Questions: Daniela and Linda Dostálková, Marek Pokorný
Translation: Kateřina Danielová
Martin Kohout answers questions about a good life, well-being and the conflicts this topic causes.
The artist participates in the exhibition Optimised Fables about a Good Life (22/9/2022–1/1/2023) at PLATO.
It's hard to say what falls under the umbrella for this answer, since the way of navigating is different for five-minute rests with closed eyes on the sofa, taking an evening off from continuing whatever project I'm preoccupied with, or going off the grid for a few days. But in all the cases, it always takes shape in reference to what else I could be doing.
I can't think of any from the top of my head. Animals fascinate me and I've recently enjoyed reading Other Minds by Peter Godfrey-Smith, but I don't really think about humans through the fable or animal metaphors consciously very much.
I eat way more dark chocolate than I wish I had to.
I'd prefer not to.
I'm not sure the privacy divide is so binary for most of us who have become natural users of digitized communication technologies. Perhaps it's also about how consistently we engage with the technologies as a singular identity (from roles of membership to the ways of using or keeping etc. and navigating between the spectrum of works from Shoshana Zuboff and Legacy Russell). Lot of what I consider my privacy is created in spaces with other individuals I was only able to find thanks to the technologies that are enabling both connections as well as tracking.
On the other hand, I can perhaps take control of the so-called screen time, but isn't it a misleading term? The time we look at screens is just a section of how we engage with the networks. I can finely imagine going for a hike without looking at the screen once, but the idea of leaving my phone at home when heading to such trip is another story.
What is the measure? Maybe that's where the haunting springs from.
Not at the moment. They can be frustrating sometimes as I can see how they can complicate certain things. But I see that as a reason to look into them even more, rather than run away.
As much as they are entwined with anything else I do, consume/use, or create. My goal is not perhaps to resolve the issue (because that's impossible?), but rather to keep that issue present as a participant in the discussion of decision-making.
I think that it is a privilege to be preoccupied with a question of well-being and it is in reference to what is being taken and provided en large as a baseline. Therefore, I believe the activities connected to well-being in the future (as they are already now) will be linked to lowering stress, connecting back to here and now, and to one's body. Which, I believe, can eventually also serve as the starting point to connect to others or the surrounding environment in general.
In his multimedia practice, Martin Kohout (b. 1984) explores self-reflexive themes closely related to the medium of the internet. His work includes videos, installations, sculptures and the publishing house TLTRPreß, which he initiated. Inspired primarily by the limits of individuals and groups, he introduces us to the existential corners of the ephemeral world, on the basis of which he creates another, deconstructed reality. The work shown in the exhibition presents the residues of a modular installation DungeonTT, which was already displayed several times and provides the ultimate experience of a place where tea is drunk. The performative installation, created by the artist in collaboration with Norwegian musician and artist Lars TCF Holdhus (b. 1986), with costumes designed by artist Sandra Mujinga, is always based on the layout of the site. In the past, it has been presented at Insomnia in Tromsø, Les Urbaines in Laussane, Synapse at Meet Factory in Prague and Schinkelfest in Berlin. The sessions, which were part of the installation, lasted approximately five hours. Martin Kohout is a graduate of the Film Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, the Universität der Künste in Berlin and the Städelschule in Frankfurt.