Mental journey

I love traveling with books. It’s one of the greatest things in life.


Interview with Philipp Goldbach

Can you show us insights into the making of your work?

I call the series of works to which the work belongs “micrograms.” It has accompanied me for 15 years. Over that time, my work process and relationship to it has changed in detail, but the original idea is still the same. A book becomes a picture, transferred entirely by hand. Many factors play into it: the texts chosen, the working materials of pencil and paper, body and mind, time. At its core, perhaps it’s easy to say: I love traveling with books. It’s one of the greatest things in life. I wanted to create this permanent opportunity and a special place for myself to completely immerse myself in a text. A work of my own, part of which is the pleasure of really reading a particular book deeply, immersing myself and wandering through that world.

© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021

How long did you work on your new work?

On Ernest Shackleton’s South. The Endurance Expedition I worked exactly 41 days, from August 28 to October 8, 2020. With an interruption from September 9 to 13. Four and a half to five hours a day, divided into a morning and an evening stage.

How do you deal with mistakes?

I use a mechanical pencil and can erase if necessary. 

Have you ever had tendonitis?

Yes. It’s a constant strain on the thumb and index finger of the writing hand. Because it became chronic, I took a break for almost two years. After that, I changed the way I work: I no longer write ten pages at a time, but divide it up into a morning and an evening stage, so the load is distributed over time in the best possible way. I also use elements of the Feldenkrais method. That is very helpful.


  • * 1978 in Cologne
  • Studied 1998–2006 at the University of Cologne and from 2000–2005 at the Hochschule für Medien Köln 
  • 2005 working stay in Japan