August 30


10.30 a.m.:
Visit at the Vietnamese Flowergardens, hosted by the Dresden based artist group Reinigungsgesellschaft
(text, Trümmerfrauen)

The men have come in suits, the women in long dresses. Dahlia after dahlia, lettuce and mint, pumpkins and peaches all flourish in the garden. The man who is showing me round says the children have eaten all the peaches. He tells me how cuttings are grown in Vietnam: the bark of an attractive branch on an attractive tree is cut. A bandage of earth is put on the cut and after 6 months roots form. We also hear about Vietnamese compost tactics: decayable waste is strewn directly between the flowers. Our compost heaps are seen as unattractive.

Reinigungsgesellschaft have invited us here to visit this public garden created by a collective of Vietnamese women on a disused lot once full of building rubble in the borough of Johannstadt. There are speeches. Our hostess Thien Hoa, named princess, begins with "dear guests, dear international artists and scientists." The Vietnamese community's aim is to raise awareness and support for community spirit. They can't understand why there's not more optimism in Germany. They prepare a wonderful lunch and we feel spoilt. The community policeman tells me that the light cloths laid out on the floor represent clouds and that according to Vietnamese philosophy, we are well advised to view the world from more than one perspective, for example from the clouds. Reinigungsgesellschaft and Mr Ewers, formerly head councillor in Johannstadt and a big supporter of our Vietnamese friends, discuss with us the possibility of doing a mural on a house bordering the garden. Mr Ewers is very enthusiastic about a series of murals he saw in Canada depicting the "History and Develoment of Canada". Our Vietnamese hosts take photos at the pond and wash up.



3 p.m.:
Informal economies
Luchezar Boyadjiev (artist / Visual Seminar, Sofia):
Capitalism Without a Bourgeoisie...?
Ingo Vetter (artist, Berlin):
Potato Field Cities

7 p.m.:
Informal economies
Regina Bittner (cultural scholar, Bauhaus Dessau): Lumpencapitalism or the Return of the Market?

moderated by Torsten Birne (co-curator of Wild Capital / Wildes Kapital)

Dear Luchezar Boyadjiev, dear Ingo Vetter, dear Regina Bittner, please excuse me for not describing your contributions in enough detail here - the fatigue I felt after visiting the garden returns to cloud my memory here too. I recall Stefan and his Brothers and that a rumour circulated in Sofia that the promoted brothers were being lined up as candidates to marry the Lord Mayor's daughter. I also recall hay reaping in the centre of Detroit and the incredible statement that 60% of Russia's food supply comes from urban agriculture. In his notes Thomas quotes "Let them plaster up the inner cities. The inner city is not my back yard." Then there were the turkish cloth merchants who teach their travelling Russian colleagues how to do business. And wobbly planks across mud. The socialist city as "a built realisation of collective hopes". And in reply, that capitalism is a natural process, sharks and all. Dirk then told us that the lift attendant had had enough and was reaching his limits.

We eat our fill in the Dürüm Kebab House. Someone notices that the waiter is Bulgarian.

Unfortunately I miss the nighttime lecture under the disco ball in Hotel Odessa. I'm told everyone whispered.