Thinking outside the box


Even the old Greek philosophers thought about how to square the circle. But why try and wreck your head with trying to solve an unsolvable problem? The philosopher, the architect, an author or a media artist doesn’t waste his/her time with trying to think about impossibilities. They venture out onto new avenues. Their motto: Think outside the box!


Mentor of the modern era

Questions to Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)/ Philosopher and writer

Mister Nietzsche, despite the fact that you are long-dead, your philosophy is still being discussed and carried forward. Would you have expected that??

Honestly? I would have hoped so. When I questioned the value of honesty in my writings, I never anticipated that I paved the way for post-modern philosophical approaches. This is also true for my concept of the „Übermensch“ (Superhuman), “The will to power” or the “God is dead – debate”. It’s a shame that I can’t personally get involved in the debates any more.

You died in Weimar. You had biographical connections to Jena and Erfurt University hosted an international conference in 2017, with the heading: “Nietzsche as an anthropological thinker”. Do you feel rooted in the cultural realm of the Impulsregion?

Absolutely! In Weimar, I am kept alive by discussion groups in the Nietzsche college, affiliated to the Nietzsche archive and museum. Jena always reminds me of my youth, when in 1859, as a grammar-school boy, I rambled through the magnificent Saale river valley “on a flower carpet, that meanders like a silvery snake towards the beautifully situated university town”. And I’m humbled by the fact that the venerable Erfurt University is discussing my philosophical ideas.

In short: Is it possible to square the circle?

I wouldn’t think so, but you’d better ask a mathematician! I was more interested in moral issues. Therefore, a more suitable question would be: Is it ok to square a circle? Ask the circles themselves!

Event tip:
Starting on the opening weekend of the New Weimar Museum (6th & 7th April 2019) the Van de Velde, Nietzsche and the modern era at around 1900 exhibition will run and show exceptional works of Realism, Impressionism and Art Deco.

Website: www.klassik-stiftung.de



Visionary for old foundations

Three heritage projects by Gerhard Schade /
Architect in Erfurt

Protected — The Erfurt St. Mary’s Cathedral is one of the city’s landmarks. As a specialist for dealing with historical buildings, Gerhard Shade’s strengths are his sensitivity, modern aesthetics and functionality. He has overseen the renovation of numerous buildings, in the past 20 years. One of the most intense experiences was the securing of the Romanic steeples and the renovation of the High Choir, from slating the roof down to the choir pews that had been partially taken down since 1370.

Helped — The restored Renaissance entrance portal of the Erfurt wedding house “Haus zum Sonneborn” must be one of the most pictured details of the city. In the days of the old GDR, the project had been put on the (political) long finger. Its dilapidated state eventually lead to the start of the work and ultimately to the salvage of this precious heritage object. One adventurous part of the project had been the sourcing of brass pipes for the new lamps, all the way from a Rostock shipyard.

Saved — Functional strengthening for the future is the motto of the renovation works of the 900 year old building of the Old Erfurt Synagogue. After the gradual securing of the building that started in 1992 and determining the type of use in 2004, the restoration works started in a highly sensitive manner. Priority was, to leave every historical detail as unaltered as possible. To that aim, solutions had to be found for the use of new technology necessary to salvage and protect this historical building in the long term.

Erfurt insider tip:
If you want to discover as many of the Erfurt “beauties” as possible, it is recommended to visit the city from the 3rd – 8th September 2019, during the European Heritage Days, when many of  the city’s museums and monuments offer special tours, i.e. in the Old Synagogue or in other places that might usually be closed to the public.

Website: www.juedisches-leben.erfurt.de


Squared literature

Play on words with Nancy Hünger / Author and staff member at the Schiller Gartenhaus in Jena

Schiller’s Gartenhaus is a heritage place at the interface of the two main traditions of Jena University: philosophy/ art and science/ technology. It is here that Nancy Hünger is in charge of a top-class series of events, that presents contemporary texts in readings and workshop talks. What’s the name of that series?

A)   Grace of the moment
B)   Muse of the week

Nancy Hünger lives in the ImpulseRegion. After growing up and studying in Weimar, she now lives in Erfurt and works in Jena. Hence, she represents the Thuringian Days of Literature. What’s the name of the society behind this event?

A)   Lese –Zeichen e.V. (Bookmark), society that also puts on plays in the Literary Salon in the Rosenthal Villa in Jena
B)   Aktion ABC e.V., society that aims to improve the reading competency of students

As a writer, Nancy has already received several prizes and awards, amongst them the Hermann-Lenz-bursary and the Caroline-Schlegel-prize awarded by the city of Jena. What’s the title of her last collection of poems that hit the nerve of German contemporary writing?

A)   Can’t take any more language
B)   It would still be nice to have some music at the farewell

Insider tips by Nancy Hünger:
1. Form of pressure? Exactly! Because the series of publications “Silver lining. Texts and talks from Jena” is thought - provoking, just like Schiller himself would have intended it. / 2. Scrap heap? Not at all! The Erfurt dance club “Frau Korte” is recommended, after its arrival at the Erfurt North Train Station. Readings and workshop complete the diverse programme. / 3. November Blues? None. The Lyrics’ night with Jazz is a well-attended event in co-operation with different societies, like the Lesezeichen (Book mark), the Thuringian Jazzmeile (Mile of Jazz) and the town Weimar.

Website: www.uni-jena.de/Gartenhaus.html



Visiting the underwater impresario

A dive with Micky Reman / Media artist and artistic director of the Bad Sulza “Toskanaworld”
(Thermal Baths and Spa)

It was during the grey autumn of 1993, that Micky Reman moved from the financial metropolis of Frankfurt / Main to the thermal spa of Bad Sulza, for professional reasons. He came, fell in love and stayed. He recalls, with a smile on his face, how his urban friends wondered what had happened, when he didn’t return. They were worried that they had lost a friend to the “East, as a lifeguard”…But even more than 25 years later, he still feels on top of the world in his beloved home of choice, the Tuscany of the East. From his starting point - the little “village of the world” Auerstedt, as he calls it fondly – he has watched the zip-like merging of the region and influenced it culturally: “a rural futuristic cultural space”. Auerstedt’s geographical location is also perfect, right in between two of his places of work, on the cultural axis Weimar-Jena. He is a multi-talented man: writer, curator, media artist and honorary lecturer for media studies at the Weimar Bauhaus University. He was co-responsible for the Apolda bells-of-the world chiming. And he can’t emphasize enough how Apolda can look back on a long tradition of bell making without losing sight of the endless possibilities that the broad spectrum of bell sounds have to offer. There is no harm to shout it from the rooftops! During his “permanent visit” to Thuringia since 1993, he’s established himself well beyond the limits of the land with the creation of the “Liquid Sound” in the Toscana thermal baths in Bad Sulza spa – a unique sound and light underwater experience. He actually loves his title “lifeguard of the East” and regards it as an honour, especially since his friends travel from all over the world to Bad Sulza to bathe themselves in music and light..

Event tips by Micky Reman:  
1. Sophisticated plunge to outwit the lousy season: Liquid Sound Festival in the Toscana Thermal Baths Bad Sulza, 1st & 2nd November 2019 / 2. World-encompassing view above: Global 360 degree Bauhaus Opera at the Full Dome Festival at the Zeiss Planetarium, on the 22nd May 2019, in Jena

Website: www.toskanaworld.net

Answers to Quiz: 1A, 2A, 3B