February: Here in this forest the project ·ainlif· is about to be launched in 2009. It is the same forest that was visited during the twenty years of the art work „Beyond Duration“. The lower half of the image shows the accumulated span of twenty years from 1988 to 2008, the upper half assembles eleven further years of ·ainlif·.

March: With the aid of my muscles and the rope skills of a friend I sit up in the beech crown at 13 m height. The view of the lovely pond in the middle of the grove is captivating. Its heart-shaped contours are unobscured during this leafless season.

April: The old navigation marks provided orientation for the sailors on their way to the mouth of the Elbe. Today they serve no purpose anymore. The east beacon of the isle of Neuwerk was restored after it had been ravaged by a storm in 2007. The north beacon was irrecoverably overthrown in 2017.

May: Nobody lived here; it was a place of work. The stores on the ground floor are out of use. In the upper floors a hotel nowadays is located. What will the future be like in this neighbourhood? Will people live and work here? Or will they only pass by in their cars?

June: The rolling hills of the Holstein Switzerland in North Germany, a cultivated landscape.

July: The place: A train station, the place which lets us leave or arrive, which separates us from each other and connects us again. Setting out on a journey turns you into a stranger. The place which makes it clear to us that we are alone with ourselves and need to learn to accept who we are.

August: In the centre of Barmen, in the once flamboyant cinema of the 1950s Lichtburg, the rehearsal room of the renowned Wuppertal Tanztheater is located. Just a few hundred yards away lies the Opera. Here in Wuppertal Pina Bausch, the legendary founder of a new genre of dance theatre, learned to dance when she was a child. Suspension railway station “Alter Markt.” The first image was unintended taken in the year of Pina Bausch’s death.

September: Rothenburgsort in the centre of Hamburg: The Elbe island Kaltehofe, with Billwerder bay and Norderelbe in the west and Holzhafen in the east. The former Elbe filtration plant of Hamburg waterworks, which was shut down in 1990 is located in Kaltehofe. The small pump houses gracefully – even defiantly – line the huge pool, which is frequented by birds. The area has been extensively re-cultivated. A look at the shore across the island leaves no doubt about the reality of Kaltehofe: industrial places around.

October: The quarry shows: the layers of rock are wafer-thin. It is our planet earth’s crust lying on top of the mantle, which covers the interior with its blazing hot magma. It is these rock layers that we usually perceive as the ground and soil of our environment. And the products of a quarry are everywhere protecting our living space and functioning as the archive of earth’s history. Rock and soil support and nourish plants, animals and humans, provide indispensable raw materials and bolster our footsteps. As space-time structure the soil is a four-dimensional system (D. Schroeder: Bodenkunde in Stichworten, 1992, S. 9). Rock can be fascinating, beautiful, valuable, vital, inexhaustible and very useful. The quarry will be exhausted in about ten years. Considerable parts have already been re-cultivated. In ten years, according to the planning schedule, soil will again cover the rock layers. The post-industrial future of the quarry has already begun, and with it the transformation of the place from an industrial to a culturally shaped environment.

November: The old, narrow country road runs uphill. When two vehicles meet, one has to veer to the soft shoulder. The newly extended wider highway runs to the left. The cautiousness practiced on the old country road is unknown here; the roadside crucifixes testify to that. At the top of the hill the warm heaps giving off quite a pleasant smell indicate our target. Here gardeners dispose of the waste they cannot utilize themselves and take away what they need for their flourishing gardens: humus.

December: A museum as an institution which congeals time itself. The museum at Kiekeberg, south of the Elbe near Hamburg, is such a place. In contrast to the rapid urban development of the city of Hamburg, which is within sight of the museum, time is halted. What was built elsewhere is re-erected here. People come in their free time seeking a place for their yearning for the past may­be not only for the past, but also for safety and security. The ensemble of dwellings which are deprived of their former purpose may temporarily assuage this longing for security, since this museum is so different from the monotony of concrete, steel and glass of the investors’ architecture of current metropolis.