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The remains of the day ...

You can read the latest information and events here. No ordinary news and always current.

Tuesday, 9th August 2011
I have summarised the status of the project in an »Extract« and thereby especially outlined the artistic aspect, which is reflected in the design of all elements and the images:

»Everything that becomes visible, thrives on the sharp contrast of the primal photographies and the lucid aesthetics of the font elements. Human nature meets its culture, its emotions encounter the clarity of mind, temperament permeates the aligning force of a crucial message.«

You can view and download the PDF in the area »Information material«.

Monday, 18th July 2011
The aforesaid letter came from the ›Rat für Formgebung‹ (German Design Council) and congratulated me that the project {LOVE and DEATH?} has been nominated for the ›Designpreis Deutschland 2012‹. This is the highest German honouring for design products in the areas of communication and product design.

Obviously, being nominated does not mean to be the winner, by far, but it is definitely a huge honour and shows that the artistic design finds resonance and appreciation. The notification of the result from the jury takes place in September 2011. I am curious to see!

designpreis deutschland 2012

Thursday, 9th June 2011
Out of the blue, I received a letter (more about this later), which suddenly moved my thoughts. I think it is time, to wake up this project from its after-lunch nap. It simply contains too much potential to let it continue to sleep like this ...

Sunday, 1st May 2011
Me and keeping silent ... quite a problematic word, in particular when it is about HIV. Isn't the silence the biggest trap? Does the silence bring everything to a stand still? Is silence death?

On the other hand, I have read in a smart book that one should not talk about a cause too much, because it might disperse the energy for the actual implementation. That makes sense and sounds familiar. So I shall continue to keeping silent, until I have got something to show which sheds new light on the actions. Even when I thereby have to encounter this absolute silence ...

Tuesday, 21st December 2010
This is how time flies ... 160 days have passed and I would like to update the current status. Many are asking me: »What ever happened to your project?« and I mostly answer: »It rests.«

After months of organisation, innumerable telephone conversations and confrontations with legal requirements, I almost lost sight of the artistic aspect of this project. I felt like a lawyer, who tries to defend a good idea against attacks, that the idea itself had caused by its own confrontational nature. Or is this simply a part of the artistic experience to deal with this? I enjoy organising, but am also used to reach my aim at some point. This project obviously demands for a very long breath. Surely also a learning process for me ...

I think, that I would have to introduce an entire cycle of pictures for all cities, at this point, just like already sketched for Berlin. I see these pictures in front of me and know that the force of these paintings would answer many questions, alleviate scepticism and lead to an overall support and encouragement. The paintings would have largely to be worked out in detail, with leaving out only the lattice shaped sphere that would then be finalised with ink and blood in the individual cities and therefore complete the subsequent painting.

This could also have an highly motivational effect for HIV positive people, if they would actually see for which painting in which city they donated their blood for.

I am certain that this is the direction that this project needs to go. Consequently, I need the time to create these paintings. I have withdrawn in order to gather the strength in these paintings. When this succeeds, I will go public again. Then, this idea will gain new possibilities. I hope that this can happen in 2011.

Until then, I would like to to wish all supporters a wonderful Christmas period, moments of tranquility and a good start into the New Year!

Wednesday, 14th July 2010
The date for Vienna (for the LifeBall on 17th July 2010) has to be postponed. Too little time remains to organise everything. But it is only a pleasure deferred! One day, I shall be in Vienna and for the time being, I am sending my regards to this beautiful part of this planet from a distance.

Up until a few days ago, I have been communicating with the Federal Ministry of Health and of Justice in Vienna. This challenged quite a few personalities from a variety of special departments, to obtain a judgement of the circumstances. This process took up a lot of time. As is known, the topic is slightly complicated. The correspondence is quite interesting and has also shed light onto the aspect of "artistic freedom". I am sure, I will outline and summarise everything at some point.

The originally planned approach to sterilize the blood sample before painting the picture has now been declared legally permissible for both Vienna and Berlin. Painting with blood that has not been treated is equally not permitted.

I will from now on, try to make the artistic contents of this project a priority again. At times, I feel quite "juridical". My next step will be to start on the layouts for three cities, Berlin, Vienna and Zurich. Then, there will be much more to look at. I will report!

