Center For Optimism

How do we learn to remember in the new flatness? We build a Center for Optimism.
We encounter another kind of learning today, dispersed in different medias. Books used to be storage space, as memory can often be. The Project brings the book into the conversation and to invites them as protagonists. We found a place where books can speak, an archive on the third floor of a Berlin apartment designed by Karl Friederich Schinkel. It is a home for masses of books. We will turn this apartment into a tower of books and ideas. To this tower we invite theorists, artists, philosophers, musicians and most importantly the books as our guests to our salons to create a center for discussion and speculation. The talks are a friendly opposition to the new flatness (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), they include observation rather than critique. We don’t shut things out, we rather continue to make use of the new logic of learning. From the “everything” that is the new flatness we separate ourselves, i.e. we look inside. Here we enter the architectural realm, the realm of ‘der Turm’ and look to C.G. Jung and his tower, a place where he was entirely himself and entirely connected to the world. Metaphorically speaking books were once towers, bringing people inside themselves. We turn this archive into a place that looks out and speaks in. Practically, we will enter the kitchen through a 15 meter tall ladder extending up from the courtyard. The ladder makes our meetings intimate and by climbing up it we enter a thinking satellite. It is our tool to literally “lead over” from one state – being in the city and everyday life – to another – being in the books. The ladder is moveable, transportable and often shaky, as thinking sometimes is and is built to reach something physically higher, which is our way to ‘conquer’ new ideas. The ladder is left ajar, a sign for a break in, a hint for a romantic encounter, a trace of a conquest?

In collaboration with: Clara Meister