23. feb. 2011

In Other Wor(l)ds stories from Berlin

The In Other Wor(l)ds workshop took place at the f.a.q. Laden in Neukölln on February 19th on the occasion of Lad.i.y.fest Berlin. We played several Surrealist writing games in Sci-Fi settings with feminist-queer aspirations: Definitions (Question and Answer), Conditionals and two versions of Exquisite Corpse. In the first version, we collectively (de)constructed sentences like “The sexy robot slapped a strong community”, in the second we wrote short stories, based on our favourite Exquisite Corpse sentences.

The following mistress-pieces were written by Nina, Laura, Tanja, Dare, Sybille, Katha, Raoul, Cy, Tina, Audrey, Sabine, Skyler, Tea and another (for now) anonymous participant. The list of stories will expand as soon as we manage to decode our exquisite handwritings. Until then – enjoy the ones below …

Many thanks to Lad.i.y.fest organisers for hosting the workshop and the Slovenian Embassy in Berlin for donating the wine! (The Surrealists were right: “The exquisite corpse shall drink the new wine!”)

Definitions (Question and Answer)

What is your idea of queer science fiction?
Biting the dog again and again.

What does a star look like?
Like the cow that went up the mountain.

Why is it cold?
Because the night belongs to the creatures.

Is there such a thing as luminous wonder?
Depends on the light.

Must there be light at the end of the tunnel?
Look, the teddy bear is acting like a cat!

What is the best place for a secret?
That would be just too complicated to answer.

Which pizza do you like? Peperoni?
No, the one with the book from last year.

When is it the time to fall in love?
I don’t care. Let’s just do it now.

Why are sad people so complicated?
Because blue robot ponies don’t have a sex.

Why did the Snowqueer slip on the pavement?
Because the stars are pink and there is a huge teddy bear jumping on the top of the mountain.

What’s your favourite way of making sure you’re really awake for class in the morning?
I look for a fly that flew millions of years ago in a tropic forest and got trapped in amber.

Where did you find this book?
That’s misleading the truth written in the book.

Why did you sell that pink car?
Because the nuns told me so.

How can you travel from London to Siberia?
Look for a white rabbit with your answer in her mouth.

What would you do if you noticed you peed in your pants after laughing too hard?
It’s quite simple: you would want to try to cover it with a large carpet.


If you walk into a queer party and you can’t find anyone who looks like you, then you can fit two green jellies inside your trifle spacesuit.

Exquisite Corpse
Follow the links to reach the stories based on the first three sentences.

An ambitious thought is swimming with the multiple cyborg.

A beautiful facility manager is insisting on a heart-breaking glass window.

A wild teddy bear cried over a deconstructed baby.

The yelling princess hurt an apple-shaped glitz business.

A stupid bicycle basket fell onto a terrible caterpillar.

The beautiful bowling ball is spitting a slow cigarette.

A blue ant sculpted the queeriest crocodiles!

An amazing power is playing with spicy gloves.

A rather curious box will devour an exhausted mirror.

The wonderful Amazons danced with a very used box.

The phenomenal train met a furious birthday cake.

The sexy robot slapped a strong community.

A precious cupboard secretly fell on Cinderella.

Part 1: An Ambitious Thought ...

In Other Wor(l)ds stories from Berlin - Part 1: 
An Ambitious Thought Is Swimming With the Multiple Cyborg

I. No Escape
The ambitious thought is swimming with the multiple cyborg. The flowers are falling from the trees, the birds are singing out loud and there's a terrible noise that seems like thunder: it is the nostalgic voice of another cyborg coming from the distance and it sounds like the saddest song on Earth ... Our multiple cyborg decides there and then ...

… to go to Earth and look for the other cyborg and maybe save it from its sadness. But the 1st cyborg had forgotten how people live on Earth. It was seen by the anti-terrorist forces and put in jail. There, it heard so many sad songs that it couldn't recognize the one it heard on its planet. As the 1st cyborg had no gender, the guardians put it in a cell in the women's quarter, alone, because in their world, if you are not a man you are not something else but assimilated to women. So the 1st cyborg descended deeper and deeper into sadness and soon its mission was forgotten. It thought only of the sad songs and its inability to fit into one gender box or the other. Teardrop after teardrop fell onto the concrete floor until one day one of those salty teardrops tore a hole in the floor, opening a trapdoor and sending the 1st cyborg down down down until it landed at the feet of the cyborg it had intended to save from sadness when it came to Earth.

