applying nothingness-looking for nothing.

The research on nothingness started in Montevideo. Many “non-spaces” caught my attention. Odd spaces or objects snuck in between operating industrial zones and busy public spaces. These became a trope to my research on the uninterested, “useless”, the non-being in contrast to the highly functional port of Montevideo. Fernando Godoy and I decided to make a publication on methods on how to approach nothingness as a human.

In Rostock I decided to practise and apply some of these rules to see what the outcome of nothing might be within the context of the harbour of Rostock.

1# Camouflage

The first exercise entailed a type of camouflage method. The goal was to embody the direct surrounding acoustically and physically.


We started to imitate and listen to the sounds of insects and machines all around the harbour and started to adapt to our surroundings. It soon became clear that we were still something between many somethings but we came closer to lose one’s own perspective. I was as interested/disinterested as the grass below me.


This is “humming” by nika schmitt on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

2# Another exercise was to always take detours. I figured that one of the biggest detours around the harbour was to travel from one light tower ( Molenfeuer – exit and entrance point of the harbour) to the other one, on the other side. The goal was to find something/nothing that we were/n’t looking for. We picked up some bikes and started at one light tower and arrived in the afternoon on the other side at the other one. On the way around the harbour we took many little detours again. We concluded that the detours of the main detour were the actual detour. Spontaneous inconsistencies within a main mission led to unexpected discoveries. We found sounds of clapping water, strange smells and plants along the way.

#3 Repetition

To elaborate this research of detours and searching for the unknown/known and to practise the third exercise “repetition and nothingness”, I brought a metal detector to every location we visited during the residency. I started to search the grounds for all sorts of metal. I realised that this repetitive search for something/nothing felt as a type spacial investigation. It analysis of the ground wasn’t so much about wat was below me (what kind of metal) but more about the sound the metal detector made when hovering above it and the location and distance to one another it was found in. It was a type of reversed constellation of metals experienced through different sounds.

Rostock research

shortwave radio – Fernando Godoy

shortwave recording: Fernando Godoy

As a final outcome of the detour exercise, I realised that in order to understand a detour one must experience the shortest way. While standing on one side of light towers, looking towards the other one, I wondered: could I possibly swim to the other side?

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