Mobile Academy presents:
Night Lesson No 1
Joseph Vogl: On Hesitation
Film installation (30 min., 25 min.,
15 min., 01 min.)
Night Lesson No 1 is the first in a series of instructional
films that will be produced by Mobile Academy in the near future.
They are learning opportunities addressed to nocturnal passers-by:
insomniacs and the tireless, the shift worker and the lady taking
her dog for a late walk and the nyctophobe. The films will be projected
onto natural screens within the cityscape: mute facades, empty surfaces
on houses and walls invisible places that are usually overlooked
and quickly passed by. The lessons are delivered through headphones.
The film parcours is being installed in one district, a particular
neighbourhood of the respective city, as a writing on the wall,
a palimpsest that appears and disappears in a ghostly rhythm altering
the agenda of the night. The lessons are given by thinkers, researchers
and theoreticians, and the films are created by different filmmakers.
They are interpretations, possible readings, commentaries and demystifications
of contemporary philosophy, designed to give students – i.e. the
creatures of the night – access to unstable and excessive forms
of knowledge in order to find new problems for existing solutions.
Different film makers stage these interpretations, version, commentaries
and unriddlings of contemporary philosophy, that provide the students
– the figures of the night – with access to unstable and excessive
forms of knowledge, to enable them to find and invent problems for
solutions that already exist.
The first night lesson is devoted to states of
hesitation, dithering and wavering, to blurriness, obscurity
and uneasiness. The German philosopher and literary scholar Joseph
Vogl addresses hesitation as a state of being that implies much
more than a lack of movement: hesitation makes the dimension of
time and history visible and therefore stimulates a sense of possibility.
On Hesitation, Joseph Vogl 2007:
"Like a submerged theme or anathema, hesitation seems to leave
a strangely blurred trail that comes into sharp focus wherever –
in the long history of the West – a culture of action and a culture
of work are refracted and reflected on. Hesitation accompanies the
imperative of action and making things happen like a shadow, like
ruinous opponent. One could speak here of a hesitation-function:
wherever acts manifest themselves and chains of action are organized,
there will always be a marked slackening, a pause, a stopping, an
interruption. This also establishes an asymmetrical relationship
to time and history. Insofar as action, according to Nietzsche,
unfolds within forgetting at the same time as bringing forth history,
its shadow, hesitation breaks through this history, stepping outside
of its context to evoke a specific memory: a memory of what has
not been, of a past that was never present, of acts and actions
that will not take place – or not yet.
Let’s turn to a different, active aspect of hesitation
that distances itself from any basis in lethargy. This second aspect
includes an idiosyncratic accuracy, an idiosyncrasy at odds with
the solidity of global situations, the irrevocability of verdicts,
the finality of solutions, the certainty of consequences, the duration
of conformities, and the weight of results. Plus a well-founded
mistrust of any belief in salvation through progress. Procrastination
begs to differ. It is the articulation of a complicated mindset
which, rather than looking for answers to questions and solutions
to problems, assumes that the given answers and solutions contain
further questions and that problems remain unsolved. Surrounded
by solutions, one does not necessarily find the corresponding problems.
Hesistation presupposes complexity: its arithmetic gets carried
away with smaller and smaller numbers. It endures linearity and
the monotony of the world reluctantly, if at all: “Now the fact
is that this world is uncommonly and notoriously manifold, which
can be put to the test at any moment if one just takes up a handful
of world and looks at it a little more closely.” (Franz Kafka)"
With: Orest. Franz Kafka. Henriette Cornier. Moosbrugger.
Hadschi Ibrahim and with an introduction to the league of hesitation:
the archivist - the lethargic one - the idler - the inactive
Topics: On stutterers and stumblers. On being allergic
to action. Furor & running amok. Liberation from the delusion inherent
in the system. Wallenstein’s enigma. An apparatus of instances.
On pedantic and fantastical accuracy. On the artistry and logic
of finding ways out and: The end of the system
Joseph Vogl (Literary scholar and philosopher at
the Humboldt- University Berlin) has translate Gilles Deleuze and
Michel Foucault. He has written on Franz Kafka’s (who has spent
a couple of his many postponing stays at the Sanatorium von Hartungen
in Riva del Garda) concept of ‚minor literature’, about the extensive
complex of Goethe’s poetics, about the colour yellow, about the
‚homo oeconomicus’ and lately about hesitation.
Photos © Andrea Pozza