“Hi, there you are! I was waiting here for you, really sad and terribly alone,” the other cyborg said.

“Yes, I heard your sad voice and so I decided to look for you and free you from your sadness,” the 1st cyborg explained, “but now I see this idea was too romantic. Since I've been caught and trapped here, I've become just as sad as you are.”

“Yes, but at least we're not alone now, and maybe we can escape from here.”

The other cyborg already looked a bit happier.

“But we are in a prison, there is no way to escape!”

II. The Supersonic Message
An ambitious nostalgic thought is swimming with the multiple cyborg. The cyborg carried this thought for a really long time. Thoughts were falling from its head like a fish bowl kicked so strong that all the fish fly far away ... Anyway, a head full of thoughts and some strange memories: memories from the wild sex party they threw last night.

What was that? Nostalgic thoughts? They represented what the cyborg has been longing for: cyborgs from all kinds of places, dancing to slow motion songs in ballerina suits. Oh, for sure it felt like swimming. Swimming in a sea of metallic kisses and passionate oil. That was when the multiple cyborg remembered that special robot that looked like a piece of machine from the future in 1920. All kinds of thoughts started to return to its head: “I’m gonna organize a play party this evening!”

The cyborg thought of sending a supersonic message to the whole galaxy, one that can be translated as: “Welcome to the strangest place in the universe! Everything is possible here: fucking cyborgs, aliens, robots and maybe lost humans … for one night in our timespace but in your timespace, it could represent more or less, it depends!”

The cyborg sat back, satisfied with its message. Smiling to itself, it pressed its scrawny grey thumb on the ‘send’ button.

III. Revenge of the Lonely Cyborg
The ambitious nostalgic thought is swimming with the multiple cyborg. The thought swims backwards, against the current, passing through channels and bouncing off rocks and fallen tree stumps, further and further into the past. The cyborgs swims alongside the thought, guiding it around islands and through marshy areas. While floating under a bridge, one lazy summer afternoon, the thought questioned itself.

“Why am I going backwards?” it said loudly to itself. One of the older cyborgs raised his wide head out of the water and answered: “Because you must revisit the past before you can move into the future.”

Slowly floating, the thought wondered what he would find in his past. At this point he couldn’t remember where he was coming from nor which way he had gone so far. Only when he bounced against a rock or a tree stump, he had a short flashlight of memories, astonished and confused about the way he had made so far. Where was the beginning, his origin? Or was there no origin at all? Would he just lose himself on the journey, fragmented and untraceable? And then, even if he could follow the way back to one origin, what would it tell him about the future?

Probably that he should take care of the dog more often, or write some letters to his family – the kind of precious advice that life is teaching you all through. Or: don’t step on the line, try to walk the sidewalks without stepping on the lines because that brings bad luck.

Anyway, the cyborg was lonely. A forty year old cyborg with no hopes for a future (technology doesn't last that much), thinking and meditating all day long: why nobody told me that technology doesn’t last forever, that we must be trashed too, necessarily, at a certain point? Why nobody teaches us this in school and we have to learn it the hard way ... when our metal is only good for ironing?

Even the complaining and meditating took too long, so our cyborg took a life-changing decision: “I am going to crash to the Earth, in a techno-pole, to show them where technology leads: to death ... Ah, ah, ah, I am becoming diabolic because no hope is left, no future for me, no future for others! I am going to destroy all 'scientific centers' and put bombs everywhere! Maybe the survivors will find parts of my body, maybe they'll wonder how a cyborg could be so lonely?! They might understand that all planets are perfect and loneliness exists everywhere …”

IV. In the Here and Now
The ambitious nostalgic thought is swimming with a multiple cyborg called Az. It lives in another world, far from us. Whoever built it had in mind an ideal world. Az should be clever, free-minded, not straight, but it met another cyborg called By, lost in this ideal world.

By: It’s boring, we don't have to fight anyone!

Az: I don’t agree! This world is so wonderful, no more discrimination! Everyone can live freely!

