Saturday, March 4, 2017

Strangers, secrets and desire: the surreal world of Sophie Calle Sean O'Hagan Saturday 4 March 2017 07.00 EST Sophie Calle is France’s most famous – and the world’s most quintessentially French – conceptual artist. She once said that she became an artist because she wanted to seduce her father, who was an avid art collector. In the pursuit of her art, she has become a stripper, a stalker and a thief, famously finding a stranger’s address book on the street and, instead of returning it, contacting everyone in it and asking them for a description of the owner. Calle, 63, has been using photography as well as text, video, film and performance in her work since the late 1970s. In 2003, Paris’s Pompidou Centre staged a retrospective of her work and the Whitechapel Gallery, London, followed suit in 2010. In 2007, she represented France at the Venice Biennale. Somewhat belatedly, then, she has made it on to the shortlist of the 2017 Deutsche Börse photography prize for what is, in her terms, a rather traditional publication. Sophie Calle: My All is a retrospective photo-book comprising postcard-style photographs documenting all 54 of her artworks thus far. What Do You See? (2013). Facebook Twitter Pinterest What Do You See? (2013), one of Calle’s Deutsche Börse prize‑nominated photographs. Photograph: Sophie Calle Confusingly, she has created an exhibition of new work for the show entitled My Mother, My Father, My Cat, which deals with the recent deaths of all three in a characteristically playful and self-revealing way. Accusatory extracts from her mother’s diary are displayed opposite a portrait of her cat, Souris, laid out in a small coffin. She is also planing to release a concept album about the cat, which will include a piece by Laurie Anderson and another by the French singer Camille. From the beginning, Calle’s work has merged elements of fiction, fantasy, performance and documentary in its ongoing investigation of the increasingly blurred boundaries between the private and the public, the voyeuristic and the theatrical. Sometimes she utilises elements of chance; other times, she imposes often bizarre rules on her everyday life in order to document the results. The Sleepers (1979). Facebook Twitter Pinterest The Sleepers (1979), in which Calle’s bed was occupied by 29 people. Photograph: Sophie Calle In 1979’s Sleepers, she invited 29 people to occupy her bed for eight hours as she observed them sleeping, waking and eating breakfast served by her. That same year, she created what was, perhaps, her first signature piece, Suite Vénitienne, which began when she met a stranger at a party and decided to somehow follow him to Venice. What followed was part theatrical performance and part noir detective thriller. Having found him, she somehow convinced the woman in the room opposite to let her use it to clandestinely photograph his daily comings-and-goings while disguised as a maid. Like much of what was to follow, Suite Vénitienne depends for its power on the evocation of desire and obsession as well as the artist’s willingness to make work that relies on intrusion and surveillance. But Calle’s approach is more mischievously complex than that. The postmodernist French thinker, Jean Baudrillard, in an essay for the resulting book, pointed out the wilful contradiction at the heart of the undertaking. “Nothing was to happen, not one event that might establish any contact or relationship between them.” Her seeming obsessions are played out, first and foremost, in the creation of her art. In Voir la Mer (2011), Calle captured the reactions of elderly residents of Istanbul after they had seen the sea for the first time. Facebook Twitter Pinterest In Voir la Mer (2011), Calle captured the reactions of elderly residents of Istanbul after they had seen the sea for the first time. Photograph: Sophie Calle In 1980, however, for her project, The Bronx, she placed herself at the centre of her art in a different and more vulnerable way by walking around the economically deprived streets of New York’s South Bronx and asking strangers to take her to what they considered a special place. The result is an uneasy portrait of a beleaguered neighbourhood and its people through her encounters in a single day. It is the closest she has yet come to documentary portraiture, though, in 2010, she made an installation piece, To the Sea, in which she recorded on film the reactions of elderly residents of Istanbul who had never seen the sea. Take Care of Yourself (2004-2007). Facebook Twitter Pinterest Take Care of Yourself (2004-2007), in which Calle sent a break-up text from a former lover to 107 women. Photograph: Sophie Calle This merging of chance and order, randomness and ritual in her work caught the attention of Paul Auster, and he recreated her in his 1992 novel, Leviathan, as Maria, an artist whose “activity didn’t stem from a desire to make art so much as from a need to indulge her obsessions”. In 1994, they collaborated on a project during which she spent days smiling at every stranger she met and set about personalising a public phone box with a new coat of paint flowers, snacks and note pads. Calle’s work is at its most powerful when it transgresses social codes. For Take Care of Yourself, which she showed at the 2007 Venice Biennale, she sent a curt break-up text she had received from a lover to 107 women requesting their reactions. She received advice in the form of songs, drawings and even a copy of the letter with three bullet holes though it. This is art not so much as self-therapy, but as a way of holding up a mirror to human behaviour as it is tested and sometimes unmoored by desire and obsession – and indeed any rupture in the fabric of the public rituals we construct to mask our deeper selves. As our lives become more public on social media and the border between the private and the public ever more politically contested, Calle seems increasingly like an artist whose provocations are more like premonitions. The Deutsche Börse photography foundation prize 2017, featuring Sophie Calle’s new work, is at the Photographers’ Gallery, London W1F, until 11 June. Copied from