Monday, 12th July 2010
I have found an HIV positive blood donor for both Vienna and Zurich, who will help to breathe life into this project for both cities. What wonderful news!

However, I am still searching for a donor for Berlin to perfectly complete the trilogy. Or should one call it "triptych" - the name for a tripartite painting. In this case, however, there will be individual parts.

Thursday, 10th June 2010
News for Austria: The Federal Minstry of Health in Vienna has passed on my request, for the realisation of this project, to the Federal Ministry of Justice. Further, I have been told that a reference number has been assigned to this process! Surely, not many pieces of art are able to claim this achievement.

With respect to the realisation in Vienna and the planned timing (LifeBall and World Aids Conference beginning 17th July 2010) everything is still in limbo. We shall see. I am more and more getting acquainted with the fact that time is not allowed to play a part in this project ...

Thursday, 27th May 2010
And more good news: The artistic design of {LOVE and DEATH?} has been awarded by 16 international jurors with the prestigious iF design award 2010! It feels good to see that this project arouses resonance on various of levels.

if design award 2010

Monday, 24th May 2010
Good news for Vienna! I am in contact with two HIV-positive people who are willing to donate a blood sample for the project in Vienna. This is a huge breakthrough for this project. As soon as all legalities are clarified, the realisation of the project in Vienna comes within grasp! This would be especially fabulous in view of the LifeBall on 17th July 2010 and the World Aids Conference!

Friday, 21st May 2010
In a further conversation with local health authorities in Berlin, the legal conditions could now be clarified. Hence, the blood sample must be sterilised before I begin to work with it. This has to be done in a respective laboratory and has to be confirmed in writing. I then have to pass on the documents to the local health authorities for information purposes. A further permission is not necessary because a sterile blood sample holds no threat of spreading pathogenic agents. This means that the path is all clear for Berlin, as soon as a blood donor and a laboratory has been found.

Health authorities in Berlin name the following procedures for sterilisation: hot air, steem, gamma radiation, plasma sterilisation. I have to discuss the further details with a laboratory that agrees to support this project.

I have already made contact with the Ministry of Health in Vienna to also clarify precisely these aspects for Austria. I am still waiting to receive feedback. However, I believe the situation to be similar to Germany. For Vienna it means to await events!

Friday, 14th May 2010
In my search for blood donors, I have added a relevant post in the well known forum for HIV positive persons and I am already having talks. (in German)

Wednesday, 12. May 2010
The search for a blood donor for Berlin, Vienna and Zurich is in full swing. First talks have taken place and things are looking quite good. In particular in Vienna, it looks like a solution is emerging, which could mean that this project might celebrate its debut for the world aids conference and the Lifeball around the 17th July 2010.

Nevertheless, I am looking for further courageous HIV positive fellow campaigners, who are prepared to donate a small amount of blood (35ml) in either Berlin, Vienna or Zurich to bring this project into fruition!

Another subject turns out to be an especially tough nut to crack: concerning the treatment of the blood sample to deactivate the viruses. I am in new territory here. Specialists, whom I have spoken to, are not able to make a certain statement at the moment with regard to how to safely treat a whole blood sample without the blood turning unusable. Heat treatment would lead the blood to coagulate and radiation treatment is being mentioned repeatedly, however, it has not been determined yet if this assures the safe deactivation of viruses. And the word "safe" is the key point. And only then, will I be able to avoid the Infektionsschutzgesetz (IfSG).

Should the deactivation of the viruses not be possible via radiation, I am left with the classic heat treatment. Two possibilities would be worth considering: :

  • Either, I have the whole blood sample treated with heat and I have to accept the denaturation. The coagulated blood would then have to be processed accordingly , i.e. pulverised and mixed with pigments and liquid, just like artists used to do with colours in the old days. This possibility uses a transformation and creates new conditions.
  • Or, I will have the blood sample broken down in the laboratory and only the blood serum will be treated with heat. It would not be red anymore, but yellowish and could be mixed with pigments also. This possibility intervenes in the structure and tries to preserve the blood in its aggregate state.

Both possibilities may be complex, however, also are a mirror in some ways to the rather complicated situation in which this project simply takes place. It seems, a certain regularity is displayed that the artistic form of expression (in this case), has to obey external standards and has to continuously adapt. The fact that new ideas keep emerging makes the creative process all the more intense.

