Wenn ich gelobt werde, für gute Eigenschaften, die ich eigentlich auf gar keinen Fall preisgeben wollte.


Your favorite image?
That scene in Stranger than Paradise by Jim Jarmusch when John Lurie and his friends stand at an empty beach, all is grey around them, and they reach a point of existential boredom. I like that human condition, and I think the deeper you can sink into nothingness the deeper you can dig into great ideas …


Vor was fürchten Sie sich?
Abgründe. Ich habe schreckliche Höhenangst. Dabei bin ich ein waghalsiger Skifahrer. Sobald ich auf
Ski stehe, bin ich mutig und wage mich an die brutalsten Steilhänge. Aber ich kann nicht von Hochhäusern runterschauen.


Please complete the following sentence:
As he looked at her…
… she hesitated for a moment. But it was crystal clear that they belonged together … forever.

Where is your center of gravity?


Wer schützt Sie vor sich selbst?
Manchmal Freunde. Aber in erster Linie das zweite »Ich«, das man sich erhalten hat.


What does “home” mean?
Eine Wüste.


In die Zukunft schauend, was sehen Sie?
Mehr Autoverfolgungsfahrten. Mehr Selbsthilfegruppen für UFO-Entführungsopfer.
Eine Ehrenmedaille für meine literarischen Leistungen als Pionier im Zeitalter der alternativen Fakten.
Noch mehr Menschen, die in der Porno-Industrie arbeiten. Mehr streunende Tiere auf deutschen Straßen.


Remembering, what do you hear?
Beach Boys, Pet Sounds.
Die Stimme meines Vaters, der mir erklärt hat, dass man sich nicht neu erfinden könne. Niemals.
Man bleibe immer derjenige, als der man geboren wurde. Und wer was anderes erzählt, lügt.


Apfel oder Zitrone?
Pink Lady.


What should happen after death?
I want to be pulled into a vortex of colored light, as astronaut Dave Bowman is in 2001 – A Space Odyssey. And then race across vast distances of space, viewing bizarre cosmological phenomena and strange landscapes of unusual colors. Thatʼs what I expect from life after death.


Hunter S. Thompson oder Tom Wolfe?
Beide haben mich vergiftet. Ich kam in den 80er Jahren von den beiden nicht mehr los.
Diese Idee, so zu schreiben, dass es aussieht wie Journalismus, aber etwas ganz anderes ist. Von Thompson konnte man mehr über die »Selbstinszenierung« lernen, von Wolfe die sprachlichen Kapriolen.


What’s wrong with reality?
Nothing wrong with reality. People believe what
they want to believe. It’s how reality is represented by people or media, the sell-out of reality that has existed for decades in our media that fascinates me. How Hollywood sells reality, sells stars in the media, how politicians are created. How journalism pretends that it cannot be bought. That it holds the key to reality and truth. I say: Wahrheit ist käuflich. I was always more interested in hyperreality, that condition in which what is real and what is fiction are seamlessly blended together so there is no clear distinction between where one ends and the other begins.


Rot oder blau?


A poem or song you won’t forget?
The Clash / “Rebel Waltz”: I slept and I dreamed of a time long ago I saw an army of rebels, dancing on air
I dreamed as I slept, I could see the campfires,
A song of the battle, that was born in the flames,
And the rebels were waltzing on air.


Was langweilt Sie?
Flughafen-Lounges. Abfertigungshallen. Warten auf den Abflug.


Your remedy for gloom?
Brainstorming. Running.Planning a new book or art piece.


Was möchten Sie nicht noch einmal essen?
Ich entdeckte Insekten als Delikatesse schon vor Jahren im mexikanischen Bundesland Chiapas.


How to deal with neutrality?
What is neutral about neutrality? The Swiss are bullshitting themselves and their sense of neutrality! There can be no politics without vision, no philosophy without commitment. Neutrality, if taken seriously, will destroy the most distinctive feature of politics. It’s an absurd search for a value-free politics. His philosophy is superficial, just another political slogan. And the Swiss are so proud of it. But they live in a Disney World, a honey pot. Nothing is real about this place. But it is bloody convenient to live here, I must say!

Wald oder Wiese?