By shook its head sadly: “What good is freedom if it wasn't fought for? Furthermore, what do we learn by relaxing in this peaceful paradise? Is there no challenge here, can't we use our minds for a single moment?”

Az didn’t know what to say. It arrived to this ideal world just a few days ago: “How long have you been here?” it asked.

“3 years, 99 days, 4 hours and 36 minutes,” By replied.

Az: “And what did you do all this time? You just seem to be bored with this perfect place and you’ve forgotten what it means to fight. Now the fighting for freedom looks like a great heroic adventure to you but don’t forget about the all pain and suffering it causes!” Az looked a bit furious because his beautiful thought was questioned that way.

Oh, stop telling me what to think,” By replied angrily, “you came here with your fantastic thoughts about perfect life, telling me your wisdom – but you didn’t live this life! What do you know about it?”

“The point is that when you arrive to the ideal world, nothing is like you imagine it would be. When you live 'this' life, the ideal world is far away, unreachable. And it seems to be perfect because our reality is 'here'. Our reality doesn’t taste good, the ideal world does. But the ideal world is not here.”

When By stepped into the ideal world he couldn’t believe it because it had became part of the 'here' and the 'here' is where we experiment, what we live. And if we live something we don’t like, then we have to fight to change it. This desire for change, even in the paradise of the ideal, was too shocking for By, who realized that he was never living in such an ideal place, that this static picture was an illusion of reality. When By met Az, he realized there were many things that needed to be done. And that’s when he joined Az in the fight. He also realized that Az was not a 'he' but a 'she' and that by calling 'him' 'he' was trying to see the world as a place made only for him.

When he saw that there were others, different ones, and saw a part of the fight as well, he started to call Az for what she was, a complete cyborg, independent of pronouns. And both kept on fighting together. Ideal world or reality, call it as you want. The fact is that they are fighting HERE.

Part 2: A Beautiful Facility Manager ...

Part 2: A Beautiful Facility Manager ...

In Other Wor(l)ds stories from Berlin - Part 2: 
A Beautiful Facility Manager Is Insisting on a Heart-Breaking Glass Window

I. Clashing Histories
A beautiful facility manager insisted on a heart-breaking glass window.

“Give in, give in to my beauty!” shouted the manager. By now she was in despair. Normally, her charms always worked, no matter how pressing the window’s heart-ache was. This window didn’t make a screech. One if its panes moved slightly, from left to right, as if to say: “No.”

“What do I have to do to heal your shattered window-heart? I tried duct tape, chewing gums, even the new subparticle glue … Please, talk to me!”

Was this a dream? A bad one, it seemed. A kind of nightmare. Since when did he notice that this special window was talking to him? And why did he think it was female? Nobody knew he liked women. It was forbidden, the machines didn’t want it. Why was he so sad about the broken glass? He couldn’t remember. This shouldn’t be happening. The machines. Was evolution really this bad?

He was male. That was the only thing he knew.

“Go to hell,” he shouted, “go to hell, all of you!”

Stretching Robin woke up. He looked over to the corner where he kept the window. She was still there. Shattered. And his dream slipped away from him.

“Time for another appointment with the high Wita. Stay there,” he said, “and don’t move.”

Talking to a mirror again, oh dear. He crawled up the ladder and into the air vent that protruded insignificantly into the room. He had to make his way to the bowels of the ship. It was magik time. He had to witness the Ritual.


He heard a sound as he tried to wriggle him ample hips through the small hole. He paused, sweating. No other life forms apart from the Facility workers were allowed in the ship. That’s unless you count the witches. And of course, no one knew about them.


He heard it again. He lowered his feet down onto his screen shelf where all the Universe’s oracles were kept. He pushed his shoulders through, and bruising the right one, he landed with a bump on the second layer of his cabin.

The only thing with even a vague Life-Energy was the mirror. But that was impossible. Surely the forces had died long ago with the genocide that had rid the planets of all humans. Womyn. Was that how it was spelled? He wasn’t sure. The histories seemed to clash.

Moving over to the mirror, he observed his long lashes repeated in her eyes.

“Why the fuck mirrors? Are mirrors glasses? Window-glasses? What a stroke of genius of fate. Of course, at this point people did not believe in faith, a somewhat anachronistic concoction, anymore. But then, in spite of technology, how do you know – to have picked mirrors as the last remnant of life-energy?