Sunday, 9th May 2010
I have noticed today that it is somewhat of an effort for me to continue. I realise that in my thoughts about this project, I keep returning to the point where I ask myself: does it all make sense? Does it make sense to fight against this Goliath of resistance, only to paint a picture? Or to be allowed to paint?

I have understood that it is part of this project to experience this superiority of rules, resistance, oppositions and critique. I can imagine these experiences to be similar to what HIV sufferers may go through (in different ways) and this is what makes it important for me. I feel empathy, I put myself into the shoes of a sufferer.

Just because of this reason I would like to continue. I think that the search for an HIV positive blood donor will now be the essential task. I managed to establish some contacts that I will reactivate. Further, I have added a new entry to the existing discussion in a big forum for HIV positive people: (in German)

Wednesday, 28th April 2010
The project enters the second big round. I have integrated the new chapter realisation, where the procedure is detailed step by step. The most important improvement is, that I do not have a fixed deadline (as I tried for Berlin in November 2009), but act on creating the necessary framework conditions. As soon as a donor is found, things will fall into place much easier.

Thursday, 25th February 2010
It is amazing how quickly time passes! My last entry was already two months ago and one could almost assume the project may have surrendered to its death. »By no means«, respond the forces of love. »Time has not been right yet ...«

I was quite surprised how turbulent this year began in all different professional areas. My secret hope that some space may arise was probably a quite romantic notion. I carry many thoughts and ideas around with me as to how the project could continue. We will see, when it will eke out the space.

Victor Hugo once said, that nothing is as powerful as an idea, which has reached maturity. So, let's anticipate with curiousity of what's to come.

Thursday, 24th December 2009
I would like to wish all visitors a reflective and special Christmas season, a few quiet moments and a good start into the New Year!

I am happy, if the project {LOVE and DEATH?} can become reality in 2010, on a small and a big scale. Having said that, isn't it already reality? It might be more apt to speak of manifestation or crystallisation.

I would be happy, if you would also continue to look at these pages in the New Year. This project lives above all, of the solidarity and the support of many people.

Sunday, 6th December 2009
It does feel peculiar, when you reduce your speed from 150 miles down to walking speed. Everything operated at full stretch in the previous weeks and now everything appears to be in slow motion. Interestingly enough, time is still filled with many tasks and I am asking myself, how I managed to accommodate this project at all. It may also be the 1001 small things left behind that catch my eye, which have remained unnoticed in midst of the turmoil.

There are still many question marks. Art raises questions and this not only relates to the public but also to the artist, as I am now realising. In the beginning of January 2010, I will integrate a new section on this website that I will call "Realisation". I will present and structure the planning based on my experiences that I have collected so far. This will relate to the legal as well as the medical aspects, and of course to the interpersonal dimension that develops between the HIV positive donor and myself as the artist and which will be essential for the success of this project.

I read that it took Christo und Jeanne-Claude 24 years in order to realise their project "Wrapped Reichstag". On this journey they had hundreds of talks, flew to Germany 54 times, sold 420 paintings for the financing. I can only guess how much persuasion and convincing had to be conducted here. I think it to be a fundamental characteristic of an artistic project that time passes until it becomes reality ...

Tuesday, 1st December 2009
Today is World AIDS Day. A special date for me, as I had originally planned to be in Berlin today to auction the picture. Well, life is full of surprises.
I am very happy about the huge amount of support of the previous weeks and am looking forward to that day, when I am able to realise this project in Berlin or Vienna or Zurich or maybe another city.

For today, I remain with some quiet reflections about AIDS and how it devastates our world on a daily basis. Mostly it is not very visible and there is the danger to forget. I will stay aware.

Saturday, 21st November 2009
Today I found out, that calefaction of the blood may lead to the deactivation of the HIV viruses, but would possibly cause a denaturation (strong structural change) of the proteins (albumin). I remember having read somewhere, that for an HIV deactivation, the laboratories heat the samples in a wather bath for 2 hours at 56°C (133 F). However, serum and plasma samples are being used. How this will actually work with whole blood still remains to be clarified with specialists. Radiation would probably be the most gentle method (in the sense of preserving the blood as a medium to paint), although way more elaborate on a technical level.