Friday, March 3, 2017

Cremation Portraits CREMATION ART An exciting new way to combine the power of personalized art and provide the comfort of keeping a small amount of ashes close. The image, transferred onto museum quality canvas, is stretched and wrapped around a wood frame. A UV coating completes the process. We have a wide selection of frames to choose from. The beautiful canvas-transfer print emulates the color richness, texture and fine detail of an original painting right down to the detail of brush strokes. We can also make adjustments and fix your damaged photos. Once you have approved the design, the cremation ashes of your loved one are tastefully incorporated into a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork. A final layer of glaze is applied over the ashes to permanently hold them in place. The cremation ashes are fully visible and touchable while adding a third dimension of beauty and meaning to the cremation art work. The result is a fine piece of memorial art that will give comfort and peace that will be admired for generations to come. There are three basic styles of cremation art to choose from. Using a photograph you supply, we can create a custom piece of heirloom art. It can be a portrait, a family photo, a picture of a special place, such as the location of the scattering or home site. There are no limits, so be creative. You can even combine our scenes with your photo if you would like. Text can also be added to further personalize each piece. A poem, a favorite saying, names and date are just some of the ideas people have used. We also have a selection of spiritual and comforting scenes of art that you may choose from. You may also select to have a hand drawn pencil sketch for your cremation ashes art. The penciled sketch can be a portrait or scene. You will be in close contact with the artist throughout the design process. Many of the families served by Cremation Solutions choose to scatter the ashes of their loved ones with a scattering urn while retaining some of the ashes for cremation art, cremation jewelry and small keepsake urns. Because the artwork is digitally created we can keep cremation art and portraits affordable. You also will have a chance to view the design before it goes to print, so you will know just what you are getting. We can make changes and deminish blemishes to your photo at your request. We know how important this artwork is to your family. Unlike Cremation Urns only a small amount of ashes is needed and we carefully handle the ashes with the utmost respect and dignity. We have a strict system in place to track the cremation ashes, so you can be assured that only the cremation ashes of your loved one are used and any ashes that are not used will be returned with your art. Once you place your order we will immediately ship you a kit to mail the ashes to us. Each order is tracked using both the name of the deceased and your order number. Shipping the ashes and the cremation art is included in the cost of your selection. Starting at Only $127 including shipping! Copied from

[kunst und technik] architecture / media / modern life is a team of architects, artists and designers, based in Berlin. Founded in 1996. In 1996-2000 located in a former laboratory building in Monbijou Park on the Spree River in Berlin-Mitte; since 2000 in a project office in Berlin-Mitte. It works on, with, and between the intersections of art, architecture, visual communication, real and virtual spaces. Beside the development of its own projects a place for exhibitions and events on the topic of cutting-edge technology and culture, with an affiliated club (to the demolition of the laboratory building, spring 2000). Members: Jan Edler, Tim Edler, Jonathan Garnham, Rainer Hartl, Frank Hühnerkopf, Martin Janekovic, Andreas Klockmann, Juliane Kühn, Uwe Rieger, Helle Schröder. Copied from

