Ξ: Dance like hell


By Sabina Holzer

[This text is part of the Ξ project: corpus recovering items

from its archive 2006-2017; republished on Feb. 11, 2019]


Power = the head of a group, derives from leadership / authority / domination.

Power is the means, the machine, the function of the possible. The delirious and desirous machine tries in vain to make the non-functional function. The non-power is not delirious, it has left the rut, the furrow already and belongs to the outside. It is not enough to say (if we want to talk about non-power) that someone has power on the condition to not use it, because this is the definition of the divine. Abstinence, distance of the potential ruler is not enough, if it is not recognized that it is a sign of desaster in the first place. Only disaster keeps control at a distance. I would wish for a psychoanalyst who gets a hint from the imaginative. The imaginative is non-power, assuming one understands the imaginative as that which abstracts and divests power.



– What was I in the centuries past: I only find myself today. The vagabonds, the hazy wars are gone. The inferior race has swept over it all – the People, as they put it. Reason. Nation. Science. – Ah Science! Everything is taken from the past. For the body and souls – the last sacrament – we have Medicine and Philosophy, household remedies and folk songs rearranged. And royal entertainments, and games the kings forbid! Geography, Cosmography, Mechanics, Chemistry! Science, the new nobility! Progress. The world moves! … And why shouldn’t it? Please allow to introduce myself, I’m a man of wealth and taste. I've been around for a long, long year. Stole many a man’s soul and faith. Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name.

(This is the chopper to chop off your head. Chip-chop the last one is dead. The donkey is tumbling. The horse is drowning. An endless sea keeps on yawning.)

Do you remember?



The object of the course is simple. The question is how to deal with domestic disorders.

The Defended. Direct yourself to the area of the indicating lights. Call for revolution on television. Do you think language is immoral? Do you oppress the people who are powerless in this country? The officers have strict instructions not to molest you or hinder you from reaching the goal. You talk as if this were a non-powerful place. America is a violent thing. Revolution is a violent thing. They made their choice. They do what they want to do. Everybody is running scared. In order to provide further motivation, they have been told that they will find water halfway. 93° Fahrenheit here. No end of the heat wave. It will be just as violent as you want it to be. If you start the violence, I can assure you that we will finish it.

We are going through a group suicide.

A patriotic and chauvinist act of absurd loyalty. Just hit this figure. You are not aiming at the head, the heart or the knee. Just this figure. You have no idea about love and true love. You are going down the street having origins. You are immoral. War is immoral. Poverty is immoral. You are saying that you are against war and depression. What are your feelings towards the police? Police are pigs. They are cleaned consciousness. They are just doing their jobs. They are workers. They are just doing what they are told to do.

They brought a dead body to emotionalize the group. Will it cause antagonism? It will cause antagonism. And antagonism is a very mild word. We are doing this for the people who pay taxes. Did you ever kill a man? Yes, I did. What did you feel? I felt nothing. I did not think about violence. It is violent and I don't know how it will stop. Maybe we’ll have to defend ourselves and do things we were against. It seems to be escalating in an unthinkable situation. You never had a gun? I never had a gun. I refuse induction, reconciliation.
If we can somehow make a change.

Did they just come and take you? They just came and broke in. They roughed me up, they charged me with assaulting a police officer. Right now, the honorable thing is to be a criminal, at other times it might be honorable to be the police or the president. Do you think of your work as social? Yes, I am committed not to revolution, but to sanity. We have something about hate here. How did the police treat you in jail? Really, really bad. Temperature 107° Fahrenheit now. Seditious nature. They want us to break out, to become violent, to become like them. There is absolutely no way of escape. When they fire at you, you have to fire back. Are you afraid to die? Why are you turning against the country? My parents told me to think. I want to take every man with a uniform and bring him back into the world. Do you have children? How many children were on this trail? We have this for civil crime and social crime. We are filling up the prisons faster than we can build them. These children are highly trained horses. They are political criminals. If you break into the Bank of America, it will do no harm, it will change nothing. They have enough money to repair it. I think people become violent when they do not have access to the basic human necessities. Violence is inherent in the system. Being loyal to the people does not mean being loyal to the government. Proceeding of continuous outbursts and murmurs. Streets full of turmoil. This nation cannot.

