On December 22, 1933, I was born in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A., as a first son. I spent my childhood in Washington, D.C. My education went on in the usual way: Elementary school, middle school and high school, which I completed with an examination corresponding to the German Abitur.
In 1961 I was granted a scholarship to the University of Göttingen. In the fall of the same year I enrolled at the Faculty of Philosophy and studied German language and literature. In addition to German language and literature studies, an interest in theater developed. My membership in the dramaturgy department of the Department of German Philology extended beyond 6 semesters, where I was allowed to work as a performer, director, assistant director, set designer, sound engineer and stage manager. These amateur acting activities opened the door to the great theater for me. In the period between Nov. 64 – Feb. 65 I played simultaneously on all public stages in Göttingen: the dramaturgical department of the University of Göttingen, Deutsches Theater Göttingen and Junges Theater Göttingen.
In autumn 1964 I changed my field of study. I began to study medicine. One year later I gave up studying completely. I went to Denmark in the winter of 1965 to earn my trip to the States financially. I worked in Denmark in a small metalworking factory. During this time my interest in film grew. I applied to the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin and was accepted in spring 1966 after the entrance examination.
Skip Norman wrote these remarks in German. The document is part of his personal file at Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (DFFB); Source: Deutsche Kinemathek. dffb-Archiv. File: N12697_dffb NORMAN, Skip. Image: Deutsche Kinemathek. dffb-Archiv.
[Suggested citation: Skip Norman, “Autobiographical Remarks,” Rosa Mercedes 03/A (January 2021), www.harun-farocki-institut.org/en/2021/01/28/autobiographical-remarks/]
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On Friday, April 6, 2021, at 8 p.m., Akademie Schloss Solitude will host a Zoom event with former HaFI Residency fellowship holder Shirin Barghnavard about her film “Invisible” (2017). Moderated by Doreen Mende. To register, click here.
April 14th, 2021
The magazine MONOPOL currently features an interview (in German) with Shirin Barghnavard about her film “Invisible,” which she conceived and shot during her HaFI residency in 2017.
April 14th, 2021
Hyperallergic on the environmental impact of blockchain referring to recent NFT (non-fungible token) art sales: “This is not the first time the art world has come under scrutiny for being on the wrong side of the climate conversation. Artists and activists have protested everything from the carbon footprint of physical art fairs to the fossil fuel money funding major museums. But some say the energy consumption of cryptocurrencies is particularly egregious, and research shows it’s relatively easily quantifiable. A study by Cambridge University, for instance, estimates that bitcoin uses more electricity per year than the entire nation of Argentina. (Ethereum mining consumes a quarter to half of what Bitcoin mining does, but one transaction uses more power than an average US household in a day, according to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.)”
Nicholas Mirzoeff on “Artificial vision, white space and racial surveillance capitalism”: “Based as it is on ‘epidermalization’ (the assertion of absolute difference based on relative differences in skin color), AI’s racial surveillance deploys an all-too-familiar racialized way of seeing operating at plan-etary scale. It is the plantation future we are now living in. All such operations take place in and via the new imagined white space of technology known as the cloud. In reality, a very material arrangement of servers and cables, the cloud is both an engine of high-return low-employment capitalism and one of the prime drivers of carbon emissions.”
Sara Ahmed on the performativity of disgust (from The Cultural Politics of Emotion, 2004): “To name something as disgusting is to transfer the stickiness of the word ‘disgust’ to an object, which henceforth becomes generated as the very thing that is spoken. The relationship between the stickiness of the sign and the stickiness of the object is crucial to the performativity of disgust as well as the apparent resistance of disgust reactions to ‘newness’ in terms of the generation of different kinds of objects. The object that is generated as a disgusting (bad) object through the speech act comes to stick. It becomes sticky and acquires a fetish quality, which then engenders its own effects.”
November 7th, 2020