What would you say are symbols of your current situation or the current situation in your country?Artists in general - like myself -, are very familiar with the feeling of uncertainty in their profession. The occasional “ups and downs” we experience can be of financial nature, but also related to securing regular work opportunities. The intellectual/artistic work concept does not observe “work stop orders” or “stay at home” commands; the mind continues to create new concepts and ideas nevertheless.
Yet, situations like the one we are experiencing at this moment, show that all professions are affected somehow. Two major projects of mine which were scheduled to be installed in April and May 2020 after a two-year work and preparation period, had to be postponed.
Hear & Now: A kinetic sound sculpture by Trimpin (2019) | © Trimpin
How will the pandemic change the world? What do you see as long-term consequences of the crisis?Forty years ago, I decided to move to the U.S. to pursue a lifelong interest of working professionally as an artist in the field of music and sculpture, combining both disciplines to focus on sound art. After studying Social Pedagogy in Berlin, focusing on art therapy (music and theater), I did not fit into any “art categories” in the German cultural system. An interdisciplinary art form was not recognized back then, so there was no support of any kind. I never could have achieved the recognition, financial assistance, and steady work for all kind of public art commissions if I had remained in Germany.
Yet, on the other side, there was also the struggle - especially with the expenses of my health insurance. In the U.S. you are basically on your own, lacking a universal health care system that we are so used to take for granted in Germany. This current crisis in the U.S. demonstrates that everybody is in need of a health care provider. I hope we will learn from this and take appropriate action so that in the future everybody will have access to affordable health care.
One of the long-term consequences that I see specifically for artists will be the missing support from all the cultural institutions. Those are the first ones to be on the chopping block and will cease to receive any financial support, because they are not recognized in this society as “essential.” The corona crisis is not just a “domestic” issue; globally everybody has to pitch in to keep all the cultural institutions afloat, including corporations and financial institutions.