What can we do?

Share. Materialize. Install “comforting machines”, a service for everyone to use. Map our minds. Mind our maps. Look for guidelines how to reflect together. Compose according to our poetics. Tinkered together. Dance with our daily activities. Be shameless. Be sad. Be happy. Be overwhelmed. Be confronted. Work side by side next to each other. Be inspired and influenced by each other. Laugh, joke. Be overextended. Find traces of others, of otherness. Keep on: talking, explaining, listening, acting. Revolt. And go into the forests of writing. Both of us strangers to the same land. If you kill defending an idea, it is not defending ideas, it is killing. We do know very well how we can harm each other. For those who survive, it is a nightmare. We need a revolution with imagination, to clarify the dream, to reinforce memory and give substantial images.The light is an invisible animal.





Invasion: Infiltration. Ingression. Intrusion. Irruption. Penetration. Permeation.
Break in. Enter. Impinge. Infiltrate. Ingress. Irrupt. Penetrate. Pierce. Pipe. Soak in. Trespass. – Hell or Paradise?

Unsharp. Blurriness. I move the hands of time with my fingers. I slightly touch the potential objects of the space. This woman in a white dress and a black scarf. Two hands reaching out to caress but not succeeding. Listen to inaudible sounds. The hand and the index finger. I jump into the circle. I am the raven. I am the sky with fleeting clouds. I talk to the animal. What do you know of dying man? Can you explain this to me? I always feel threatened and ask myself how I will end. Will I die, just fade away? Will I scream just like a woman? Through me you reach the city of despair, the leopard says. Another abyss to cross. There the she-wolf comes and the dogs run wild. In a ray of light she is the destiny to come and save all women. Did you betray me, she asks already dying, and then descends to heaven or hell. You choose. What would you like?

Would you like to lay on the side, legs crossed and arms stretched out? Take somebody from behind, with both arms, fingers crossed? Pick up the papers lying around and scrunch them up in your fist? Prove that reality exists with photos? Lie down and drift, one leg bent? Put your head on a pile of scissors? Copy books? Retrace the shape of a body? Paint a blue star above your breast? Change your clothes? Play with a curl of hair? Touch all things in the space? Trace them. Fondle. Reach out to another person to caress, but not succeed? Chalk “nevermore” on the floor? Draw a circle on the floor?

Scream just like a woman? Dance stiffly with another person, not coming too close? Touch each other, as if you weren’t touching at all? Engage in a long and passionate kiss? Walk like Frankenstein in a straight line? Your arms stretched out in front of you. Hold your forehead with two fingers, bend forward and close your eyes? Become a green ghost? Dance like hell?

Hell – o, I love you. Won’t you tell me your name?




dlh_klein1 dlh_klein2 dlh_klein3 dlh_klein4

Maurice Blanchot, “L'écriture du désastre” (1980)
Arthur Rimbaud, “Seasons of Hell” (1873)
Rolling Stones “Sympathy for the devil” (1968)
Lars von Trier, “The Element of Crime” (1984)
Peter Watskin, “Punishment Park” (1971)
Jean Luc Godard, “Notre musique” (2004)
Kurt Steinwender, “Der Rabe” (1951)
Peter Greenaway, “TV Dante” (1989)
Infernal gestures collected during the research.

Photos of inputs and outcomes of the artistic-theoretical research „Hell as the Paradise as a Hell" with Thomas Ballhausen, Jack Hauser, Sabina Holzer, Michikazu Matsune, Michael Mastrototaro, Helmut Ploebst, Tanja Ostojic, Boyan Manchev, Kattrin Deufert + Thomas Plischke.