Thursday, 19th November 2009
After several telephone calls with authorised personnel from the public health department of Berlin, who advised me very kindly and competently, one thing became clear relatively quickly:

  • As already suspected, the painting of a picture with infected blood falls under clause of 'working with etiologic agents'. This means that the 'Infektionsschutzgesetz' applies. Hence a permission is required (IfSG §44).
  • This permission can only be obtained if one can prove to have the 'required expertise', which happens via a completed medical or scientific university education, as well as a minimum of a two year relevant full-time occupation (IfSG §47).

I may be a doctor (of philosophy), but by no means am I a medical doctor with relevant qualifications and therefore will not get this kind of permission by authorities. Frankly, one has to admit that this project in its previously planned form, won't be possible for me to realise in Germany (in other countries the circumstances should probably be quite similar - this remains to be verified). This means, now is the time to rethink.

There is a plan B version which could now take effect. The procedure would be, that I have the blood treated for the inactivation of the viruses. This way, the active agent would not be in the blood and therefore the 'Infektionsschutzgesetz' could not come into effect.

Now it is about finding out, how the blood could be treated without changing its consistency or colour as it may not be usable for painting anymore. Whether radiation or calefaction is suitable, remains to be resolved. I will report ...

Wednesday, 18th November 2009
Boom! Yesterday lightning struck, metaphorically speaking, with an information that turned everything upside down. A physician, specalised in HIV and AIDS in Berlin, brought to my attention that it needs to be clarified if this project falls under the 'Infektionsschutzgesetz' (a German law), which regulates the contact with etiological agents.

I was completely perplexed, as in all other communication of previous weeks and months, none of the experts from the highest levels and from a variety of jurisdictions have ever mentioned this law. It is not the first time that during the course of this project I have come accross different opinions about the exact same issues and that were contradictory. However, I was stunned to find that such a fundamental aspect has not been seen by so many experts. I do not want to exclude myself, as it is naturally my responsibility to inform myself properly. It appears that I need the official permission, in this case, from the city of Berlin.

It all became clear very quickly: The fixed date in Berlin has to be postponed! So ... plane tickets and hotels were cancelled, and everything else will be put off for the time being. Self-evidentally, I cannot move within a grey zone of the law.

The procedure is now planned as follows: I will synchronise the preparations for all countries with the emphasis on Berlin, Vienna and Zurich. The project will start in the country where all legal regulations and parameters will be established first and where an HIV positive donor and physician is found in order to support and accompany the project. This also creates something a bit like a race, that makes it exciting, as it will reward the country for its commitment where the project will receive the most support. Berlin has an advantage now, but who knows if Vienna or Zurich won't be catching up soon.

So far the news. I did say at the beginning, didn't I ... this project is full of surprises!

Monday, 16th November 2009
Now things are becoming more turbulent. Yesterday, I created various colour samples to find out what mixing ratio of ink and blood will achieve the best result. I will already begin to pre-draw the picture, parallel to all other preperations.

The search for an HIV positive blood donor is still in limbo. There have been many talks and correspondence, however any decisions are completely open. Meanwhile, I have managed to work out a very thorough plan, how the blood donation can remain 100% anonymous and can be dropped off at the personal HIV physician.

The location for the auction also remains uncertain, merely the date and time is fixed: Tuesday, 01.12.2009, 7:00 pm. We are currently in contact with some gallery owners and hope to find someone soon who is willing to make their premises available for 3 hours and can give clients and art lovers the possibility to take part. If you would like to take part in this auction, please mark this date RED in your calendar and simply visit this webpage within the next few days again. You also have the opportunity to subscribe to this newsletter.

Saturday, 14th November 2009
I have written an entry into a German HIV & AIDS internet forum, introduced the project and have asked for feedback and open discussion:

The replies are very sophisticated and positive and I am glad to have taken this step. It feels good to be in contact with the people for whom this subject is an immediate part of their lives.

Friday, 13th November 2009
So much for Friday the 13th ... today was a specially happy day! I have now received the confirmation from two highliy recognised virological institutions, which purports that an actual risk of infection from the dried blood on the paper is considered not to be relevant. Nevertheless, I will have the painting treated with heat in an autoclave (this is a steam pressure apparatus for sterilization) and will cover it with an impact resistant acrylic safety glass.

