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Re: <nettime> Armin Medosch (1962-2017)
Brian Holmes on Fri, 24 Feb 2017 21:09:51 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> Armin Medosch (1962-2017)


This hard to believe. Armin with his big, booming voice, his incredible
curiosity and enthusiasm, will be sorely missed. I remember going out with
him and his wife Ina to their vegetable patch outside Vienna, one sunny day
when he told me about his ideas for the exhibition Fields. I remember doing
radio interviews with him - the real thing, he made highly composed
thematic programs for Austrian national radio. I remember provoking him for
stories about the Stubnitz and all the wild things they did on that
media-ship. I remember his great lecture at Van Abbemuseum when one of my
books came out. I remember walking with him through the city to Gerald
Nestler's place where we had a kind of salon-style discussion, which I
gather happened quite a bit after that. I remember visiting the Technisches
Museum in Vienna with him and Darko Fritz. I remember an endless
correspondence. I remember sitting around in the living room of his old
place for three days, inventing the core concepts of what became
Technopolitics.

Armin and I did something very unusual, which I would love to do more often
but it's not so frequent: we worked together in a sustained way on a set of
concepts that embraced a vast chunk of history and were totally relevant to
the present. Crucial to the beginnings of this endeavor were a set of radio
interviews which he had done with people like the economist Carlota Perez.
At that time Armin was still partially living in London and he could easily
approach whomever seemed most relevant for his own ideas, which were at
once deeply Marxist and disciplined, yet also radically up to date and
experimental. After corresponding for months on email lists (mostly but not
only nettime) I came to Vienna and was warmly received in the great
tradition of artists and activists who think the unknown other can surprise
them. Armin acted on this inspiration and started many different threads in
a structured section of his website, http://thenextlayer.org. Wonderfully
he practiced what he preached and used free software. We explored a million
things through shared readings, collaborative threads and epic debates on
that website for years. Armin also came for one of my Three Crises seminars
in Berlin, organized in by a Free University project that had emerged from
the Occupy movement. He recorded everything carefully and I remember doing
one more interview with him in a friend's Berlin apartment, the night
before he had to catch an early train back to Vienna.

Armin and I drifted apart a bit in recent years, as conditions in Europe
and the USA began to diverge so sharply. He was focused on turning
Technopolitics into a new kind of materialist art history that mattered to
the many experimental projects he had launched and participated in as an
artist. In the summertimes he would send an image and a note from Korcula
where he went with Ina and hung out with Darko, and I must say I regret
never joining him for these ritual summer stays on the Croatian island,
although I dreamed of doing it. I think for him that was a place of heart.
Looking around on the net for some traces of those moments, I found a
description of a series of performative lectures that he apparently gave in
commemoration of the former Yugoslav Praxis Group of Marxist thinkers,
which used to meet in the summers on Korcula. There is no video, no
recording, no transcription, and so you can just imagine what Armin said on
that day and how he evoked a radical culture that he loved:

http://www.korculainfo.com/armin-medosch-what-is-history-homage-to-praxis-praxis-group-and-korcula-summer-school/

in memoriam, Brian


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