Following up on her obsession with photography and film, Yuka Sato curated this exclusive online screening program for Place M, featuring Japanese artists (including herself). It goes on until the end of this month. Here is what she has to say about it:

“Crossing Boundaries Between Photo and Film brings together the work of four of the most dynamic contemporary photographers, filmmakers and artists of our time: Osamu Kanemura, Shigeo Arikawa, Shinya Isobe and Mami Kosemura – plus myself. This selection aims to explore both the possibilities of photography and film as well as the creation of innovative expressions at their intersection.”

Please find the details below:

May 20, 2021 at 7 pm, Livestream on Facebook and YouTube.

The works will be accessible for free for 10 days following the May 20th screening.

Featured image: © Shinya Isobe.

Very much looking forward to this: The second Place M film festival!

Place M is a photography gallery located in Shinjuku, Tokyo, that serves as a venue for hybrid, boundary-pushing forms of photographic expression. Two years ago, with the establishment of their film department, they started their own film festival. This year, due to the current pandemic, the second Place M Film Festival will be held online. My good friend Yuka Sato will be directing it, presenting films from diverse cultures and backgrounds as well as enlightening videos of the participating filmmakers as they discuss their work.

Yuka is herself a stunning ‘boundary-pusher’, which is why I am very curious about her version of the festival. I love and admire her ability to combine experimentation and poetry in her films, a combination that I only very rarely come across – which, by the way, I also find in the work of one of my other friends, albeit in a completely different medium, namely the improvisations of saxophone player Frank Gratkowski. (What Wikipedia says about Frank can certainly also be applied to Yuka: on the one hand, the beauty and purity of her images is striking. At the same time, she is an image researcher to whom the expansion of the arsenal, the exploration of image possibilities is very important.) So I hope to find a little of her artistic vision in the works presented, too.

Please find more information on their website:

Here is already an overview of their schedule:

A section of Sanki King’s contribution to the Karachi Biennale 2017: “Mind Palace – Freedom of Thought”. Photo: M. Heidingsfelder

Sanki: “Pleased to announce my new group show and my first-ever international exhibition, Abstraction & Calligraphy: Towards a Universal Language, at Louvre Abu Dhabi in collaboration with Centre Pompidou, sponsored by Montblanc.” Curated by Didier Ottinger (Deputy Director, Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Pompidou), Sanki is showing his work next to Vassily Kandinsky, Jackson Pollock, André Masson, Anwar Jalal Shemza, Paul Klee, Lee Krasner and many other renowned artists – he is now one of them, and at 30, both the youngest artist in this show, and the first Pakistani artist to be working with the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Show opens on the 17th of Feb and continues till the 12th of June.

To obtain a copy of the press release for yourself; email his assistant at

Press release:…/lad-abstraction…

See also:

  1. You put a question mark in the title. What makes you doubt that world society is in a state of emergency?
    In short, we prefer to ask rather than decree. The book is a conversation about what “Corona” means for and in world society. The expression “state of emergency” comes up often. But how valid is it? To speak of world society is to speak of a social context that includes all variations of its own form. Meaning: There is no society outside of society, or in other words: world society makes no exceptions to itself. So what we are experiencing right now is not an exception, but such a form variant of world society. By the way, it is not a state at all; rather, it is a far more dynamic situation than is usually the case in everyday life. But just because habits are out of step does not mean that it is a state of emergency. It is rather the case that our daily routines, the security of our affluent niche of the world, are suddenly out of step. The poorer regions of the world are accustomed to insecurity – which is why, sadly, we in our niche are already discussing again whether we should be entitled to progress in the form of vaccinations and medicines, because we can pay for our security.
    When we conceived the volume, we had the impression of watching a society in the process of learning, of observing a society that is questioning, searching, and perhaps in a way that has been missing for a long time, inquisitive – hence the question mark.
  2. Does a printed book still make sense in such turbulent times as we live in today? Already after having read the last few lines, the world can be a completely different place with virus mutations or new lockdown rules.
    Yes, of course the world can be a different one at any moment, and yes, of course the temptation is great to take this assessment as a sedative so as to be able to go back to sleep. Every weariness can be theorised into meaninglessness in this way. But neither of us had such an overwhelming need for rest, and neither did the many contributors. We couldn’t meet each other, but nothing stood in the way of writing.
    And if you are alluding to the anachronism of the book: one cannot be surprised about the limited chances of reception of one’s own writing. But if you want to be read and discussed, the book is still the most attractive form of publication, because journal articles are only assessed but not read, and online publications have no distinction whatsoever and simply get lost in the associative media networks.
  3. Either way, what approach are you taking with the book, which approaches the pandemic from five different angles?
    Either way, our aim was to link perspectives, but neither to parallelise nor to hierarchise them. We had to accept that a book forces us to create a sequential order. The point was simply to describe what was happening – in order to understand. Why is it that some people seem to strategically hope that the use of the term “state of emergency” will give rise to certain rights of intervention that are not connected with this term at all? Could this simply be understood as a delight in authoritarian speculation, which has in any case been drawing ever wider circles in recent times? And in connection with this: How could the disdain for China be countered? When the pandemic began, Europe and America reassured themselves in their usual arrogance that they were so completely different from Asia that its problems were not or could never become our problems. And when the pandemic continued, they thought they did not even have to pay attention to Chinese or Korean forms of crisis management because they were not acceptable in this country. All this seemed pitiless, contemptuous and strategically unwise at the very least, and yet there was a simple remedy for this: talk.
  4. You write that the world society “no longer separates any outside and no longer isolates any inside”. Is this definition still tenable – at a time when we are closing borders again, banning flights, restricting fundamental rights and debating vaccination nationalism? For sure. Why else are the border closures such a scandal or even an issue? What we apparently find hard to bear, however, are limits on prosperity: We are prepared to scandalise border closures or flight bans when they limit our tourism, but not when they endanger the lives of refugees. These are challenges to fundamental rights for the refugees, not for the tourists. And the fact that national governments are at the mercy of pharmaceutical and hospital companies in view of the shortage of intensive care beds and vaccines has finally come to light as a problem once again, but it is not new. The fact that it could be a mistake to privatise hospitals and then have hardly any direct control options in the event of a crisis has in any case been known for some time. Ultimately, all these older structural problems have created complex problems of negotiation, which are time-consuming and result in compromises that will disappoint some, but which do not restrict any fundamental right. Compromise is the only sustainable crisis resolution we know.

Questions: Sebastian Paul. Translated by M.H. For the full interview, see ZU Daily (to be published on 21st of February 21):

Image: OVID-19 Outbreak World Map Total Deaths per Capita.svg, by Dan Polansky and authors of File:BlankMap-World.svg.

German: Wenn »Corona« der Name einer globalen Krise ist, dann kann dieser Name keinen Ausnahmezustand bezeichnen. Krisen sind nichts Außeralltägliches – und von der Welt kann sich nichts ausnehmen oder ausgenommen werden. Die Weltgesellschaft ist eine inklusive Umgebung, die alle ihre Grenzen untereinander vernetzt, die kein Außen mehr abtrennt und kein Innen mehr isoliert, die komplex und unsicher ist und von der es keinen Rückzug in Einfachheit und Sicherheit gibt – eine an Schärfe und Bitternis kaum zu unterschätzende Erkenntnis. Durch »Corona«, wird diese Erkenntnis anschaulich und begreiflich: als ein Hinweis auf die Implikationen vernetzter, inklusiver Globalität; als ein Problem, das Wahrnehmung und Beobachtung gleichermaßen herausfordert, weil es Ausdruck einer noch unverstandenen Krise ist.

Mit dem vorliegenden Sammelband bringen Markus Heidingsfelder und Maren Lehmann die Auseinandersetzung mit dieser Krise auf die Höhe der gesellschaftlichen Praxis. Konzipiert als ein Beobachtungsgeflecht unterschiedlicher Disziplinen und Perspektiven, vereint er gleichermaßen begriffliche Erklärungen wie situative Wahrnehmungen, die das eigene Nichtwissen – die individuelle Betroffenheit – als eine Formvariante des Problemverstehens ernst nehmen, anstatt es als dessen Vorform zu diskreditieren.

