Ingo Niermann

The world is marked by deepening conflicts—between democracies and autocracies, woke and populist identity politics, rich and poor, continued environmental exploitation and harsh complications like climate change. In The Monadic Age, I argue that, stirred by rapid developments in automation and AI, these manifold crises are about to culminate in a new paradigm of self-sufficiency—monadism—that overturns the liberal era and forces a reinvention of all social parameters.

Today, two major post-liberal dispositions are unfolding. On the one side, people envision a harmonious community of all human and nonhuman beings (multi-species kinship, a rainbow of identities). On the other side, people isolate themselves within their own identities and belongings (filter bubbles, safe spaces, gated communities, charter cities, prepping). Monadism recognizes that these two seemingly contradictory dispositions stem from a similar understanding of the world: one is more optimistic, the other more pessimistic, but ultimately they’re interdependent. Before seeking harmony, we humans, a highly dominant species, must first of all restrain ourselves from coercive interactions with our environment. And to protect ourselves sufficiently from our environment, we must minimize its abuse.

The Monadic Age unfolds in thirty-three autonomous—monadic—essays on topics as diverse as environmentalism, terrorism, geopolitics, housing, the metaverse, nonbinarism, language, charity, euthanasia, identity politics, tattoos, ableism, AI, birthrates, war, religion, sex, and art.


Spring 2024, English, 352 p.
Published by Sternberg Press
Designed by Boah Kim
Edited by Anita Iannacchione
-> Order here

“Niermann exhibits an unrestrained appetite for intellectual speculation. His subject is the world, and how the sum of all our interactions creates a never-ending turbulence (of values). With a rare balance between heartlessness and generosity, he extrapolates embryonic symptoms to reveal systemic changes and new realities of a world that we have hesitated to explore with the same innocent yet ironclad lucidity.”

— Rem Koolhaas channels Susan Sontag


“If individuals are not only thought of as centers of their own world but also act as such, it forces a radically new understanding of the social. Examining such diverse fields as geopolitics, identity politics, housing, welfare, and love, The Monadic Age explains how governance and coexistence are nonetheless possible.”

— Chus Martínez channels Niklas Luhmann



Ingo Niermann

White men are becoming extinct, and they don’t seem to be having such a bad time. After retreating to a “bastion” in southeast Germany they let their imaginations run wild. Such is the premise of my video novel Deutsch Süd-Ost, narrated in 25 episodes by actress Mavie Hörbiger. Deutsch Süd-Ost is a Who’s Who of prominent “last White men”: representatives of the Neue Rechte, Reich citizens, controversial artists and intellectuals. Inspired by their new sociotope, they develop revolutionary trends in music, fashion, sex, food, and terrorism; they build “Nazizoos” and attempt to breed an Aryan-Slavic master race and a species above and beyond both man and beast.

Deutsch Süd-Ost is a tragicomic laboratory for the mind in which my own role as a White man and the radicalization of some of my own acquaintances are subject to playful experimentation. Right-wing ideology is not consigned to the trash can, but rather processed and prophetically transformed.

“I’m blasted and blown away. Niermann’s grip is as sure as that of an acrobat on the trapeze. Awesome.” —Elfriede Jelinek

“Oh if only it were a novel! Oh if only it were all invented!” —Peter Rau

-> Trailer at Paranoia TV

Written and directed by Ingo Niermann
Narrated by Mavie Hörbiger
Graphic design: Boah Kim
Collages and drawings: Mad Smells
Documentation Thuringia: Erik Niedling
Camera, sound, lights: Kilian Immervoll & Anna Sophia Rußmann
Editing: Tiphanie Mall Sound
Mix: Robin Michel
Title music: Hannah Weinberger
Text editing: Rainer Wieland
English translation: Alexander Scrimgeour

Commissioned and co-produced by steirischer herbst ’20 and Staatstheater Wiesbaden. Supported by Fachausschuss Film und Medienkunst Basel-Stadt / Basel-Landschaft

All 25 episodes, 4:03 h (with English subs)
Single episodes on YouTube, if not deleted due to "violating YouTubes Community Guidelines."


Ingo Niermann

It was the concept of the ocean as a global commons, free for everyone—first formulated by Hugo Grotius in his 1609 treatise, Mare Liberum—that stimulated a free global market. Today, the free market and the free ocean both suffer from rigorous, exploitive use. A new concept of how to relate to the ocean could transform the global economy and global politics.

With contributions by MARAH J. HARDT & EDUARDO NAVARRO

February 2020, 108 pages, 13 b/w ill., English

Part of the Solution Series, edited by Ingo Niermann and designed by Zak Group, copy edited by Max Bach




Ingo Niermann

Humanity is so destructive to its environment that if we care about it, we sense a prevailing urge to preserve and restore it. In doing so, we foster the notion of nature as an overall balanced and content entity. We perpetuate the belief in a paradisal primal state—that is, until humanity messed things up.

However, as humanity has already drastically changed nature, nonhumans might resent being pushed into reservations. Many wild species adapted to the city and prefer its conveniences to a pseudo wilderness. What else could please them, if given the choice?

Ocean Wants is a series of ten podcasts commissioned by TBA21–Academy that playfully explores how nonhumans could like our planet to be. In each episode, I meet with an expert from a different field to ask: What would a given species come up with if it could be as dominant as humans have been? What if fish, whales, octopuses, jellyfish, corals, algae, or extremophiles claimed to rule the world? What is their ideal environment and which role could human myths, habits, and technologies play in satisfying their needs?

Ocean Wants confronts humanity with creatures that speculatively mirror its hubris. All are inhabitants of the sea—the vast and most neglected and alien part of our environment. It is here where humanity is meant to overcome its superiority complex.

Commissioned by TBA21–Academy
Conceived, hosted, and edited by Ingo Niermann

Music composed and arranged by Ville Haimala
Intro read by Joan Jonas
Credits read by Staci Bu Shea
Sound edited by Robin Michel

Produced by Ingo Niermann and María Montero Sierra


Ingo Niermann

The members of Communists Anonymous (COMA) share an extreme sense of empathy and justice, and therefore detest more or less any form of private property. COMA members restrain themselves from any effort to overcome capitalism before there is a new convincing model at hand of how to actually implement communism. The speculative self-help of COMA understands the historical incarnations of communism as substantially incomplete in thought and practice, and places communism where it originated—in the realm of fiction. Only as fiction can communism manifest itself again beyond doubt.

Solution 275–294: Communists Anonymous is a document of some imageries of communism and a testament to the current predicament of our political imagination. Atomized, privatized, and deprived of any infrastructure for solidarity—without any internationalist project, with moralizations compensating for the disappearance of political organization, with micro-politics replacing macro-politics—communists can only be anonymous in this world of ours. Edited by writer Ingo Niermann and curator Joshua Simon, this collection of essays and stories—written from the fields of art, literature, law, philosophy, activism, design, and science—proposes resolutions to current social contradictions, covering topics such as bacteria, bliss, immortality, queerness, interculturality, poetry, transportation, childhood and motherhood, and all-encompassing sensual love.

December 2017, English, 292 pages Part of the Solution Series, edited by Ingo Niermann and designed by Zak Group