The thought of recovering a mirror, that symbol of vanity and coherence of the self, tickled Robin’s sense of glory. He pictured himself as the hero, just like in the texts he had at one point read in brain training.

Robin the hero would save those he loved most – women, womyn – and himself, rescue them from the planet where it was possible to survive only with the help of mirrors. Robin didn’t know exactly where to but knew how it should look like. He gave the idea a second thought and suddenly he wasn’t sure anymore if he knows where to go. Sure about the need to leave and sensing that the journey away from the planet will be long and exhausting but nonetheless necessary, Robin started preparing for the journey of his life.

II. Potatoes Don't Have a Gender
A beautiful facility manager was insisting on a heart-breaking glass window. She was sitting in a large oval room, surrounded by kaleidoscopes of windows. Rainbow-light was reflecting everywhere, bouncing off her hair, giving it the colour of the old flags she had seen in the history Portals, carried on poles by strange women with short hair. Her salopettes were slightly wet with sweat and she was sitting surrounded by fragments of broken glass.

A short, curvy figure walked up to her: “What are you doing, Ariadne?”

“Shh!,” the other said. Her stained fringe shook irritably: “'I'm concentrating.”

It had taken her so long to get to this point, she felt. And yet only a few hours ago she had been sitting in the mess-cafeteria, sipping her tomato juice with Vox. And now they were here, at last. And she had to concentrate. Hard. Or everything might be lost.

Vox ate her mashed potato hungrily. Ariadne was acting strangely. Quiet, frowning. Holding her tomato juice in her hand, barely drinking it and eating nothing, even though they had a busy day of Lyte Krystal mining ahead. What the hell was going on with her?

Annoyed, she finished and slurped down her cold, luminous energy T. In a way she felt manipulated, as if she was in some kind of sarcastic system of cow-willing-sipping luminous energy T in the morning, replenishing, just to pour all the energy into the Lyte Krystal. On the other hand, their plan was projecting an arduous night ahead.

While sipping on the mashed potatoes (yes, they could be sipped as well if X-rayed with the sharp light of the awakening morning), they were sorting out the last details of the night that was lying ahead. They didn't let themselves be bothered by the annoying phone ringing, or by people who were passing by, iodizing in wonder at the two persons sitting on the floor, surrounded by glass-spirals, eating breakfast and talking just as casually as if they were shopping at the market. No, they didn't let themselves be disturbed by the BIG ONE, who was flying into town and who was way more important than any of their human concerns.

Ariadne's concentration period was finished. She opened her eyes again and instantly the rainbow-light disappeared from her voluminous hair. As she looked around herself, nervous about the BIG JUICY ONE's arrival, she noticed that her hair looked even longer and darker in the shattered glass reflection. She wished she could cut it right there, at once, just like Vox did after seeing the holographic representation of her strong predecessors' history of struggle against the BIG ONE. What worries! Now, only a hundred years later, she and Vox were on a diplomatic mission to introduce the BIG ONE to the new mashed potatoes recipe which healed the heart-break off all species, BIG and small.

Everything became great as Vox accepted the new wisdom. And everybody really loved the BIG POTATO ONE. Potatoes don't have a gender. Who knew it would be that easy? And it all started with a facility manager ...

III. Metamorph Now!
A beautiful facility manager insisted on a heart-breaking glass window. So he looked at it. Why do these cyborgs always destroy windows? That was his life: queering ponies, broken crocodiles.

“Mr. Suffer?”

Oh, no. He hated to be called by his real name.

“Yes, divine queen of perverts?”

Cyborgs are so logically engaged. You can’t win.

“Why is there a teddy lying on the second floor?”

“I don’t know. Do you wish that I metamorph it?”

“No, thanks.”

And then he saw it. The face in the window. Again. This planet was a mess.

He looked down and returned to his work. They called him Mr. Suffer but nobody knew his real name. He forgot it a long ago, in the Third-Iron-Age. And no one bothered to give cyborgs a name these days. There were too many of them … us … no, them. So hard to think of the trillions of slick figures of his kind. And of course, that is what the humans always wanted. To de-figure them. To take cyborg culture and hide it from all second-class citizens of the Eleventh Galaxy. No wonder, he thought cynically. With the combined life-force of these eternal lifeforms, a revolution could be staged.