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Rehearsal politics - Dialogue, Communication and Notes on the 8th Shanghai Biennale Gao Shiming "I wish my work to be something like a scalpel, a flask or an underground passage, and I would like them to be ashes as firecrackers." - Michelle Foucault For the nature of action, we are far from being fully and clearly thoughtful. - Martin Heidegger A conversation A: Do not you think we are getting stupid? B: Everybody is smart, just as an artist becomes foolish. C: Is the question of contemporary art not too "smart" to the artists? D: In fact, the artists are very anxious, but also very at a loss, simply said - the lack of sense of direction. B: Is the curator clear? D: curators are equally confused and confused. Not to mention the problem, or only ask questions, never give the answer. Is there any answer? D: We always feel dissatisfied and can not tell the reason. A: what can be, nothing boring. B: personal creativity seems to have dried up, can not find the source point, full of cosplay. D: everywhere is business, gallery advertising everywhere, the magazine is all auction information, critics and galleries together, curators and collectors conspiracy ... ... B: everywhere is "standardized contemporary art". C: Can contemporary art be standard? D: feeling the stones across the river. ABCD: tired of it. ABCD: very tired. E: We are inexplicably entering a state. But can not clearly describe this state. Where do we come from? We face all day is the strength of the art market, the history of art failure, the confusion of values, curator's strategy and discourse ... ... F: In fact, contemporary, is not only this loss and no sense of direction is appropriate. 80 years, 90 years, the artist goal is clear, there are things to do, it is because there are enemies, there are goals. And now, it seems that art is flattened, and no art enemies can fight. E: It is natural that one of the works of contemporary art is to continually make our self-reliant land into a quicksand, and it continually creates puzzles and confuses. C: Are you confused? B: mainly at a loss. A: everything seems to be pre-allowed. C: Are you allowed? A: The key is even if it is allowed to make no sense, we have no derailment of the impulse. B: what things are a bit mean, but it's no big deal. D: the artist's individual is not filled, but very empty. F: the individual can be a wilderness, can be ruins, can also have a disease, that is not healthy and empty. E: This is the moment of the artist's crisis, although the history of art since the modernist history itself is full of the history of the crisis, but now we are not the same situation, feeling was evacuated, exhausted. C: "how to do nothing?" B: Did we forget the original intention? A: Wait! Wait! What is coming soon? ABCDEF: very tired. ABCDEF: Trouble. Copied from, which Google labeled a "dangerous" site, then run through Google site translator to de-dangerize it.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


“When you enter this space, I am here, but you will not see me. I am behind the walls.” Alejandro Figueredo Diaz-Perera.Despite the fact that conceptual art can often change direction and go into hidden and mysterious territory, Chicago-based artist from Cuba Diaz-Perera’s message is quite apparent. His solo exhibition “In the Absence of the Body” will last three weeks and throughout this entire time the artist will remain quiet and unseen from the public, confined in a 2.5-foot wide and 10-foot long crawl space between the walls of the gallery who is hosting his art, West Loop. Equipped only with a sleeping mat, a pillow, a blanket, a lamp and a hammer (for emergency use only), Diaz-Perera will only engage in the basic actions of eating, sleeping and breathing. Gallery-goers will be able to hear -but not see- everything.
This work intends to investigate the delicate balance between presence and absence, powerlessness and empowerment.

The Cuban artist was born in Havana in 1991 during a time period in Cuban history known as “The Special Period”, an entire decade of poverty, famine and overpopulation. Alejandro Figueredo Diaz-Perera was marked by absence from a very young age. First, his father left Cuba when Diaz-Perera was still a child and then the artist himself moved to Chicago at the age of 22, leaving his mother behind. In Diaz-Perera’s performance, the definite sense of being alone is made clear.
The grandmother of performance art herself, Marina Abramovic, was the artist’s mentor during his preparation to spent three weeks in extraordinary isolation. Abramovic conducted a meditation training in Cuba during a visit of hers to the country in 2012, which Diaz-Perera attended. Other artists who influenced him during his training were Gabriel Orozco and Tania Bruguera. Cara Megan Lewis, the artist’s romantic companion, will be helping him throughout the duration of the exhibition by bringing him food, and the news through a vent in the wall.
This performance, which will run until February 26, puts Diaz-Perera in a condition of in-between, a doubtful state of uncertainty, suggestive of his political positions. In December 2014, U.S.A. president Barak Obama and the Cuban president Raul Castro affirmed the normalization of the relationship between the two countries. Despite that, practical consequences of the announcement have a long way to completely reveal themselves. In the meantime, the people of Cuba are left waiting, silently, in ambivalence’s hidden domain.
Julia Horeftari for Art-Sheep
via huffingtonpost
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Rice/Tree/Burial with Time Capsule: The work of Agnes Denes

The following is copied from the portfolio site of Agnes Denes. Photos of the work can also be viewed at that location.