English: If “Corona” is the name of a global crisis, then this name cannot designate a state of exemption (‘Ausnahmezustand’). Crises are not something extra-ordinary – and nothing can be exempted or excluded from the world. The world society is an inclusive environment, which interlinks all its borders, which no longer separates any outside from any inside, which is complex and insecure, and from which there is no retreat into simplicity and security – an insight that can hardly be underestimated in its sharpness and bitterness. Through “Corona”, this insight becomes vivid and comprehensible: as an indication of the implications of networked, inclusive globality; as a problem that challenges perception and observation in equal measure, because it is the expression of a crisis that has not yet been understood.

Conceived as a network of observations from various disciplines and perspectives, this anthology by Markus Heidingsfelder and Maren Lehmann combines both conceptual explanations and situational perceptions that take one’s own lack of knowledge – individual consternation – seriously, instead of discrediting it as a preliminary form of understanding.

Inhalt/Table of contents:

Letters Against Separation
Liu Ding, Liu Qingshuo & Carol Yinghua Lu
Die große Überforderung
Durs Grünbein
Die luftleitenden Anteile der Lunge
Durs Grünbein
Seuchen am See
Barbara Vinken
»Artists in Quarantine«: Die Kunstwelt und das Problem entleerter Heroik
Jörg Heiser
Immer Ärger mit Corona – Skizze zu einer grassierenden Theatromanie
Peter Fuchs

Corona und die pulsierende Gesellschaft
Dirk Baecker
Systemic Integration and the Need for De-Integration in Pandemic Times
Elena Esposito
Global disease surveillance systems and cooperation in Covid-19: Lessons not learned
Alka Menon
»Led by the Science«
Michael King
Crisis Transitions in the World Risk Society
Gorm Harste
Verbotene und erlaubte Sozialformen
Fritz B. Simon

Covid-19 and governments: ›Emerging infectious diseases‹ and governance. Some preliminary thoughts
Fang Ying, Heiner Fangerau & Alfons Labisch
Chinas Kampf gegen Corona: Historische Erfahrungen, innen- und außenpolitische Implikationen
Thomas Heberer
Das Virus der Anderen. Diskursive Ausschlussdynamiken und der neue Orientalismus im frühen Diskurs über Covid-19
Marius Meinhof

Die Pandemie als Profilierungschance: Papst Franziskus, Donald Trump, Byung-chul Han und Corona
Hans-Georg Moeller
Prophetisches Wächteramt. Eine Erinnerung
Alexandra Grund-Wittenberg
Theologie im Schatten der Coronakrise
Günter Thomas

Wer hat Angst vor’m schwarzen Mann? Das »Infektionsgeschehen« als Spiel
Joachim Landkammer
Lachen über Covid-19? Psychologische Wege des Umgangs mit der Corona-Krise
Arist von Schlippe
Notstands-Staat als Staat der Zukunft? Die skandalöse und entscheidende Frage vom Rand der Pandemie
Hans-Ulrich Gumbrecht

Liebe Kolleg*innen und Freund*innen,

wir – die theatrale subversion aus Dresden – freuen uns sehr, dass wir heute in Kooperation mit dem Leipziger Theatermacher und Programmierer Alexander Bauer das digitale Kunst- und Dokumentationsprojekt Archiv der lebenden Toten starten können.

Ihr findet das Archiv unter:
Das Archiv der lebenden Toten ist ein Ort der zukünftigen Erinnerung. Es sammelt Videobotschaften von Menschen, deren Leben in besonderem Maße durch die COVID-19-Pandemie bedroht ist. Hier können sie – für den Fall ihres Todes – ein digitales Vermächtnis hinterlassen. Das Archiv der lebenden Toten wird diese Zeugnisse für eine kommende Gesellschaft bewahren.
Das Archiv ist eine Online-Plattform, auf der die Videos unkompliziert erstellt und veröffentlicht werden können. Das Archiv der lebenden Toten funktioniert, wenn möglichst viele Menschen mitmachen. Wenn Du also selbst zu einer Corona-Risikogruppe gehörst, mach gerne mit! Wenn Du nicht dazu gehörst, aber Leute kennst, deren Erfahrungen/Meinungen/Geschichten geteilt/geäußert/erzählt werden sollten, informiere sie gerne über das Projekt oder – falls nötig – hilf ihnen sogar bei der Anfertigung eines Videovermächtnisses.