I have found a company for medical technology in Berlin that as agreed to treat the painting with an autoclave in their test laboratory. I had already made my first trials in a dental practise with good results. The paper and ink survived everything unharmed. The colour of the blood changed slightly towards brown, but this should not be a problem because I will mix it with ink.

Next to the search for a blood donor that is gently and slowly developing through talks and communication with people who are HIV positive, I am still looking for a gallery that can serve as the location for the auction on Tuesday 01.12.2009 at 7:00 pm. One could talk to clientele of a gallery and of course to all art lovers in Berlin. I have been offered many possibilites to display flyers and leaflets (something I would love to do), however, the location has to be fixed beforehand ...

If you are a gallery owner or might have another idea for the auction, please call me!

Thursday, 12th November 2009
Still a few words about the search for an HIV positive blood donor (35 ml). I am under the impression that the main difficulty here is the anonymity. It is more than understandable that a sufferer would treat this information of his/her infection highly cautiously and not make it public. Even though, this can certainly be organised with the help of a doctor and the donor remains completely anonymous, there appears to be the feeling of uncertainty prevalent, whether or not you might still incur some kind of publicity.

Therefore, I would like to stress again, that we will jointly adopt all measures to keep this donation simple and uncomplicated, and if desired, completely anonymous. This is the obvious and definite foundation of this project. The contact to myself, can be made entirely via a doctor of your choice and trust.

The highlight of the day was, that I found a framing gallery, that has agreed to donate a frame and a passepartout for the painting in Berlin. My heartfelt thanks goes to RahmenManufaktur and Mrs. Mühlich!

Tuesday, 10th November 2009
Many interesting and insightful telefone calls lie behind me. First I was able to notice that the layout for the work of work really closed a huge gap. It was about time to grant the visitors and everyone who has shown interest a glimpse and a perspective of the character of the artwork. This has created a lot of calm.

The central issue remains to find an HIV positive person, who is willing to donate 35 ml of his/her blood for this good purpose and for providing a foundation to help other sufferers.

This sounds so easy and I thought that it would be much easier. In conversations with sufferers, a reluctance is noticable amongst many and the ones who support this project are pondering back and forth. I would like to emphasise again that the donation can obviously happen anonymously and without mention of names! Also contacting me can be kept anonymous, by allowing the doctor to contact me on behalf of the donor. The blood sample could be taken by the doctor without me meeting the donor! I will prepare a deed of donation, which declares that the blood sample has been given for artistic purposes.

Should you be HIV positive yourself, live in Berlin (or currently stay there) and if this touches or speaks to you, give it a try ... for the cause, for other sufferer.

A further issue is the auction itself. My conversations with auction houses in Berlin have shown that the already established dates and procedures (viewing etc.) are not well suited to conduct the auction. A better choice would be a gallery owner who would, together with myself, stage a small event on Tuesday, 1st December, and auction the painting then. We would be able to invite customers of the gallery and generally people who have an interest in this subject and in art.

Sunday, 8th November 2009
The time has come! As of now, you can view the exclusive layouts of the painting in the section "Work of Art". I have outlined the entire process of development and ended with the layout of the picture for Berlin, which should be quite tangible to imagine by now.

Take a look and let me know what you think.

Friday, 6th November 2009
Time flies. Now it is only three weeks until the project starts in Berlin. Hopefully, I will have completed the layouts and thereby initiate the crucial phase. The original plan was, this should have been done a long time ago. But this project manifests its own laws.

To date, I have not found an AIDS patient or HIV infected person, who would breathe life into this project by a small blood donation (35ml). Given the fact that this is the focal point of the project, one could say: the gyroscope does not have a centre yet, where the force can unfold. The axis is missing, the pitch point. I shall see what I am able to put into motion next week. Maybe we are bound to encounter each other, as coincidences do not exist - merely events, the laws of which we have not recognised yet.

Wednesday, 28th October 2009
I have been looking a little bit at the October figures recently and picked out the following:

• visitors at this website in October: approx. 5.000
• visitors who made a donation: 10
• donations total: 440 € (£ 395)

I have to honestly admit, that I was hoping for a few more donations, but I guess this might be the normal average. Surely one encounters a lot of appeals for donations on a daily basis and one cannot expect that something will always be donated for one or the other purpose.

