This is going to be a pretty short post because it’s about 2 AM in Berlin and this has been one of those never ending days of transatlantic travel. I am sitting here at the Kunstwerke space in a part of Berlin called Mitte (which means the center); the center of the old GDR Berlin. I’m surrounded by Occupiers from different European nations who are still going strong this early in the morning. Its a cavernous room illuminated by day by a clerestory window and filled with all the irreverent posters and graffiti on the walls that one would expect from Occupy – it’s shaped also by a big army tent, curtains, and a makeshift shack. One group is having a heated argument in Spanish that’s been going on for over an hour while others are just hanging out on couches, and lots of lap tops are open: it’s the occupy hub.
Earlier today, if it was in fact the same day, I met Tal at terminal 3 at JFK and we made our way to the delta flight. I was hoping to carry on my special bag sewn for the trip that contained 2 20 inch diameter coins masks: a penny and 1 Euro. Luckily I was able to take these breakable objects in the cabin and on our way to row 26, we passed Spike Lee in first class, I waved to Spike and he nodded and smiled back. What an inspiring person. ”Do the Right Thing” was probably the most powerful film experience I’ve had in a theater when I was about 13 a fresh way to express a political vision. Anyway, I digress…Tal and I bonded on the flight and the plane took off; a giant tubular mass of metal, plastic, and people counterintuitively flying through the air. Later on in the flight after a bathroom trip, Tal pointed out that he had surreptitiously snuck a receipt from an earlier purchase (of an eyepatch for sleeping) onto a clip near the bathroom. For a good part of the flight, the receipt was prominently displayed near the bathroom at eye level and we realized that it was a temporary museum, revealing part of the economic narrative of the voyage. Next, we arrived in Paris and found one of those currency deposit boxes supporting the World Wildlife Fund. It was a glass bubble etched with the continents of the globe, full of different notes and coins in full view- a little heterogenous hoard of cash at the world’s crossroads. This made a fine little free museum, and I added one of my smashed pennies to the collection, dropping it in the slot. Finally when we got to Berlin and waited for our luggage on the carousel, I noticed that any oddity places on this moving platform would pass by an expectant audience, and losing no time, Tal dropped his ticket onto the belt and it went around a few times as people curiously read the ticket details. We were about to throw our wallets on the belt figuring that the social surveillance atmosphere would make it totally safe, but decided at the last moment not to. There is of course more research to do on temporary museums in liminal spaces.
Arriving in Berlin, we made our way to the KW space in Mitte and joined in on our first meal and assemblea here, but you’ll be hearing more about what’s going on here soon, from other voices.