Again he heard it, that sound that his Professoress once described as the sound of fingers scraping a blackboard.


Quickly, he looked up. Nothing.

“Queenie, oh queenie,” he mumbled.

His Supervisoress reappeared.

“About that teddy: can you metamorph it after all? Its fuzzy little legs are bringing out my maternal instincts.”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

Typical, he thought. She was scared.

Scribbling little letters which don’t deserve their name onto the surface of the table, the divine queen of perverts was pondering: “Is there a difference between Teddies and Cyborgs, and if yes, who gets to name them? In a way, Teddies had been just very lucky but maybe also strategic in selling their fuzzy legs as completely inoffensive; so trivial and cute that revolutionary metamorphosis could not be thought of.”

Queenie started thinking aloud but just couldn't get it why the Cyborgs were always said to be biologically engaged. After all, she never saw any Cyborg sharing its desire with another Cyborg. At least not with her own eyes. Or was she simply ignorant? Maybe she imagined desire in a certain way, thought it had to assume a certain shape ...

In this moment, Mr. Suffer realised he was in his own world. There were still teddies around him but no cyborgs in sight although he could swear he smelled the overwhelming saliva from their mouths ... not in sight but surely present. Instead, only a sales-person was looking at him like he was insane. He was sure that this sales-person thought so, but he didn’t care about it. Cyborgs were around him and they might have desires, too (he just didn’t see them) ... and he himself ... yes, he himself ... a small flash of insight grew … became huge ... yes, he desired them! He desired THEM!

“Oooh! Cyborgs,” he screeched like a nail scraping against rusty metal, “why wasn’t I constructed as an autoerotic cyborg, why can’t I just please myself?!”

“Don’t despair,” shouted the divine queen of perverts, “metamorph! Metamorph now!”

“Yes, I am ... am ... mmh ...”

His electronic consciousness faded out for a second, perhaps a century. When he opened his eyes again, he realized he was tied to the iron frame of a velvet-red bed. A dozen fluffy and warm teddies were sitting on his chest, salivating with desire and gazing transfixed into his many compound eyes.

“Who am I,” he thought, “what have I become?”

Perhaps it no longer mattered ...

IV. One grows, one grows up to the task of growing
A beautiful facility manager was insisting on a heart-breaking glass window. The window belonged to a fancy shop with antique teddy bears. They were not in the best shape, some of them were missing legs, some of them had no head, but looking at them, the facility manager could cry tears – so beautiful they were in their uniqueness! They were to be exhibited, the facility manager decided, and so s_he went against the conviction of her_his colleagues and clients who thought s_he's gone crazy. S_he was standing in front of the shop, looking at it from a distance, aware of the treasure that was lying behind the wooden bulk windows. S_he was thinking of teddy bears and their heads and legs and bellies and filling that was partly pushing to the surface of their beings. S_he could almost smell their fur, it had the sweet odour of years of humidity.


The facility manager moved her/his beautiful head towards the sudden sound. What was that?

“Aaa-khm,” repeated the sound and by now (s)he knew that this was not some random noise from the street, not the cracking of the boards that covered the window – no, the sound was coming from behind the boards. (S)he brought her perfectly violet nose closer to the window and looked at the damp teddy bears from real close. One of them seemed to move slightly, as if to stretch its muscles. Suddenly, it pulled out a sign that said: “WE ARE NOT EXHIBITS. FLUCK YOU!”


“Which part of the sentence you didn't understand?”

“Maybe the 'Fluck you' part.”

“C'mon, I'm a bear. Do you expect a perfect pronunciation or what?”

“I didn't even know that a toy is able to talk.”

“I'm lonely. And my name is Zoo, by the way.”

“What kind of a name is 'Zoo'?”

The bear seemed to grow: “What kind of a job is a 'facility manager'?”

“You're a naughty little bear.” Am I really talking to a bear, she thought in the mean time, I should visit the doctor. While it wondered, the bear apparently returned to its inanimate stasis. And then: “Naughty little bear, am I? Are you trying to dominate me or what?”

Aa-khm laughed: “Well, I guess they don't call you 'Bears' for nothing. Who would think that toys are into BDSM?!”

