Friday, June 30, 2023

What happens to your soul when you live too long in a soulless place?

I can't quite say but I think the answers will include: 

"Nothing good can come out of a vacuum." 

That's my thought for the day. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

anything new? / from the May 2011 archive

I am currently making submissions for grants and residencies.
Mostly I am enjoying reading and working on new ideas/projects.

Since inclusion in the Catlin Art Guide I have been approached by a surprising number of 'opportunities' that require me to pay a fee to get more opportunities that require a further fee. I think this is silly, so please don't offer me opportunities that require me to pay you. I am interested in being paid, in selling work and in making work. 

As a multi skilled professional I am; among other services; available for hire as Artist, photographer, workshop leader/ co-leader, researcher, translator, writer and organizer of events, schedules, exhibitions, performances and available as artistic director and editor.. I am always available for good ideas and positive action. But no more opportunities that make the organisation offering them rich and me poor.

and for your 'entertainment' : a very old clip from my project archive filmed on 16mm cine film in 2007.

update April 2023:
The archive link leads to an account that I have lost access to. Sadly it was hacked years ago. Google isn't very helpful. This leads me to really wish for more technical / digital independence. I am considering looking into self-hosting my work. In an un-hackable way. And on that topic I just listened to a Tim Ferris interview with Derek Sivers and that lead me to David Siver's webpage sharing a HOW to: Tech Independence 

archive reshuffle / originally collected in 2012

volunteering at the SF Symphony

De Young Volunteer:


The Purl Bee

Easy Crochet Patterns

crochet stuff blog

Blo A La Cart : crochet pouff

Knit and Bake blog good cowl knitting tutorial, one skein.

Blue Alpacas, patterns for crochet blog:

Traditional Yoga Studies store

Great store

Knitting Help:

SF Art Consultancy / Management


Review: The Total Work of Art in European Modernism by David Roberts

thinks to do with the ipad:


Self Publishing

ipad as writing tool / serious use

I want to change the world but sleep instead

article about das Ewige Eis, Arctic defrost and refreeze...


going where we don't belong

"travelling to where we don't belong, a collection of tales about men and women who crossed borders to bring back answers.."

Sunday, November 19, 2017

SOS Birgit's Youtube account has been stolen by hackers!

This is really sad. I have the majority of my Art Videos on my Youtube account under the Channel Name : Papersculptures. Somebody hacked it, the security questions (that I would need to answer to regain access) are in Chinese Script. I have spent the past 3 hours trying to get my account back, but Google aren't really set up for scatterbrained artists, who simply haven't looked at their account in years BUT now want to continue their Art practice.

I am really pretty sad. This account hosts a lot of videos that are linked to this (old and dusty) blog and are an important chapter in my Art Career.

Do you have any suggestions how I can get my account back (remember the verification process is NOT working for me and I know that Google don't deal with personals by way of checking passport ID for example, but gosh why not!? Tragedy!)

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Fiskars and it's offerings

I am educating myself about Fiskars from around the web but right now I am investigating some of the makers in the village. 
Some websites need some tlc.. But must remember I am going as Artist not Admin wizzard..

Friday, December 11, 2015

Daylight in Finland

Looking up daylight hours for when I will be in Finland for my Artist residency. There will be about 5 - 5.5 hours of daylight each day. But my main concern is not so much the light as: will I be warm enough? I hardly have any warm clothes and no budget to get any. So here is my plan: I will rely on clothing loans. After all I am not going to be there for a fashion show but to play with creative ideas..

Something that I am finding very difficult in the lead up to this residency is the burden of responsibility. Just taking a glimpse at the events of the world it is hard to picture myself not keeping in mind the hardship that so many people face today. Somehow it is important that while the Art happens there is also room for respect and bearing witness. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015


Not only did I discover a copy of Anne Carsone's illustrated hardcopy of Antigonic in a local bookshop on 24th Street in the Mission in San Francisco 3 weeks ago. I stumbled across more volumes of her writing and couldn't help myself but purchase two more books by her..

Adding to my Anne Carson collection: 'Men in the Off Hours'  & ' If Not, Winter'

Men in the Off Hours has some really relevant material for my research strand. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

FISKARS Artist Village Residency - beginning in November 2015, country: Finland

I was invited and have accepted the offer of taking up one of an annual handful of Artist residencies in Fiskars Village. My proposal was all about story gathering and story telling. I am extremely excited to have been selected.

Fiskars: I am coming!

(and I may bring my very own glassmaker to create glass for me to use as props for ..)


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Work with You

My skills are available for hire..
I like to tell stories, photograph and film.
I like to teach drawing classes ..
I like to build

your imagination is the limit

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Sampo / something to watch this week

I am making this application to a residency program in Finland and would like to get a better idea about their local mythological stories. This seems like a good place to begin.


It has been a while since I publicly made Art and I have ideas that have been waiting to be made for so long. I am taking this residency deadline as a catalyst to start thinking about returning to the path again..