Rice/Tree/Burial was first realized in 1968 in Sullivan County, New York, in a private ritual. It was a symbolic "event" and announced my commitment to environmental issues and human concerns. It was also the first exercise in Eco-Logic—an act in eco-philosophy. I coined the words to be used this way emphasizing the importance of eco-logical thinking. This work is considered the first ecological realization in public art.

I planted rice to represent life (initiation and growth), chained trees to indicate interference with life and natural processes (evolutionary mutation, variation, decay, death), and buried my Haiku poetry to symbolize the idea or concept (the abstract, the absolute, human intellectual powers, and creation itself). These three acts constituted the first transitional triangulation* (thesis, antithesis, synthesis) and formed the Event. According to evolutionary theories, Event is the only reality, while the reality we perceive is forever changing and transforming in an expanding evolutionary universe in which time, space, mass, and energy are all interconnected and interdependent.

Rice represented a universal substance referring to sustenance and the life-giving element, while the seed itself denoted the nucleus, first principle or cause—the beginning. The act of sowing implied the source of growth, the introduction of a thing into another environment in order to initiate a process, the setting of something into motion (fertilization, conceiving, induction).

The chaining of trees signified linkage, connective units and associations, flexibility and restraint. It implied bondage, defeat, interference with growth—decay. The act of chaining brought attention to the mysterious life-force of an organism and its partial triumph over boundaries and restraints—its uneven, limited transcendence. Chaining trees also expressed choice, the selection and defining necessary in the creative process.

The texture of the forest, having been interrupted by the reordering of its elements, yielded unique structures of isolated or combined sculptural forms. The chains became additional limbs and blended into their surroundings to become visible only in certain lights, angles, and perspectives, conveying the conflicting and interdependent aspects of art and existence, illusion and reality, imagination and fact. The chained trees stood as monuments to human thought versus nature.

The burial of my haiku formed the essence of thinking processes (consciousness, deductive reasoning, and the logic of emotions). It represented the concept as essence of invention, which connects and defines life and death and acts as modifier and rationale for both.

I kept no copies of my poetry, thereby relinquishing, "giving up to the soil," something personal and precious—an act that also symbolized the self-denial and discipline required by this new analytical art form.

The act of burial, or placing into the ground and receiving from it, a cause-and-effect process, marks our intimate relationship with the earth. On the one hand, it indicates passing, returning to the soil, disintegration, and transformation; on the other, generation and life-giving, placing in the ground for the purpose of planting. It is also a metaphor for human intelligence and transcendence through the communication of ideas - in this case, to future descendants.

All three imply change from one form to another, cyclic phenomena, transformation—as from chaos to order and back. Consequently, all three idea representatives or metaphors—the rice, the tree, the burial—become analogous, interactive and interdependent, creating the tension of opposing forces acting on each other and the momentum necessary to pass from one state to another and into further propositions. Their interaction creates a counterbalance as they pass into each other's realm or meaning to become successively interchangeable through their inherent polarity.

The ritual marked the beginning of my involvement with the creation of a "visual philosophy," a complex process which explores essences as forms of communication. It finds methods to put analytical propositions into visual form, defines elusive processes and creates analogies among divergent fields and thought processes. It challenges the status quo and tests its own validity.

In the summer of 1977, the ritual was re-enacted and realized on a full scale at Artpark (Lewiston, New York), completing the first cycle in the evolutionary process of my work and marking an important phase in its development. This periodical summation is a natural evolutionary phenomenon. Organisms probe their environment to find best possible ways to survive by developing memory and the ability to compare. In our limited existence this long view of reaching back and re-examining provides answers as to where we have been and where we are going.

I planted a half-acre rice field 150 feet above the Niagara gorge. The site marked the birthplace of Niagara Falls between Canada and the U.S., twelve thousand years ago. The rice grew up mutant, an unforeseen consequence of Artpark having been a dump-site near Love Canal.