To her/his surprise, the teddy laughed heartily with her. Did it understand? No one, not even the Sybil-IV's got his/her jokes. They were too old-fashioned, filled with references to a time long gone. So s/he kept laughing, hysterically now, the sound coming deep from hir belly.

“Look, shut-up,” the teddy bear hissed, “you've got to get me out of here. I'm old and trapped. Look, my shagging is starting to get mouldy.” Zoo held up a leg impatiently, showing Aa-khm the newly-formed star crystals. Zoo was here for too long and too frustrated to bandy about PleasSex with a facility manager. However, s_he was pleasantly appealing. Zoo quickly thought about how simple it was for it to label people as appealing or not. Where did it learn that? Behind the glass window, checking out passers-by.

Like a balloon with its sides stretching, Zoo became larger. A kind of an unpleasant feeling, but one grows, one grows up to the task of growing, stretching, filling up space. Like a yeast dough with a slightly fractured surface. Fractured? It started with some cracks, cracks turning into fractals, like sprinkled sugar all over the place. A kind of slow-motion but steady, then a point of fullness, a point where glass resistance is overwhelmed by Zoo's mighty belly, crashing and cracking, shattering all over the floor. The glass window is broken, and so is Zoo's mightily enlarged heart. Literally.

V. Embizzle's Home

A beautiful facility manager was insisting on a heart-breaking glass window. Glass had proven instrumental to Embizzle's daily routine at least once or twice before. Its power to break people's hearts, literally, helped her once to dodge a ticket checker, another time to stop a night train from departing on time.

Looking at the window frame, Embizzle could not help giving in to the – what was by now thought to be obsolete – way of insulating living units. So Embizzle was choosing the occasions, the moments when it used its power very carefully and sparsely. It always focused on something that was incredibly important to it or to those it loved. And it loved people very much. Throughout the years it would observe how its use of power made people do things they wouldn't do otherwise but were just more right – they brought more equilibrium and justice (however vague this concept might be). However, when people would act in a more just way, their hearts would turn bigger and bigger until they would explode.

Embizzle itself was hurt by it and now, at this point was wondering whether the glass windows were the key to get rid of all this pain. After all, the glass was supposedly emotionless – and motionless. But wasn't there always something, someone behind the window glass?

Embizzle tried to look through the dusty window but only saw its own reflection. Its beauty was typical of its species: vertical eyes, horizontal nose, vertical mouth et cetera. But Embizzle was used to her face. So used, xe no longer noticed it. Right now she knew only one thing: her reflection in the dark dusty window was on her way, preventing her from seeing what was behind it. So s/he smashed the window with her fist.

She was surprised to see how easily the glass broke. How soft. It melted away and she was surprised again. The window was hiding a different room. There stood a scientist and mumbled: “Oh no, oh no, oh no.”

Embarrassing. Her beloved H was a small scientist? An ant? An insect with a writing pad in its hands? Ridiculous?

Embizzle wished she hadn't broken the window. This story was going to end really bad and she knew who would suffer in the end – herself. Looking at the scientist she noticed something strange about the creature. Although it definitely had insecticide characteristics it also had the same slightly slanting eyes as H, Embizzle's own long mouth. But, as well as this, the scientist had long white fingers, which were writing feverishly in a book. Looking at H, her own heart was breaking.

“Hello Embizzle.” The creature smiled: “Recognise me? I am your syster.”

And Embizzle knew then, where her ana…est dreams and skills had led her. Here. Home. To this beautiful, tri-specied creature, truly a child of the anti-speciesist Order's own philosophy. Looking at her, Embizzle knew that her hardest work had only just begun. Instead of breaking hearts, she would now have to learn to mend her own.

Part 3: A Wild Teddy Bear ...

Part 3: A Wild Teddy Bear ...

In Other Wor(l)ds stories from Berlin - Part 3: 
A Wild Teddy Bear Cried Over a Deconstructed Baby

I. One-Way Baby Route to Neukölnoid 
A wild teddy bear cried over a deconstructed baby when Elija awakened on its new planet. The sun had just risen and the tidy hills were covered in a kind of pinkish light. Even Elija's skin looked a bit pinkish. Except for the teddy bear and the baby everything seemed to be empty. Just these hills (Elija remembered them from some kids show), everywhere. When Elija looked closer, she saw that the teddy bear's tears were small little wool balls that started rolling down the hills and when they got stuck somewhere, they sprouted little trees with wool-ball leaves.

