Nach langer Stagnation des Blogs möchte ich euch mit der Arbeit eines guten Berliner Freunds bekannt machen – zu diesem Zweck habe ich mit notrta.wordpress.com (Projekt beendet) ein kurzes aber aufschlussreiches Interview geführt:
Q: Who are you and what do you do?
A: I call myself binujamin – it is the oldest known version of my “real” name (dating back to around 1.000 BC). I work as a full-time professional photographer and journalist, though on my blog I focus more on my artistic work, may it be photography, music, writing or philosophy.
Q: Why do you do what you do?
A: In my “real life” I cover as a photographer mainly war-zones. I think I came there due to my studies of anthropology as well as due to my interest of politics and how societies work. On my artistic side I started to do Black Metal Music back in my teens and also already than write poems, short stories and contemplate on different philosophic topics. Thus I think I do what I do as binujamin due to my search for the deeper layers of humanity and the reasons for the violence and brutality in this world.
Q: When and where did you begin to work?
A: It is hard to give it an exact date – as a professional photographer I started working around 2008 after I finished my studies, had an apprenticeship with an Industrial Photographer and worked some time as a photo-assistant. As binujamin I started working already around 2000 – I had an underground mail-order for exotic black metal, released a small magazine on philosophy and art, played in several bands and pursued solo projects. Thus first came my artistic way of living before it transformed itself also into a way of life in “both spheres” of existing
Q: How do you work today?
A: It depends on what kind of artistic work I pursue. Of course the age of digital photography made many things more easy and cheaper but it also took away a certain kind of “magic”. So currently I work on several projects with classic analog photography. For my music I work mainly with simulated old analog synthesisers on my computer though I have also now started to buy some small “real” synths to add more layers into the music. And for writing: This kind of work evolves mostly over some time, often at night or during a delirious state (may it be with the help of alcohol, after sex or with other “intoxicating substances”).
Q: What art do you most identify with?
A: It is hard to pin down which kind of art I identify exactly. I love for instance the paintings of Pieter Bruegel (and similar art) – especially his painting “Der düstere Tag” from 1565. But of course also modern time artists have an influence on me as well as different movements like the DaDa movement, the Futurists and the “Sowjet Modernists” during the 1920s – until they got whipped out by Stalin. So I get influenced by art ranging over several hundred years – but it is mainly the “dark”, “disturbing” and “provocative” art I tend to like.
Q: What themes do you pursue?
A: There are several layers surrounding my art. Often they seem “light” and “positive” in their appearance but often contain darker, deeper meanings of loss, loneliness, sexual boundaries or depression. Also the idea of “capitalism” as the “slave master” of our time influences my own work – and the deconstruction of so called “Ideologies”. Myths and old writings have also a big influence on my work and thus I often try to bring them to life by my own means – like for instance my current nude photography project reflecting on the “Muse” and the nine daughters of Zeus.
Q: What’s integral to the work of an artist?
A: I think first and foremost an artists should now his handiwork and craft blindly. First after you managed to find a certain kind of “perfection” for yourself in your craft you should strife to counter, destroy or redraw the boundaries set up by the handicraft. Often I can`t take artists serious who bring meaning to their work only via “post-structuralist” wordings or long, exhausting “philosophical tracts” but do not have really any idea how the craft itself works. Here I am probably a bit conservative in my thoughts.
How and why did you come up with the name “Nietzsche On The Road To Anarchy”?
A: Nietzsche and Anarchism both have been in my life since my teen age. Though of course the meaning of these ideas shifted over time and space. I finalised my thoughts on both complexes around 2013 and started working under the banner of “Nietzsche on the Road towards Anarchism” since than. I think the general disillusion of the human race (due to my many travels into war zones since 2008) and at the same time the feeling of a need to combat current and past ideological constructs with the help of an Individualistic Anarchism helped shape the current form of this project.
Q: You see yourself as an occult anarchist, how are these two aspects intertwined?
A: For me Occultism should be sharply divided from “esoteric” – as I despise the mainstream esoteric ideology and all the bullshit which surrounds it. So “esoteric ideology” as well as “conspiracy theories” and similar crap are the opposite of Occultism. Occultism is the source of dark inspiration in the human world – it is the dwelling into the abysmal of our own kind, packed with symbolism and age-old myths. Thus Occultism for me is the basement of my ideas and thoughts. Above Occultism stands Anarchism – or better “Individualistic Anarchism”, a derivate of Bakunin’s ideas but with far more influence by Nietzsches philosophy. The Occult thus gives the individual Anarchist the tools to destroy the current ideologies existing on this earth and at the same time fill up the void which comes with such a destruction – thus rooting it into our earthly nature and making it stronger.
Q: What role does the occult have in society?
A: I do not think that the occult has much meaning nowadays. Of course there are many “misconceptions” of the occult flying around – from mainstream “esoteric” ideas to “childish satanism” or other instances of “populist messages”. But these ideas are a far cry of the occult which once filled our minds and societies with meaning. Of course there are still myths, symbols and other occult parts dwelling beneath our “civilised-capitalistic” society – and they have a certain influence on our daily behaviour – but they are often misinterpreted or ignored, as they often challenge our common ideas or disrupt the “easy life”.
Q: Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
A: In certain ways it is a lonely life though I would oppose the ideology of the “monk artists” – as I exchange many ideas with other artists, invite them to cooperations and collaborations; and of course without being knee-deep in society itself I would not get the input I need to create my art. But at certain points you feel lonely, especially if you can`t find other people to discuss your own views with – or other people who went through similar experiences as I had in the past.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
A: Simple: Never give up, never give a shit about society and their so called “critics” and move on your own path regardless of any opposition.
Q: Professionally, what’s your goal?
A: At the moment to make this blog more active and worth-while for my followers. In the long run I would love to create via this hub a basement for like-minded people to share their ideas, art and thoughts – and bring these ideas, performances and disruptions onto the streets of Berlin.
Thanks for your time and the honesty about your work.