I chained the trees in a sacred forest that was once an Indian burial ground, long since looted and desecrated, working under the watchful eyes of the Indians who seemed to hover over us in the trees and cover our bodies in the form of eerie spiders.

I then climbed out to the edge of Niagara Falls and filmed it for seven days, adding the forces of nature, as a fourth element, to this cycle of dialectics. With this act I also affirmed that my art functioned on the edge of the unknown in a delicate balance of the universals and the self, of the moment and of eternity—and was not afraid to assume the risks such art must take.

The shaky ledge from which I filmed had been dynamited to control the retreat of the falls. Soon after my filming, it fell into the white foam below.

The time capsule was buried at Artpark at 47° 10' longitude and 79° 2' 32" latitude. It contained no objects other than the microfilmed responses to a questionnaire that had traveled around the world, and a long letter I wrote addressed "Dear Homo Futurus."

The questionnaire was composed of existential questions concerning human values, the quality of life, and the future of humanity. The responses were primarily from university students in various countries where I spoke or had exhibitions of my work. Within the context of the time capsule the questionnaire functioned as an open system of communication, allowing our descendants to evaluate us not so much by the objects we created—as is customary in time capsules—but by the questions we asked and how we responded to them.

The microfilm was desiccated and placed in a steel capsule inside a heavy lead box in nine feet of concrete. A plaque marks the spot: at the edge of the Indian forest, surrounded by blackberry bushes. The time capsule is to be opened in 2979, in the 30th century, a thousand years from the time of the burial.