The baby didn't know it was deconstructed, it didn't care. It started playing with the wool balls and wool-ball trees. Elija didn't know what to think about all this, but then she thought that she also didn't have to, and started playing with the baby, throwing wool balls and piling the up. The teddy bear was still crying, so more and more wool rolled down the hills. But when Elija and the baby stopped touching the balls, the teddy stopped crying immediately. It started singing and the baby began to reconstruct itself.

When the baby was in one piece again, Elija noticed that somebody was shouting. A lot of creatures here, she thought. She saw the shouting one crawling on the sand towards them very quickly. It was a giant blue slug, now heading for the baby. It hugged the baby while softly talking to it and seemed very happy.

The happy times were over and done! The community did not approve those happy F-E-E-L-I-N-G-S, as they called them, in the stratosphere of deconstruction. The teddy bear unveiled his mask – it never cried, that was just woollen leakage coming from the old grandpa disguised in a fluffy bear. This was a strategy employed by the people of the planet of Media Deconstruction to deconstruct semi-innocent babies! Then they would use the babies as prototypes to live on planet Earth.

The way to stop this circus was to save the babies by transporting them to another dimension called Neukölnoid where no teddy bear could find them. As we speak, the new babies are coming to their new habitat. And yes, it's a one-way baby route to Neukölnoid! The robots of Neukölnoid will be happy to adopt these new imported life forms.

II. “Bahbahbuaha ...”
A wild Teddy Bear cried over a deconstructed baby.

“Not again!” said the baby, this time completely deconstructed. Teddy Bear had done this before. The last time it was when the omnipresent Robot had a massive jet-lag and started deconstructing the baby furiously.

“Look,” said the baby, “I think someone is manipulating with our time and space coordinates. That's why you leak tears, my dearest Teddy bear.” As soon as the baby said that, the Teddy Bear started vomiting uranium jelly candies.

In that moment, Ara the Third of the 3 Homeless Companions, randomly travelling through the space, entered the enormous bathroom of their ship. She spotted the candy and started to collect it from Teddy and stuffed it into her mouth.

“We have to do something,” Teddy Bear gasped.

“I like the candy,” Ara the huge parrot said. After she took a look at the baby she changed her mind: “OK, I do have an aunt on Planet B3, she is a witch and maybe she can help us. But we probably need the candy to pay her, so you need to stop eating it.”

They found a hygiene products bag in the bathroom and held it under Teddy's mouth to collect the candy. When it was full they left the bathroom and hitch-hiked to Planet B3.

During their travel the baby deconstructed more and more. Its body became only texts and discourses, its gender was gone long ago. But its shit was still real and they had forgotten to take enough diapers along. They used whatever they could find in the various spaceships and spaceship stops but they were still very happy when they finally met the witch. But something was wrong with her.

“Oh, my babyyy,” the witch screamed with tears in her eyes, “I've been searching for you forever.” She took the baby under her hairy armpits, watching it closely.

The baby made babbling sounds: “Bahbahbuaha ...”

What happened to it during the journey? Where did all its words go? Did it lose them? And what did it receive instead of words? The witch smiled happily and looked a bit scary with her black yellow sharp teeth.

“Finally you are ready, baby. The only purpose of your journey was to bring me the total power of deconstruction. I will see, finally see! I'll be the last and final judge.” And so she kissed our little deconstructed baby and sucked. She sucked until nothing was left except for the little crying Teddy Bear.

Back to Introduction
Back to the workshop invitation where the writing technique is explained (in case you were wondering what on Earth this is).

15. feb. 2011

Esej 'Težave s queerom' v časopisu Tribuna

V februarski številki študentskega časopisa Tribuna je izšla krajša verzija eseja Težave s queerom. V njem obravnavam pomene, ki se v Sloveniji vpisujejo v uvoženi in še neprevedeni pojem »queer«. Esej je ilustrirala Ana Baraga, tukaj pa je dostopen v PDF obliki. Daljša verzija je izšla v zborniku Feminizam: politika jednakosti za sve (Jelena Petrović, Damir Arsenijević (ur.), Beograd: Profemina, 2011).

