Close Encounters of Some Kind

Things as Mediators for Encounters in Anonymous Living Conditions

Toni Flügel

September / September - 2022

Fachhochschule Potsdam

Bachelor of Arts


This work is an examination of my anonymity in my apartment building in Berlin. In it, I developed interventions that reflect my situation and open it to discussion. In order to achieve that, , I designed things that would bring me in contact with my neighbours, because things play a role in many encounters at my house: the tin that I take to my neighbours to ask for coffee and salt when they are out in my apartment; the package that the post office has deposited at their place for me because I was not home. And there is the roof batten. I'm standing in the stairwell. I bought wood for a new shelf. But the battens are too long for my elevator and too bulky to carry through the stairwell alone. The too long batten becomes an opportunity for an encounter. I ring my neighbour's doorbell and together we carry the batten into my apartment. I examine how things and the actions associated with them act as mediators during encounters.