Plastic land


Maestro Professore Doktorus Karpfen (55) is not a villain in the proper sense. Born to a mermaid mother and a circus director, young Maestro grew up among quirky circus acts as a little, fish-mouthed freak. But even though his childhood was not a normal one, he always felt secure and loved.

Maestro is a circus enthusiast with a child-like imagination and a penchant for megalomania. He has devised illusion machines and all types of electrical devices producing light, smoke, and smells. Unfortunately, however, all of them have their little faults and flaws. That‘s why he never received the recognition he desired and gradually became bitter – particularly because he had to watch his former best friend Jaron, whom he met at the ‚School of Marvels, Monsters, and Miracles‘, create more celebrated and ingenious inventions that even had a positive impact.

For this reason, he devotes his creativity to protecting the oceans, albeit in a very radical manner. But isn‘t that necessary if you want to make a difference?

Listen to the audio book part 5

Concept designs from the scenography course at Filmuniversity Babelsberg

as the basis for "walk-in images" in the form of video clips

Jaron’s Diary / Jaron’s Tagebuch


What a day! My invention works! I am in the Pacific Ocean and closer than ever to my dream of ridding the ocean of rubbish.
For years I have been researching and experimenting to finally be able to leave my old life behind.
Today, for the first time, I have succeeded in operating a magnet that can distinguish between organic and inorganic matter, solely through the energy of my brain waves collected in a complex electrode system in the form of a helmet. The difficulties of recent years in supplying the magnet with the right voltage have now been overcome by drawing on the body’s own electrical voltage.

The magnet now attracts plastic, aluminium, sheet metal and whatever else we humans throw into the oceans! It was a moment of pure joy when the first plastic pieces shot through the waves like little schools of fish and attached themselves to my boat. It’s unbelievable, I want to hug the whole world; tell them that I saved them all.

My thoughts become blurred. It is becoming more and more difficult for me to formulate clear words. Thirty days have passed since my triumph. In the first few days, the magnet pulled vast amounts of rubbish and junk from the depths of the ocean, so that by now I am squatting on a small island of waste.
But something seems to be wrong. I don’t mean the magnet, it’s me who’s weak. Everything is like yesterday only worse. I can barely move my limbs in pain.
I wonder if the price of sacrificing myself to save everyone else isn’t too high. Besides, there’s not enough energy to bind everything. The force of attraction has already diminished so much that outer parts are being displaced by stronger waves again.
My dream is beginning to crumble! And that’s only because nobody cares about the problem except me. I am in danger of failing because of the ignorance of my fellow species.
They think they are intelligent, but no other living being is so busy destroying itself. Stupid people! Stupid ignorant animals!

Today I feel a flood of energy flowing through my weakened body. My mind is clear again and I have made a decision. I will no longer be the one who pays for all of them.
I will make them pay! People have to answer for their own mistakes. Whether voluntarily or not, they won’t have a choice. It is not me as an individual who will offer all the energy, they will!!! Only then will there be enough energy to bind all the rubbish from the oceans. That is how it will be! That is how it must be!

Today I stood on the shore and watched the ferry slowly approaching. The sound of laughing people, carefree and looking forward to a day of fun, echoed across the water. The colourful pennants on the boat fluttered in the wind and all I could think was how deceptive this idyll is. My island is like a spider’s web full of sticky droplets. Just come here, I whispered softly and waited impatiently for the boat to dock and the trap to snap shut.
My island, now overgrown with a fine layer of grass, has grown magnificently in these five years, thanks to the energy from the minds of these naive people. It is my masterpiece and is in a constant state of change. The theme park I have built here over the years attracts people like a pot of honey attracts flies. They come, enjoy themselves, fill their bellies and don’t even notice that every evening fewer people leave the island than have arrived in the morning.
I should be happy. My plan is working perfectly and the rubbish pollution in the sea has already decreased a lot. But some evenings, when the last visitors have left the island and the less fortunate have been „taken care of“, loneliness overcomes me. I look out to sea and think back to my old life and the doubts start to gnaw at me. Am I doing the right thing?

Yesterday I went on a dive to test my new submarine. It exceeded my wildest expectations. Now I can also inspect the iceberg I’ve recently started using as a home from below and find out about the state of the island underwater.
It was incredible! I glided silently through the deep clear water and marvelled at the scale of my scientific work. Over the past few years, the rubbish mountain has bored into the water like a huge pyramid. After the dive, I inspected the cart shops on land. It just occurred to me to do some lanes underwater as well. Yes, I really should do that. Then I could more easily uncouple the individual wagons and let them disappear unnoticed. With an underwater access I could bring the fresh people directly into the energy centre. This way, there would be less danger of someone discovering what I’m doing here.
Underwater, I encountered a few mantaras, which makes it all the more strange that there is not a single living creature on the island, not counting the humans. Is it because of the composition of the slimy earth that covers the entire island? I’ll have to investigate that further! In the meantime, I will continue to work on my machine animals. I have now found a way to exhume biomass from inorganic materials and bring it to life through clever constructions.

For all the years I have been working and living on the island, I have not been sick once. I can’t believe it, but today it has hit me.
I lie in bed with a high fever and stare at the ice sheet. What a wasted day! I couldn’t even open the theme park today, which means less energy for rubbish disposal. I don’t even like to imagine what will happen once I’m gone and the whole island dissolves again.
Everything would have been for nothing. Piece by piece, the tediously gathered rubbish would come off again and return to the ocean. That would be a catastrophy! I can’t let that happen!
I will have to look for a successor. My legacy must not just sink into the depths of the ocean! But people are so ignorant and self-absorbed. Once they reach adulthood, they are difficult to mould and teach. I need an unprejudiced child’s soul that I can educate according to my values!

Even for my mind it is difficult to comprehend what has happened today. If I were not a rational head, I would almost think that fate had brought us together. But I have no use for such superstitions. I don’t know which name to give her yet. Sarah, perhaps? Or Odette!
I will teach her. Teach her everything I know and in due time I will lead her into the depths of the island and show her the energy centre. Then she will understand that people have to be punished for a good cause. Now she is still too young to understand things.
I was about to close the park when I spotted her in a snack bar down by the pier. I heard the soft crying of a child and found her in a rush basket among cocktail sausages and mustard pickles. They had just been left behind! Lucky for me. People are so cruel!

Now I know; I will call her Camilla!

Artistic Research: Reflections about Plastic

Results from the International Masterclass Artistic Research:
Transmedia Storytelling – Camilla Plastic Ocean Plan at Filmuniversity Babelsberg 2019


Camilla finds like-minded people in the project"The Universal Sea – pure or plastic"

Art, science and innovation collaborations have proven to be a successful mix to catalyze change, while offering a new business model for artists and cultural players.
Introduced by the founder Nicole Loeser from "Institute for Art and Innovation"

Pineatafilled with fortune cookiesin the form of credit cards.They contain messagesfrom the ocean.

(Wikipedia: The piñatas [piˈɲata] are brightly colored papier-mâché figures filled with candy. People whose eyes are blindfolded hit the piñata with a stick until it breaks and the surprises hidden inside fall out.)

"Every week the people eat microplastics in the amount of a credit card." Yours, the ocean