Iz uvoda: »'Queer ... kaj to sploh pomeni?' me sprašujejo znanke in znanci, ki nimajo neposrednega stika s feministično, lezbično in gejevsko sceno, a vedo, da se oba, izraz in jaz, loviva med njimi. Vprašanje je umestno. Odkar je tudi v Ljubljani popularno trditi, da si queer, je iskanje politično spodbudnega odgovora še posebej pomembno za lezbično in gejevsko skupnost, saj queerovska novotarija (zaenkrat) zadeva predvsem njo. Zastavljajo se še druga vprašanja, recimo v kakšnih kontekstih se pri nas pojavlja ta izmuzljiva tujka? Ali zastopa novo samoopredelitev, življenjski slog, modno muho, novo politiko, posebno teoretsko metodo ali celo novo paradigmo? Menda ne vsega naštetega? Kdo in kaj se torej definira kot queer(ovsko)?«

6. feb. 2011

In Other Wor(l)ds workshop at Lad.i.y.fest Berlin

My next writing workshop is going to take place at the 2011 winter edition of Lad.i.y.fest on Saturday, February 19th from 12.00 to 15.00 at the f.a.q. Laden in Jonasstrasse 40 in Neukölln, Berlin. 

In Other Wor(l)ds: Collective Writing of Feminist-Queer Science Fiction
At the workshop, we are going to hold hostage individual authorship. We won’t wait for inspiration and we won’t worry about controlling the narrative either. Instead, we are going to play with the rigid conventions of genre and gender by disguising feminist-queer ideas as utopian characters of our choice.

The roboladies of Hermannstrasse.

The workshop will start with a short discussion about feminist-queer science fiction and the ideas or characters we would like to explore in an utopian setting. We will continue by playing several Surrealist games in “automatic writing” in order to relax and prepare for the climax: the collective writing of gender-fucking and mind-bending speculative stories. To amuse ourselves, we are going to conclude the workshop with a reading of our mistress-pieces.

We are going to play the following games: Definitions (or Question and Answer), Conditionals and two versions of Exquisite Corpse. The game descriptions below are taken from Mel Gooding's A Book of Surrealist Games (Shambhala Redstone Editions, Boston, 1993). In Gooding's words, these games can be played by anyone. The strange conjunctions, humorous or poetic, that they generate give them their point since the exploration of chance with automatic techniques is central to these and many other Surrealist games. 

The two faces of Ardra (from the Star Trek series).
Definitions (or Question and Answer): the game is played in pairs. A question is written down, the paper folded to conceal it from the next player, who writes an answer. Remarkable facts emerge. 

Conditionals: for two or more players. The same procedure as before, but in this case the first player must write a hypotetical sentence beginning with ‘If’ or ‘When’, then conceal it. The second player writes a sentence in the conditional or future tense. 

Exquisite Corpse: for a minimum of three players. Each writes on a sheet of paper a definite (‘The’) or indefinite (‘A’) article and an adjective. The sheet is folded so as to conceal the words, and passed round to the next player. Each player than writes a noun, conceals it, and the process is repeated with a verb, another definite or indefinite article and adjective, and finally another noun. The paper is unfolded and the sentences read out. Players may agree on small changes to ensure grammatical consistency. The game acquired its name from the first sentence obtained in that way: “The exquisite corpse shall drink the new wine.”

Konrad Potthoff's Wilhelmine meets Rosie (from The Jetsons).

I modified the game Exquisite Corpse in order to use it for collective writing of stories at In Other Wor(l)ds workshops in the following way: for four or five players (or several groups of four or five). Each participant begins by writing her own story. Ten minutes later, he passes the piece to the next person. After reading it (or not), xe continues where the other person stopped. The workshop is finished when everyone has written a part of every story and they are read aloud to ourselves or to the audience that can endure it;) 

The workshop will be in English. Please, bring a pen and some paper! 
Open to all genders, no application necessary. 

Stories from previous workshops can be read here and here.

Dogodek je podprlo Ministrstvo za kulturo Republike Slovenije. / Supported by the Slovene Ministry of Culture.