Your favorite geometric form?
I enjoy the magic triangle. Specially in a love affaire …


Nan Goldin oder Larry Clark?
I prefer Nan Goldin. I was there when she arrived in Berlin in 1985 and shot her most important book
The Ballad of Sexual Dependency in which two pictures of me are printed. But I always had my doubts about how photographers operate to create “their realities”. I think Larry Clark was even worse when it came to exploiting the objects of desire. In the case of Clark it was mostly teenagers that he lured into believing he was going to make them superstars—as long as they take drugs and fuck in front of his camera.


Your favorite star in real life?
I don’t care about stars anymore …


And in fiction?
Im Kino: Travis Bickle in »Taxi Driver«,
»Nina & Tom« in der Literatur.


Wie sterben?
Wie Nina. Das Hirn mit Morphium benebelt. Durch die Jalousie ist ein blutroter Streifen am Horizont zu erkennen. Irgendjemand schiebt eine Hand zwischen meine Beine.


Welches Buch lesen Sie gerade?
»Acid«, herausgegeben von Rolf Dieter Brinkmann und Ralf-Rainer Rygulla.


Please complete the following sentence:
As she looked at him…
… he stared back in disbelief. He knew immediately: she is out of his league.


Geld oder ein guter Ruf?
Die Frage stellt sich mir nicht. Ich habe Geld… und einen besonderen Ruf: das Resultat harter Arbeit.


Your favorite question?
Pamela Anderson, you embody every materialistic zeitgeist. Reality loses itself in simulation, and the cult of the body is the most consistent reaction to that. Have you found the meaning of life in this?




Photos: © Rudolf Steiner, Haus am Gern



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Bang Bang Baroque

Emma Waltraud Howes, 08.06.2023


What was your first thought today?
After a night of laughter …  
the thoughts that accompany that grin.


Looking back what do you hear?
D — D — D — DE DE — E — R — R RA — RA — RA — RAC I — I — I — I — I — I — I — I — INNNN
IN – IN – N A – N – A – N – A NA T – NA – TT – T – NA – T – TE TE – EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE


Closing your eyes, what do you see?
Shivering giants.


What should happen after death?
The peripheral vision of a shroom-bloom.


Your remedy for gloom?
Depth-dive into the doom-drone-tones to transform that murk to gold.


A poem or song you will never forget?
Klaus what power art thou? That Cold Song.



Another word for beauty?
Gravity and Grace—those beautiful monsters.


What is wrong with reality?


How can you differentiate between lies and truth?
Empathy for all those mythologies.


What knowledge?


Which faith?
All your late ancestors and their friends, sit down at the table. Offer them a drink …


Which words you were fond of have disappeared?
Darn it (miss you grandma).



A question to which „yes“ is always your answer?
Cocktail Chalice?


Valerie Solanas or Valie Export?
Val met Val and they decided to collaborate.


You’re favorite enemy?
The one who remained at the table.  


What would you like to get rid of?
The entitlement of the pathological narcissist.


How do you draw movement?
Systematically buttress abstraction.


How do noted ideas look like?
Flustered symphonies.


What is your center of gravity?
It shifts depending on a point, or many points,
that I choose to be tethered to at any given moment in time.



What kind of lies can you forgive?


Where does the wind blow?
Never Eat Shredded Wheat … and all the spaces between.


Egalité ou sisterhood?
Egalité & sisterhood …


The antidote for meaninglessness?


When do you blush?
When someone gets my joke.


How does the mood of love feel like?


Poetry or music?
The poetry of music.


Judith or Octavia Butler?
Octavia sipping kahve mit Judith.


Can you describe the face of strangeness?
The pressure to make sense of that which
feels nonsensical.


Artichokes or hand grenades?
Artichokes as hand grenades.



 What would you be if you weren’t you?


Why are women always showing one naked breast
on old pictures?
For the chids.


Your favourite stereotypes?
The Specials over Blur, or a solid plate made
from a mold known as a flong.


Which language?
Body language.


What’s the problem with solutions?
Solutions multiply problems.


Can you tell the first sentence of a story that doesn’t end?
They ran ahead to see what all the fuss was about …


Please finish the following sentences:
– as he spoke with his eyes… they saw an end.
– as she saw with her heart… they saw no end.


Do you want to leave a message after this?
Yes. Fail abundantly and with glee, fallible creatures.




Emma Waltraud Howes,...


I say

Nicole Bachmann, 11.12.2017

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This is not your blood.

Aya Momose, 11.12.2017