Ann Cotten: Fast dumm - Essays on the road

None
Ann Cotten: FAST DUMM - Essays on the road | © Thomas Stammer
None
Ann Cotten: FAST DUMM - Essays on the road | © Thomas Stammer
None
Ann Cotten: FAST DUMM - Essays on the road | © Thomas Stammer
None
Ann Cotten: FAST DUMM - Essays on the road | © Thomas Stammer

I met Ann Cotten at the Villa Aurora, where she gave me her volume of essays entitled FAST DUMM (ALMOST STUPID). It’s the same venue in L.A., where I also got to know Michael Wertmüller, the composer with whom I prepared the opera D.I.E. for the entire year 2020/21.

Her essays are the most concise and intelligent observations of the cultural entanglements of our day and age and represent outstanding material of artistic resilience.  

Given that her book talks a lot about her travel in the United States, her narrative was my medicine, indeed my drug, fighting the omnipresence of the global cover boy 2020, Donald T., and all the other shit he and his lying accomplices drag around.  

However, her work also helps combat the mental diarrhea of the insulted bourgeois virus infected affectedness administrators [1] in the Kingdom of Bakzigien.

The book is like a bottle of water I keep next to me on my desk or bed. Whenever I need a gulp of Ann Cotten’s intellectual cutting edge and poetic empathy, I have it near me. THANK YOU!

AHH. ...and her wonderful poetry!

The backside of FAST DUMM reads:

What he cannot bear,
He cannot understand.

For real! Nobody else describes the conditio humana of our time more briefly and more precisely.

At the Feuchtwanger Villa Aurora in L.A., our shared temporary home, sits a Heiner Müller typewriter. It has a sheet of paper in it, with text he typed:

After admission to the soup kitchen in the capital – continue to spit
Into the soup on the eve of death and above the thunderstorms. 
The path is not finished if the destination explodes.

It works perfectly with Ann Cotten’s FAST DUMM, with the D.I.E. opera and in this era.

Thomas Stammer, Berlin, spring through fall 2020
Holographic Music Visualisation D • I • E


[1] In her copy, Cotten uses experimental forms of gendered language, which she refers to as ›Polish gendering‹. This method results in the placement of all gender-typical letters at the end of the word in any sequence.