In this installation at the Kuenstlerhaus Schloß Wiepersdorf designed Jan Hendrik Brueggemeier two ‘black clouds’ out of 420 small loudspeaker to display 6 discrete audio channels.

As a topic, clouds trigger manifold associations and are a largely known cultural phenomenon. ‘As-Sahab’, the name of the alleged media production unit of Al-Qaeda means “The Cloud” in Arabic. In the old testament it is reported, that god liked to hide his appearance behind a cloud when calling Moses on the seventh day of the creation of the earth. The cloud also serves as an analogy for radio and the more recent phenomenon of wifi and wireless culture. It describes how the reception area is spread out. As well, it leads to the first days of the radio, when people experienced radio as a god-like appearance – a disembodied voice addressed to them directly.

Radio, today, is on one hand a synonym for popular culture and mass distribution. On the other hand, it can be tagged with politics of territory and strategic warfare. It may be surprising, but to a certain degree radio is culturally and technologically rooted in war and military invention – similar to the Internet.

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From the foundation’s regulatory statutes:
“The foundation’s purpose is to preserve the sites of the crimes as sites of mourning and commemoration, to provide these sites with a scientifically founded form and outward appearance and to make them accessible to the public in an appropriate manner, as well as to promote the research of the respective historical occurrences and their conveyance to the public. …

At the Buchenwald Memorial, the history of the Nazi concentration camp is to receive priority within this context. The history of the Soviet internment camp is to be integrated into the scientific and museum work to an appropriate degree. At the Mittelbau-Dora Memorial, special attention is to be devoted to the subject of the exploitation of inmates for the production of weapons of destruction. The history of the two memorials’ political instrumentalisation during the era of the German Democratic Republic is also to be represented. …

The foundation’s obligations include the organisation and realisation of permanent and temporary exhibitions, scientific colloquia and cultural events on the national and international level, the educational guidance of the visitors with a special focus on young people, and scientific documentation, research and publication in connection with the work of the memorial.”

Article 2 of the Thuringian Act providing for the establishment of the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation


photo credit: Buchenwald and Mittelbau Dora Memorial Foundation

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pingfm‘ music was used for the exhibition audio guide on:

Gulag: Traces and Testimonies 1929–1956

The exhibition is the first in Germany to present relics of and testimonies to the Soviet camp system collected by the “Memorial” human rights organization all over the former Soviet Union from the 1980s to the present.

The exhibition project seeks answers to the following question: How can the Gulag – a penal camp system already described by its contemporaries as the “quintessence” of Soviet tyranny – be described, how can it be comprehended in all of its dimensions? Voices of people who experienced it first-hand and biographies of former inmates accompany visitors on their exploration of this remote archipelago and create a panorama of the Soviet camp system. Objects from the “Memorial” holdings – for example a makeshift bread pouch, a tattered dress or a metal grave tag – make the everyday lives of the camp inmates tangible. The exhibition website presents a selection of significant objects and biographies.

Visit the website: (in English)

Listen to the audio guide (in German):

“Eine Negative Schule des Lebens” (A negative School of Life)

concept: Ronald Hirte
voices: Xenia Noetzelmann, Philipp Oehme, Ulla Willick
dramaturge: Rafal Jove
sound engineer: Burkhrad Blum (Radio Lotte Weimar)
music: pingfm
language coach: Elena Petuhova
editors: Ronald Hirte, Julia Landau
design: Frieder Fragt, werkraum media Weimar

A production of the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation, Weimar 2012


Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation
topf & sons, Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation

(short excerpt of the recorded texts in German)

A 4 channel audio installation which was designed for the travelling exhibition
The Engineers of the ‘Final Solution’. Topf & Sons – Builders of the
Auschwitz Ovens
by the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation.

In this work, actors read text fragments from historical documents. The fragments
come either from letters written by the prisoners in the form of secret
messages or from eye-witness reports at boards of enquiry in 1945 and
after. This work was realised by Jan Hendrik Brueggemeier and Ludger Hennig.

