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Model: Missed Opportunities - Symptoms of Strain

Brandenburg and the phenomenon of failed large-scale projects in this region, their context in social history and social politics, are the point of departure for the model "Missed Opportunities” - Symptoms of Strain. Gigantic large-scale projects so as not to miss any opportunities, so as to realize phantasmal ideas in a grand style? Specifically because of the social-political pressure for realization, these mechanisms of "having to make use of every opportunity" actually hold the option and the definition of missing out.

How do we deal with histories of socialization, with changes, disasters or other strains? Symptoms of a loss of orientation, of "being lost", a phenomenon in the momentary plethora of possibilities? Imagined models of desire based on phenomena of transience, of lost histories of identity, or on a state of not knowing "how-or-what". Missed opportunities are first recognized as such at the moment when it is too late, so to speak, when desire can become acute, when we become aware of loss or lack, or when distance enables a differentiated perspective. Or is it not also an everyday phenomenon of feeling too overwhelmed to make decisions due to a plethora of the apparently possible?

As an example of the failed large-scale projects of Brandenburg, the Cargo Lifter Project is presented as a model of a missed opportunity that is positioned within a system of missed opportunities. Reunified Germany, symbolized by the phenomenon of the Cargo Lifter, and the ideological pragmatics of EU reforms represent the social-political context of missed opportunities. Social-political contexts, but also the subjective private realm of missed opportunities, desires for something imagined to be better and different or possible, and their consequences in relation to everyday conditioning are to be investigated. Is this a matter of symptoms of strain, pre-programmed impossibilities, escape into the imaginary, or political calculation? Or missed opportunities as a summary of a momentary "being so" combined with the option of "wanting to be different"?

Starting from the specific example Cargo Lifter, this failed large-scale project is positioned within sociological, socio-political and subjectively missed opportunity models and anchored in the following reference systems: Cargo Lifter - identity shifter; missed opportunities, made in Germany; missed opportunity programs (reform ideologies); symptoms of strain; and "missing" - subjective models of lack.


The Cargo Lifter Project as an identity model of the impossible? The Cargo Lifter is one of the few projects that could have functioned as a pan-German possibility of identity and projection surface?

The Cargo Lifter is a participatory project, in which 70,000 small shareholders expect to be able to establish a social and economic field. Is the Cargo Lifter not thus a symbol of the failed attempt at the "missed opportunity of a different Germany"? - in the sense of Slavoj Zizek's statement: "And is the true cause of 'ostalgia' (notstalgia for a communist past) among many intellectuals of the former German Democratic Republic not also desire - not so much for the communist past and that which took place effectively under communism, as for that which could have taken place, for the missed opportunity of a different Germany?"1

The phenomenon of 70,000 small shareholders is to be investigated using two to three commissioned new works. (Shareholders of opportunities, so as not to miss any: which habitus, personal and social attitudes, expectations, ideas, etc. are transported in being a shareholder?) Or is the Cargo Lifter a revised edition of the zeppelin as a symbol of representation, a national symbol, an object/project of identification embodying unity?

These new works are intended to confront subjective and reform-ideology models with artistic positions that deal with symptoms of strain and missed opportunities, made in Germany. Positioning the Cargo Lifter project in the closest, relatively large territorial region of missed opportunities,

Germany, seems to suggest itself, yet in addition to this emphasis, a combination with models of missed opportunities is intended, specifically those in the subjective or reform-ideology realm, which place the concrete example in a more comprehensive context, since it is a general phenomenon that is involved. Multiple perspectives of the model of missed opportunities will be installed to address its complexity within various social fields and societal contexts.


1: Slavoj Zizek, Die Revolution steht bevor. Dreizehn Versuche über Lenin, Frankfurt/Main, 2002, S.84

Übersetzung/Translation: Aileen Derieg
extended in German, PDF

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