Um über das Projekt auf dem Laufenden zu bleiben, kannst Du uns auf folgenden Plattformen folgen:


Vielen Dank und mit den besten Grüßen,
Michael Neil McCrae
Künstlerische Leitung – theatrale subversion  / Archiv der lebenden Toten

Dear friends, some hopefully enlightening news in these dark times: 
I can finally show my new film AI IS THE ANSWER – WHAT WAS THE QUESTION, this Wednesday at UNDERDOX Filmfestival Munich. Very happy about it, since all other festivals refused this film.

Film starts at 6:30pm, but be aware, space is limited for the obvious reasons. I’m curious about discussing the question of how to show today’s late capitalism. Some thoughts about it here: and here:

Finally, here is a trailer: and HKW Berlin will screen the film in April 2021, I’ll keep you updated. Whoever is interested in seeing the entire film, just drop me a line and I can provide a link. 

I’m also happy to share with you my attempt to sing Schubert, Schumann and Eisler, intervowen with texts by Jelinek, Heine, Marx, Kafka and Heiner Mueller. Steirischer Herbst made it possible!

It was an honor to participate in a book by the great architect Anne Lacaton. “Qualities of Inhabiting” shows how political housing is, and it really is a rare example in this capitalist world:

One more thing: Since, as you might know, the sudden death of David Graeber, people are gathering in his memory. Yesterday, in Berlin, in two very different settings:

I hope you are all well!






Critical theory is a Western, and distinctly European, intellectual tradition that drew its normative resources from the social and political events that transpired in Europe over the course of the 20th century. It is relevant to ask the question whether, as a critical-practical tradition, critical theory has anything to contribute outside the Western-European context, given the emergence of globalization and the issues that arose with it. For some, the Eurocentrism of critical theory is symptomatic of its very own crisis, one which challenges the universality of its normative claims, e.g., the abolition of social injustice. Is it possible for critical theory to overcome its Eurocentrism and, therefore, its own crisis?
The irony is that critical theory is only able to defend the universality of its normative claims when it is able to renew itself. If it is at all possible to renew critical theory, what does this renewal entail? The workshop will pursue these questions by expanding the scope of traditional critical theory, especially, but not exclusively, by drawing on critical perspectives on modern societies and emancipation movements that have originated in Asia.

While critical theory has asserted its role as the vanguard of protecting the interest of the oppressed, the pursuit of justice, and the abolition of domination and alienation in society, the question of who is the oppressed, what is justice, and who and what is dominated or alienated remains prevalent. The need to revise, re-align, and remap the trajectories of critical theory becomes an essential call to arms as we continue to experience injustice, domination, and oppression in new forms that displaces our traditional ideas of justice, domination, and oppression. From this vantage point, there is a need to move critical theory beyond the margins of its intended scope and look at the possibility where future discourses in critical theory can become juxtaposed in pursuit of its intended normative goals. There is a need to renew, revisit, and revise existing conceptions of social justice when its possibility entails contrary effects.

Morning session, 10:00am
“Critical Theory at the Margins”
Paolo A. Bolaños, University of Santo Tomas
“Filial Piety vs Critique of Blood Vengeance”
Lee Tingmien, University of Macau
“Critical Theory and Tradition”
Jovito V. Cariño, University of Santo Tomas
Moderator: Christine Tan, University of Santo Tomas

Early afternoon session, 01:15pm
“Profile Politics: A Critique of the ‘White Left’ (bai zuo ⽩左)”
Hans-Georg Moeller, University of Macau
“Critical Theory and Recognition”
Roland Theuas Pada, University of Santo Tomas
“Critical Theory and Revolution”
Raniel Reyes, University of Santo Tomas
Moderator: Ranier Abengaña, University of Santo Tomas

Late afternoon session, 04:00pm
“Critical Perspectives on National and Civilizational
Identities: Solidarity and Enthusiasm”
Daniel Sarafinas, University of Macau
“Free Fall: A Hegelian Critique of the Gambling Rabble”
Mario Wenning, University of Macau
Moderator: Anton Rennesland, University of Santo Tomas

24 OCTOBER 2020, SATURDAY | 10:00 AM TO 6:00 PM (UTC +8)
ZOOM MEETING-ID: 976 4344 1616 | PASSCODE: 241020