Norman Ohler


Mandelbrot-like patterns of sweat shine on the right side of the forehead of Maxx Ersatzgestalt. It is night. The blue-pale monitor of his computer moons the room. Sets. Looses. Dominant Light forces its way through the openings of the window shades and spills over the computer and Maxx and the wall against which he leans. His naked torso becomes a screen. Night. Not alone. No stars but abstract city: New York. Emitting so much electricity that Maxx is touched: New York: Emitting jumpy quantums of light which dance on his skin, and his walls. Rays which tell him about communications that are happening somewhere else. Not a spot in his apartment, or on his skin that is not at one point licked by light. No possibility to stay secluded.


It is night. Maxx drinks water. He longs for simplicity.( 1} Diffused colors shoot and shimmer like a display of never ending Northern photons. Blues and reds arc and flash and represent: Data moving through space: Telefon/Fax/E-mail: ever-present digital messages. Maxx can feel: the inferiority of individuals in the creation and dissemination of information. Outside, there is an organism, hungry for impulses-


Three times a week, Maxx Ersatzgestalt gets paid for his essence. His workplace: all the way on the top. The 71st floor of the Empire State Building, directly underneath the tourist platform. The oldest and biggest sperm bank of New York. From the donation-room, Maxx has a clear view of the scraper-ensemble. All the way down: people like dots who wait for his genetic coding. For his: information.


It is night. Flowing crystals on the skin of Maxx Ersatzgestalt. Quiet, soul-less light-wells. Constellations that chanage from moment to moment, with every transaction of data. Maxx feels like being inside a liquid universe.\footnote{2} Night -- doesn't exist anymore.


So little and shy and wipeable the letters on the monitor. Maxx sits in front of his computer and starts to write: anxious, disturbed. Sleepless-night-aura. More petting the keys than pressing them. He writes: this story. Then he activates his modem. Connects his computer with the Internet, with millions of other computers, millions of humans. He navigates through cyberspace and leaves this story at several digital crossings: accessible for an uncontrollable amount of people that can read the material and work with it.


File Sent proclaims the monitor and Maxx tries to gaze through it. He wants to follow his words, he desires to be a witness of their further destinies. He wants to experience the hidden meanings that are going to bloom. He feels connected with his words which by now may already have changed. He feels connected to his text -- and that's why he sets it free: his semen, his image of reality, or meaning, of life.


Maxx Ersatzgestalt leans back, and bathes his eyes in the sea of information that washes through his apartment. He knows: He is part. He is happy.




1 Compare to Friedrich Nietzsche: Thus spoke Zarathustra. The Nightson, Stuttgart, 1964, p. 96.


2 Compare to Kristin Spence: Electrotecture. Wired Magazine, August/September. San Francisco, 1993, p. 60.