Sunday, August 18, 2013

There's an audience out there.. / 8/18/13 8:39 AM

And I found an audience, an audience of small things; and they make me I feel good.

You might have realized that since completing my MFA at Goldsmiths I have been in somewhat of a limbo. Financially I just couldn't continue, and physically I had over-worked and just needed a good rest.

Well right now I am selling simple old drawings of mine from 13 years ago, I add new elements to them and blur the boundaries between old or new. I am selling them... 

I have exquisite expensive Art Prints in the house, in fact I have several cubic meters of extremely expensive photography sitting here but until I can sell these projects I will also continue to work with the audience of small things..

- now it is 10 years later, 2023. 
All I want to know is, what is "The Audience of Small Things?" Do I have notes about them? Did I invent them? Checking in on Birgit of the past makes me realise that I don't seem to know her as well as I thought I might..

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Art Project: Chorus / in vain I will away

(as seen in October 2010, at the Museum Benaki in Athens and the Affordable Art fair in London)

also see:

Exhibition at the Benaki Museum in Athens curated by Out of the Box Intermedia / Sozita Goudouna main website
Exhibition at the Affordable Art Fair in London, Battersea Park, curated by Jessica Hall.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Yes you are in the right place, this is indeed where you can find me!

Please use the tags above to view work descriptions and images without the need to scrolling through years of blog posts.. I am using this page as my notepad for fairly unedited ideas and too keep track of things I liked. Feel free to browse.

I hope you will get in touch. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012

updating everything

it is taking a little time, but piece by piece I am updating this blog again (after a long dormant period), and it is taking over from my website, which is due to go off air in the next month. I have added exhibitions views and initial project descriptions, which still need accompanying images to complete them. I will hopefully re-launch this blog with a little promotion in the next months.

If you are wondering: I am still making new Art, just the backlog needs clearing first.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Can't stop thinking about Butoh

finding me on the web

found on the curator Alfedo Cramerotti's website : Exhibitions / QUAD I Birgit Deubner: Devotional Choreography I & II [curating] 09.05.2009 to 26.06.2009
This was an exhibition featured on the QUAD Digital screens around the building.– – – Devotional Choreography / Khoreia is a composition of films and video display that concentrates on the visual poetry of movement and gesture, developed over centuries to express faith. The artist takes on the role of choreographer, composing a dialogue between faith rituals; this process leads an investigation into the life of gestures, which form a shared language, in inseparable association with religious expression.

emotional body / conceptual body


Monday, April 23, 2012

reading / should be reading



For Susan Sontag, in contrast to Michael Fried, the difference in approach to reading photography is clearest in their interpretations of Jeff Wall’s Dead Troops Talk. Fried actually quotes Sontag’sRegarding the Pain of Others in the introductory chapter to Why Photography Matters. In her analysis of the piece, Sontag writes “Engulfed by the image, which is so accusatory, we could fantasize that the soldiers might turn and talk to us. But no, no one is looking out of the picture. There’s no threat of protest. They are not about to yell at us to bring a halt to that abomination which is war… These dead are supremely uninterested in the living: in those who took their lives; in witnesses – and in us. Why should they seek our gaze? What would they have to say to us? ‘We’… don’t understand. We don’t get it. We truly can’t imagine what it was like. We can’t imagine how dreadful, how terrifying war is; and how normal it becomes. Can’t understand, can’t imagine.” Sontag talks about Dead Troops and its power in a much wider photographic context than Fried and just “art photography.” Sontag is not considering photography as contemporary art, and is not interested in photographs that exist solely for museum and gallery walls. Her fascination with photography is concerned with its mass dissemination and effect on mass culture.
In Regarding the Pain of Others, Sontag takes issue with two ideas she previously wrote about in earlier essays. The first being that public attention is steered by media, or the “CNN effect” as she calls it. Photographs of events shape “what catastrophes and crises we pay attention to, what we care about, and ultimately what evaluations are attached to these conflicts.” (p.105)
The second idea being “that in a world saturated, no, hyper-saturated with images, that that should matter have a diminishing effect: we become callous.” (p.105)
Sontag writes that the main vehicle in which the public gets its news, television. “Images shown on television are by definition images of which, sooner or later, one tires. The whole point of television is that one can switch channels, that it is normal to switch channels, to become restless, bored. Consumers droop. They need to be stimulated, jump-started, again and again. Content is no more than one of these stimulants.” (p. 106)
The idea Sontag touches on about a growing sense of apathy through the numbing effect that television provides, in its ability to let us turn away or change the channel, and its presentation of fact and fiction in a manner that we may find either entertaining reminds me of a parable by Soren Kierkegaard:

“THE HAPPY CONFLAGRATION – What happens to those who try to warn the present age?
It happens that a fire broke out backstage in a theater. The clown came out to inform the public. They thought it was just a jest and applauded. He repeated his warning, they shouted even louder. So I think the world will come to an end amid general applause from all the wits, who believe that it is a joke.”
After a poignant first hand account of her upbringing in Israel, Arielle Azoulay writes in The Civil Contract of Photography that the “theory of photography proposed in this book is founded on a new ontological-political understanding of photography.” (p. 23) The term “ontological-political” understanding is an interesting one to think about and makes sense as to why Azoulay takes issue with Susan Sontag’s Regarding the Pain of Others. To have an ontological understanding in any sense, one needs to consider the relationship to the photograph between the photographer and the photographed subject, and between the photographed subject and the spectator. Not just the spectator and photographic object as Azoulay felt many were too focused on. Azoulay wants to explore the ethical and political implications photographs carry with them that are just as inherent in them as the ontological qualities of photographs that interested Roland Barthes and Walter Benjamin.
Azoulay believes that “the photographic act and the space of photographic relations, treats everyone the same (in as much as everyone in Israel – Jewish and Palestinian – has more or less equal access to being photographed and to making claims for themselves via photography and allows us to overcome the limits of state declared citizenship by declaring everyone a ‘citizen of photography.’ Azoulay argues therefore, that we are all governed equally under the modern visual regime of photography.” (note on p.25)
“When the photographed persons address me, claiming their citizenship in photography, they cease to appear as stateless or as enemies, the manners in which the sovereign regime strives to construct them. They call on me to recognize and restore their citizenship through my viewing.” In comparison with Sontag, whom Azoulay implies has a tendency to address the photograph instead of the person that is the photographed subject, Azoulay’s thoughts about these photographic images describe the ways in which they are viewed by spectators as well as the subject’s desire to address the viewer through them.

Azoulay ponders “What is the foundation of the gaze I might turn back toward them? Is it my gaze alone, or is it their demand directed toward the civil position I occupy?”  Azoulay uses the example of a 1982 photograph by Anat Saragusti, taken as a shop keeper in the town of Hebron holding up the lock to his shop, recently clipped by Israeli police in order to break up a strike. The shop keeper has a gaze that locks on with whoever views the photograph and with and outstretched hand holds up a broken lock for further examination. “When the Hebron merchant stands up in front of the camera, lock in hand, he isn’t demanding remuneration for the broken lock. His stance is an insistent refusal to accept the noncitizen status assigned him by the governing power and a demand for participation in a sphere of political relations within which his claims can be heard and acknowledged.”  

Monday, December 5, 2011

complete bodies

So at which point is a body complete? A body of work, a human body, a body?
Missing parts complete or deplete the body? The work? The picture? The photograph...? I am currently looking at bodies that have lost limbs in tragic and violent circumstances. But is the tragedy really timelessly, continually present or is the presence of absence in a way fabricated and nourished by projection of expectation not met (the expectation of having or seeing a 'complete' body with no 'absences'...)..?

Documentation or creation of a different perception..?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

exhibition view of Chorus / in vain I will away

Chorus / in vain I will away
medium: c-type photographic print
size: full and half size editions are available
More information:
It began with Dante's Divine Comedy.. images of purgatory and hell... The treat of what could happen to one's senses, the inability to escape such a destiny.. a nightmare.. 

Fusili's painting of an incubus sitting on a sleeping woman, who writhes in nightmare fused with his poem of how in vain she wills away also influenced this project. As did Ciaroscurro painting and a now distant past in working in Physical theatre. 

Serious concerns within this work are my long-term involvement in working with the body in unconventional ways; a conversation with classical painting; a keen interest in political - societal concerns developed from an engagement with folk tales, mythology and religious parables.

To me the work is politically informed, the value of being human, the ease with which humanity is lost, dehumanizing takes place all too easily, and normality is in state of flux in which loss of identity of another easily occurs un-noticed, un-objected. My personal fear is fed when I perceive the fragility of an individual in society but I live with an undercurrent of optimism with which I believe in the strength of the potentially same individuals.

Another political position of the work is its engagement with the female body searching for ways of claiming it as universally significant body not representative of female concerns but universally human concerns. Attempting to distance a female body from the; easily falling into narrow enclosures of; feminist discourse is generally a problematic endeavor, but I am searching for ways to speak about humanity without falling into league with a gender camp. Of course feminism is in this time of recession a concern of refreshed urgency.
This project is trying to address a universal aspect of timeless and also very contemporary human condition.
Be it the literary journey of Dante through purgatory and the circles of hell in Dante’s Divine Comedy or parallels in contemporary life, the ugly and the beauty of human experience and capability.
I don’t think I propose answers or fixed positions in my work, rather questions, observations, sometimes serious, at other times with elements of humor. I search and I always find more question which lead to further searches. I work at highest possible quality across a spectrum of mediums, incorporating drawing, film, photography, installation, light, ambience. I locate my practice in concerns rather than a particular medium.

If you have more questions about the work or if you are interested in the project for exhibition or purchase please contact me;

Thank you to Kiwoun Shin for the photographs!!