Berlin Introduces “Literary Surveillance Cameras”

In German Buch News by Siobhan O'Leary

By Siobhan O’Leary

Commuters at a certain subway station in Berlin might be feeling a bit paranoid this week thanks to a project dreamt up by Argentinian artist Mariano Pensotti. Pensotti arranged four Berlin writers — including Tilman Rammstedt, winner of the Bachmann Prize — at different points on the subway platform at the Hallesches Tor station, armed with their laptops and with four large screens projecting their observations about passers-by. According to the Tagesspiegel, this performance of “literary surveillance cameras” is part of a festival called “Ciudades Paralelas – Parallel Cities”, a co-production of the HAU Berlin and the Schauspielhaus Zurich. The authors describe their subjects, often in completely random and amusing terms (e.g. “The tall man with the brown jacket used to want to be a jockey. Until he found out what that was.”), while casual observers on the platform have a bit of fun guessing who is being described.

About the Author

Siobhan O'Leary

Siobhan O’Leary is a literary agent, translator and writer based in Berlin. She previously worked in the Foreign Rights department of the Crown Publishing Group (Random House) and at the publishing consulting firm Market Partners International.