The exhibition has been shown at the following places aside others:
Jewish Museum Berlin, City Museum of Erfurt, Ruhrlandmuseum Essen, LWL
Industrial Museum, Ziegeleimuseum in Lage, Documentation Centre at the site of the Nuremberg Rally.


photo credit: Sabeth Stickforth

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optimistic disease facility
optimistic decease facility

Jan Hendrik Brueggemeier was commissioned to design the soundtrack for the film Optimistic Disease Facility: A documentary film about the fine artist Boris Lurie, a co-founder of the art movement NO!Art and Nazi concentration camp prisoner. Directed by Naomi Tereza Salmon.

(c) Buchenwald and Mittelbau- Dora Memorials Foundation – English with German subtitles – 58′ 37” – DVD, PAL

From the NO!art website:

“The life and work of Boris Lurie creates a radical, brusque, and at the same time a poetic cosmos. In New York where Lurie lives within his collages, the experience of the Nazi concentration camps seeps through everything. Apartment studio and laboratory all reflect a very personal artistic view of the past which surrounds him in the present.

After meeting the artist Naomi Tereza Salmon (who lives and works in Germany), at Buchenwald during the retrospective exhibition of his works in 1998/99, he gave her permission to document his apartment, studio and storage space. A dialogue developed, covering a range of issues, mainly about the past, about living in New York, about the Palestinian issue, including discussions on Stalin and capitalism.

The film is a result of this encounter, laconically trying to capture the authentic situation, and was made as a low budget project. Considering the fact that Lurie is the founder of the No!art movement, the making of the film is inspired by its manifest, which presents an opposition to american mass culture and to the commercalizing process of art, putting in question the scene of mainstream and pop art, creating a genuine ideological and fundamental aesthetic approach of its own.

The music, which was composed specifically for this purpose by the German music and internet performer Jan Brüggemeier (pingfm – internet radio broadcasting), serves as an adhesive as well as an interpretative component. An examination of the metaphysical space, focusing on the encounter between the two artists and the experiences of each of them with their immediate surrounding takes place. The film offers no answers but presents the questions which arise in it in a clear way for the viewer to reflect on them.”

More information about Naomi T. Salmon

NO!Art website

Naomi T. Salmon’s website

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Editor: Jan Hendrik Brueggemeier for Heritage Radio Network (EU)

Chapter 06: The Buchenwald memorial – about current-history memorial work in Germany


  • Rikola-Gunnar Luettgenau, Director of the Buchenwald Memorial, Curator of “Topf & Sons: The Engineers of the ‘Final Solution’, the Builder of the Auschwitz-ovens”
  • Ronald Hirte, Author of the online-project “Found Objects – a picture-catalogue” of the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation and fellow of the „Media of History / History of Media Ph.D programme at Bauhaus-University Weimar


  • the Foundation memorial-places Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora
  • exhibition on the company “Topf & Sons”: “The Engineers of the ‘Final Solution’ – Builders of the Auschwitz Ovens”
  • Ronald Hirte, “Offene Befunde – Ausgrabungen in Buchenwald”[ISBN 3-922618-23-2]
  • online image catalogue “Found Objects”
  • audio archaeology, Dr. Friedrich Kittler
  • Dr. Volkhardt Knigge, director of the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation


  • “Concerto funebre for violin and string orchestra” from Karl-Amadeus Hartmann [Cd: 65023 AV]
  • Random_Inc with “tales outside the framework of orthodoxy #23” [Cd: ritornell rit 020 c/o mille plateux]

Listen to the complete programme of “Are Museums just digging in the Past?”:
high res version:

low res version:

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Tune in the treatment of tomorrow’s depressions

(cassette tape found in the La Trobe Library Melbourne)

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Together with the British painter Will Martyr and Jan Hendrik Brüggemeier have developed a series of temporary game courts in the public space. Commissioned for the to design an intervention for the public square in front of the Theaterhaus Jena, Germany, it turned out that this square used to be main auditory hall of the venue, which once was re-designed by Walter Gropius, the director of the Bauhaus school.

Vorplatzspiele’, intrigued by the transition of the public space of a theatre in a societal sense to a more physical public space of the square, questions a new kind of performer: who are the urban performer?

With the game court a framework is provided ready and open to be explored. The design of the game court can be on one hand be seen as a bastardization of existing popular sport games e.g. soccer and basket ball and their very familiar lineaments. On the other hand it echoes the notion of the game as a driving force in the legendary didactics of the Bauhaus, as well as its idiosyncratic play with rigid geometry as present in the work of modern painter like Wassily Kandinsky or the performance work of Oskar Schlemmer.


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