MACHT NICHTS • Banner Airplane, Berlin (D), 2012 • Video

MACHT NICHTS airplaneMACHT NICHTS • Banner Airplane, Berlin (D), 2012 • Video Still

MACHT NICHTS • Merkel, Berlin (D), 2014 • Video

machtnichtsMACHT NICHTS • Intervention @ Nightscreen Gasometer, Berlin (D), 2010

machtnichts01MACHT NICHTS • Badges in various shows, 2009-2012

machtnichts03MACHT NICHTS • Billboard Installation @ PG Lab, Berlin, 2010-2011

machtnichts04MACHT NICHTS • Billboard Installation @ MMX, Berlin (D), 2011

Performance in public space
Intervention on LED-Screen at Gasometer Berlin-Schöneberg
Photo (variable size)
free badges

Clemens Wilhelm's message "MACHT NICHTS" is an ambiguous German word play: on the one hand one can read it as a pacification ("It's no so bad, it doesn't matter"), on the other hand one could understand it as the imperative "Don't do anything! Make nothing! Remain passive!".

The absence of a sender enhances this ambivalence and makes it somewhat uncanny. Omnipresent advertisement strategies animate us every day to consume. A standstill has to be avoided at all costs, permanent action is demanded from us. Not only in the economy a standstill equals regression.

„Doing nothing" seems dangerous. However, many of us wish to finally "not do anything". Lastly, one could read "MACHT NICHTS" as a paradoxical meeting of the nouns "power"(Macht) and "nothing"(Nichts). A paradoxical couple with a full void of meaning that everyone will read differently. But the question remains: Does it not matter if we don't do anything?

MACHT NICHTS has appeared in different shapes: free badges, a spot on an LED-Screen, a billboard in public space, and an airplane banner flight over Berlin. On the 1st of March 2014, Clemens Wilhelm gave a MACHT NICHTS badge to German chancelor Angela Merkel.

MACHT NICHTS returned to the Gasometer Screen for the
European Media Facades Festival 2010.

Video credits:
Airplane Camera:
Bruce Giglio
Ground Camera: