The Final Countdown: The Eternal Internet Brotherhood/Sisterhood 6 by Steph Kretowicz

In a paint-by-numbers portrait of the sixth Eternal Internet Brotherhood/Sisterhood, my second, there’s not much to draw from but 19 audio recordings, some of them useful, the rest of them not. There were six of us present, seven got invited; one didn’t come. That’s six, plus Andreas and Angelo, equals eight. Two of us had been to the Brotherhood twice, me and Imaad. For Luca, this was his third time. Three people –Angelo, Andreas and Luca – I’d met first in Israel. That was 2014, three years ago. Caspar is one person I knew already from London, which is the number of people who were in my room (just me). The rest of the brotherhood had two, except Kolbeinn. Imaad and Luca, Angelo and Andreas, and Caspar with Miriam whose phone number I have now, plus Angelo’s.

There were five Hessen-based communes involved – Lossehof e.V., Lesbensbogen eG, Villa Locomuna, Gastwerke e.V., Kommune Niederkaufungen – three of which I remember. Two is the number of times I missed out on the Inner-Outer commune initiation ceremony (my back hurt). First, Villa Locomuna came to us to show us in Lebensbogen guesthouse – two circles split into pairs that moved around in a ring. Second, it was at Angelo’s Noospheric Society programme, on the fifth day of the Brotherhood, the first time it was open to the public in its five years running, and its last official day. Ten seconds is the length the gong that signalled ‘stop’ at the Inner-Outer circle would resonate.

Not enough is how much I slept. Eight in the morning till nine was breakfast and the food that was there never varied. Two hours is how long I napped when I missed the drive to Locomuna in Kassel. I thought it was twelve but turns out 11, and one pm is how late I got there. A lot is how much I was working.

Angelo recorded his reading at Locomuna two times, joking and singing and reading poetry about bailouts and finance into a megaphone. Never is when Kolbein was taught the piano but he learnt in his dreams and played it a lot. Zero, is the number of times I sang or performed at Imaad’s requests, which were countless. I read for the programme once and it felt like many minutes before the audio would work. Lupo the dog ignored me repeatedly; even more is how much I tried to get his attention.

Eight flaccid ‘speaking knives’ and five phones were photographed for Miriam’s performance at the top of the Hercules Monument. The level of recorded and re-corded reality in that project is threefold. It was staged two times. That’s also how much Caspar read – two poems in three places, two-times-two-times-two. The first time was at Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, outside the tiny Aristotle Cubby House in the forest that was open for the first time in years, another while leaning on a mossy pyramid. Seven of us stood with our backs to it and looked up. The third time was at the Noospheric Society programme. One of the same poems was read there for the second time, as well as a new one.

Seven is the number of people in the car, driving from Kassel and listening to the ‘Winner Takes It All,’ presented by Andreas, and written by ABBA after Bjorn and Agnetha divorced, dividing their millions. Three was how many men were in Kolbeinn’s homemade sauna – a plastic tent, pitched in the cold with portable cooking stoves – when I walked past late at night. I recorded their throat singing on my phone for exactly 52 seconds.

Two is how many numbers the school that we went to were needed to make their binary clock – zeros and ones. The school student talking about how it works was exactly half my age, and explaining it using five fingers. I understood very little.

Zero is the number of times I’ve been to documenta. Three people I know who have been to the fourteenth edition saw me in Angelo’s installation, and several is an estimate of how many photos they sent. Six is how many Brotherhood/Sisterhoods residencies have happened. I hope that this won’t be the last.