There are, still within the framework of this project, several time capsules planned on earth and in space, aimed at various time frames in the future.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Gleiches Recht für alle! Nicht nur die Töne wollte John Cage befreien. Der Komponist war politischer, als viele seiner Hörer bis heute glauben. – Eine Betrachtung zu seinem 15. Todestag. Von Jannika Bock 27. Juli 2007, 14:00 Uhr Quelle: ZEIT online 6 Kommentare John Cage, Komponist, Pilzsammler und Philosoph, starb am 12. August vor 15 Jahren. An einem Schlaganfall, der so überraschend kam wie die Perkussion in seinen Kompositionen. Für die Musikwelt war sein Tod ein Paukenschlag, der alles Gewesene mit einem mächtigen Rumms in sich verschlang. Und da war sie wieder: die Stille. Zeitweise kehrten jene Konzepte zurück, die Cage ein Leben lang auflösen wollte: das Nichts, die Stille, die Frage nach dem Sinn. „ Think of my art as nonsense “, hatte er geschrieben. Man solle seine Kunst als sinnlos verstehen. Sie habe kein Ziel, keine Botschaft und ihr läge nichts zugrunde außer dem Zufall. Mehr noch als die starren Kompositionskonventionen seiner Zeit lehnte er Musik ab, die sich in einen Dienst stellte, zumal in den der Politik. Konsequent hielt er sich aus dem Tagesgeschehen heraus. Selten nahm er öffentlich Stellung, schon gar nicht schwarz auf weiß. Seit den sechziger Jahren ging er nicht mehr wählen. Er verließ New York City und zog in eine kleine Künstlerkommune auf dem Land. Er entzog sich der Gesellschaft und der Politik, und seinen Werken den Sinn und die Absicht. Aber enthalten seine Stücke, in ihrer Inhaltslosigkeit und Nicht-Intentionalität, keine klare gesellschaftspolitische Vision? Seit seinem Tod hat die Cage-Forschung eine Renaissance erlebt. Literatur-, Musik- und Theaterwissenschaftler widmen sich seinen Werken mit wachsendem Interesse. Marjorie Perloff, die wohl prominenteste Cage-Forscherin, arbeitet derzeit an einem neuen Buch, ebenso der einflussreiche Musikologe David Wayne Patterson. Stets im Mittelpunkt steht 4’33'' , jenes Stück, das der Pianist David Tudor vor 55 Jahren im ländlichen Woodstock uraufführte – nicht weit von jener Wiese der Rebellion, die 17 Jahre später weltberühmt werden sollte. Cage wandte sich mit seinen 4 Minuten und 33 Sekunden gegen die herrschende Musik. Kein einziger intendierter Ton ertönte in dem stillen Stück. Es gab bloß Nebengeräusche. Alles sollte gehört werden: das Husten des Nebenmanns, der Lärm von der Straße, das nervöse Hin- und Herrücken Gelangweilter auf den harten Konzertsaalstühlen. Cage wollte keinen Unterschied zwischen guten und schlechten Tönen mehr machen und auch nicht zwischen Klang und Stille. Eine musikalische Revolution, die natürlich nicht aus dem Nichts kam, aber dennoch das Publikum gehörig überraschte. Cage, der Rebell, das enfant terrible der klassischen Musik, das sein Publikum immer wieder verschreckte, es in den Wahnsinn trieb, wie ein Kritiker der New York Times einst feststellte. Er sei ein grenzenloser Optimist gewesen, sagen Weggefährten, ein Träumer, der durchaus eine gesellschaftspolitische Vision hatte. Über einen Zeitraum von fast 20 Jahren schrieb Cage sein Kettengedicht Diary: How to Improve the World , also ein Tagebuch zur Rettung der Welt. Er fügte ihm listig den Untertitel zu: „Du wirst alles nur schlimmer machen“, aber geschrieben hat er es dennoch. Ja, Cage wollte seinem Spaceship Earth helfen, sicher durch Zeit und Raum zu gleiten. In seinen Büchern finden sich etliche Hinweise, dass Cage viel politischer war, als viele seiner Hörer glaubten – und möglicherweise er selber auch. In seinen gesammelten Reden und Aufsätzen hat er auf den Amerikaner Henry David Thoreau verwiesen, vor allem auf das Werk Über die Pflicht des Ungehorsams gegenüber dem Staat . In der legendären Streitschrift aus dem Jahre 1849 fordert Thoreau, man müsse sich gegen die Regierung auflehnen, wenn sie gegen die eigenen Prinzipien handele. Er forderte ein herrschaftsfreies Miteinander. Cage sah das genauso. Er wollte die Hierarchien überwinden. In der Anarchie sah er die Chance zur Gleichstellung aller Menschen, ohne Machtzentren und Regeln, die aus Subjekten Objekte machen: „ I’m an anarchist, same as you are when you’re telephoning, turning on/off the lights, drinking water .“ Der Einzelne als autonome Einheit, als selbstbestimmtes Subjekt in allen Lebenslagen, auch in der Musik. Im Jahre 1974 schreibt Cage in seinem programmatischen Aufsatz The Future of Music : “Musicians can do without government.“ In Anlehnung an Thoreau stellt er fest, dass Musiker keine Regierung brauchen. Sie seien bereit, auf der Bühne Anarchie zu (er-)leben. Ein Jahr später komponiert Cage Renga with Apartment House 1776 , sein Auftragswerk zur 200-Jahr-Feier der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika. Er will damit ein „musikalisches Beispiel für die Machbarkeit und Vorzüge von Anarchie“ liefern. Also doch: eine gesellschaftspolitische Vision! Eine Botschaft! Ein Ziel! Cage schafft ein „aesthetic analogue“, ein künstlerisches Analogon: ein musikalisches Beispiel, das auf die Welt außerhalb der Kunst übertragen werden soll. In seiner musikalischen Vision sind alle Beteiligten gleichgestellt. Der Dirigent führt nicht mehr; die Musiker beschließen selbst, was sie wie spielen. Renga with Apartment House 1776 hat keinen konventionellen Notentext. Die Partitur besteht ausschließlich aus Zeichnungen aus den Tagebüchern Thoreaus. Die aufführenden Musiker entscheiden eigenständig, wie sie Bilder interpretieren wollen. Sie können sich aussuchen, welches Instrument sie spielen möchten. Sogar die Länge des Stücks liegt bei ihnen. Das Resultat: akustische Anarchie. Cage entmachtet den Dirigenten, den Notentext und auch sich, den Komponisten. Bei den Aufführungen des Stücks gibt es kein visuelles Zentrum. Der Dirigent steht nicht in der Mitte, nicht erhöht. Um ihn ordnen sich nicht die Musiker in einem strengen Halbrund an. Nein. Jeder sitzt, wo er möchte. Die erste Geige hinter dem Paukenspieler, der Solist am Bühnenrand, der Dirigent irgendwo. Ein Blickfang, eine Mitte existiert nicht. Es entsteht eine kakophone Freiheit. Copied from: