no. 4

A Cog
in the Machine

by Sarie Nijboer


what I do is struggle against this 

with the system

I don’t give up      

from within the system

but I don’t stand a chance

in the efficiency of bureaucracy

I am just a cog in the machine

a progressive fall

following rules that make no sense

to achieve goals I don’t necessarily want

in times of political instability 

new laws are made every day

as a form of political activism

used by politicians

suggesting absolute truth

and absolute knowledge

the Kafkaesque system easily holds a stand


hours I spend

correcting the form

calculating the differences


I can’t find the gap I search for

the mistake I make

don’t fit in this order

I loose a sense of care

but all I need

is someone that cares

I am in a loop

a nightmare fusion

of bureaucracy and capitalism

I calculate the differences

correct the form

hours I spent


Sarie Nijboer’s practice moves between curating, designing and art writing. She is fascinated by how conversational formats can be used as a tool to transform institutional structures and activate critical thinking. This is reflected in a multitude of projects exploring the relationship between objects, language and audience, with an emphasis on “performative”, “discursive” and “process-oriented” projects. Sarie is co-founder of textur and was previously co-organizer of Conversas Berlin. She participated in the Pink Island Research Residency in Jeju, South Korea in 2018 and is a former fellow for art coordination at Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart from 2019-2020. Since 2020 she is a board member of Kunstverein anorak e.V.