I would still be very happy, if you made a small transfer. Let it be 5 or € 10. Making the transaction is quite easy and done instantly. You are donating, as already stated, not for my project, but for the Deutsche AIDS-Stifung and their projects.

Thank you very much for your support!

Friday, 23rd Oktober 2009
I am working intensely, mostly at night, at the picture layouts for Berlin. I am hoping to be able of showing first impressions by next week. The layout process is rather complex, as I have to clearly determine the composition and contents of the formal elements, the distribution of light and shadow and the materials used.

And as always, this time of uncertainty and questioning that slowly turns into assurance and answers, is particularly exciting. Everything is taking more and more shape ... step by step.

Thursday, 22nd October 2009
After correspondence and talks with the Charité, Berlin's largest hospital, it has become apparent that I am not able to realise the project there. It would only be possible in a public hospital, if either the patient benefits medically or if a contribution towards scientific knowledge can be expected. Naturally, neither of these criteria are met in a piece of art.

I am now searching for a private hospital or clinic, a laboratory or a doctor's surgery that is able to support me in bringing this project to fruition. The procedure of the blood donation (35 ml) from the donor who is HIV-positive or the AIDS patient, were to take place there. Immediately afterwards I would paint the painting. In case the donor wishes to remain anonymous, it could take place at a later time or in another room.

The project will be accompanied by a photographer and possibly also by Television. I'd like to think that the interest of the media and the coverage of this topic around the World Aids Day (01.12.2009) will be great. After all, this will also have a positive effect on the laboratory or the clinic that will be involved.

If you should have any information or idea with regard to this, please contact me.

Sunday, 18th October 2009
Following the consideration of a scientist, I have decided to only use 35 ml blood. This is the amount that is commonly justifiable in scientific studies on an ethical level. The blood will be mixed with ink. Since the blood primarily serves a symbolic function, the amount is not imperative.

The reactions to this project have been very diverse so far. It is noticeable that positive and appreciative voices are more likely to comment, rather than critical ones, that remain silent or do not make an appearance. I am under the impression that the subject touches many people in an unpleasant way and therefore one is inclined to turn away. Indeed, this is part of the project: to disturb the flow of normality. This is not pleasant most of the time ...

At the moment I am trying to close the largest gap: the layouts for the painting in Berlin. As soon as these can be exhibited here, the whole idea will be more tangible for people. It will also become apparent that I am not intending to shock, but to create a differenciated and aesthetically sophisticated image.

The preparations for other countries are currently on hold. I would like to focus all my energy onto Berlin and in doing so gain experiences. As a result, I will be able to make conrete plans.

Wednesday, 7th October 2009
Now it is all about many important details. The priority at the moment, is the communication with doctors, virologists and with hospitals, where the project can be conducted.

Furthermore, the search for the sufferer has started. The one, who would be prepared to contribute with his/her blood donation, the essential part and for this project to succeed. 100-200 ml blood would be sufficient, which I will dilute with ink accordingly. Obviously, this donation can be also anonymous!

We are also now beginning to inform the press and televison Shortly, you can find texts and pictures on the page Information material.

Donations are still needed also. Make a start and donate a small amount. It is important that this project gains weight.

Sunday, 4th October 2009
A successful internet start lies behind us. Thank you very much for the many responses, guest book entries, E-mails and calls!

Olé – incidentally, I gave a presentation last week in Spain, at the organisation CONCORDIA in Marbella, where I spoke about the project in Spanish for the first time. That was quite a crucial test - in a different language. But, it actually went quite well. At least the attendees did not get the impression that it was all Greek to them! I am curious about how things will develop for Madrid.

Currently, I have set my focus on Berlin and will leave no stone unturned. If you are from Berlin and would like to help, you are very welcome to contact me, I have many small and large tasks.

Thursday, 1st October 2009
This internet presence is going online at last today, with all its well thought out pictures and body text. A repertoire, that will be extended on an on-going basis.

59 days left to Berlin ... and a lot of work is still ahead of us. It is no secret that this idea does need some helping hands.

I would like to wish all visitors and friends inspiring moments and am looking forward to the upcoming days and weeks.

May until September 2009
I will try to reconstruct the development since May from my notes and display some distinctive events in chronological order. A short glimpse into times of turbulence, which will continue to be no less exciting!