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Pyramid Mountain II


Erik Niedling with Ingo Niermann

The Future of Art: A Diary

With texts by Tom McCarthy, Erik Niedling, Ingo Niermann, and Amy Patton

“A kind of Atkins diet for the soul.”

—Tom McCarthy, author of Remainder and C

Average life expectancy can fool you into thinking you still have many years ahead. But what would it be like if you had only one left? What would you want to—what could you—experience in this limited period of time?

Artist Erik Niedling would like to be buried in Pyramid Mountain, the largest tomb of all time, conceived by writer Ingo Niermann. To make this goal a reality, Niedling lives one year as though it were his last. The Future of Art: A Diary recounts the joys and horrors of that year. A letter by Tom McCarthy examines the social and philosophical implications.


Sternberg Press, June 2012, English

14 x 20 cm, 256 pages, 146 b/w ill., softcover

ISBN 978-3-943365-02-3

Pyramid Mountain



The Future of Art: A Manual

Ingo Niermann with Erik Niedling

In 1831 Honoré de Balzac wrote a short story, “The Unknown Masterpiece,” in which he invented the abstract painting. Almost 200 years later, writer Ingo Niermann tries to follow in his footsteps to imagine a new epoch-making artwork. Together with the artist Erik Niedling he starts searching for the future of art and, seeking advice, meets key figures of the art world.

With guidance by Thomas Bayrle, Olaf Breuning, Genesis and Lady Jaye Breyer P-Orridge, Olafur Eliasson, Harald Falckenberg, Boris Groys, Damien Hirst, Gregor Jansen, Terence Koh, Gabriel von Loebell, Marcos Lutyens, Philomene Magers, Antje Majewski, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Thomas Olbricht, Friedrich Petzel, and Tobias Rehberger; and commentary by Chus Martínez

Including the DVD The Future of Art by Erik Niedling and Ingo Niermann (HD, 157 min.).

Sternberg Press, 2011




Der Film “Die Grosse Pyramide” ist eingeladen zum Max-Ophüls-Preis und feiert dort im Januar seine Premiere.


Max-Ophüls-Preis 2010:

Do 21.01. 17:00 Cinestar 2

Fr 22.01. 17:00 Cinestar 5

Sa 23.01. 11:00 Cinestar 2





Ever since the Great Pyramid project gained international media attention people have accused me of having stolen their idea. Usually I had never heard of them before and their ideas were drastically different. But now there is a new situation. Founding member and former chairman Jens Thiel is presenting himself as the legitimate heir to our association’s work, copying and modifying the content of our website.

 Already last year, a gloomy Thiel told me in front of some witnesses: “Ingo, you invented it, but I am the Pyramid.” Drunk and wearing a hood, he resembled a doomed character from a German Expressionist movie. The months that followed did indeed turn out to be horrible, as Thiel wanted the rest of our team to suffer from his personal crisis at least as much as he suffered himself. He considered this to be “just fair,” as in 2007 he had done more than anyone else to make the Great Pyramid happen. But when the project funding from the Federal Cultural Foundation of Germany was gone and Thiel’s salary ended, his enthusiasm faded. He created a decent financial mess, left our association, and hijacked the association’s original web address,

It cost us some money and a lot of time to put things back in order and to move our content to the new web address earlier this year. But Thiel has not ceased to bother us now that his “nasty breakdowns” have apparently subsided. At the old association’s web address, he claimed that our website is just a “hype”. In October he launched his own “The Great Pyramid” website onto which he is copying our content, falsely asserting that it has existed “since 2006” (a couple of days later it’s „since 2005“) and that our “supporting association Friends of the Great Pyramid e.V. (…) is now defunct” while an anonymous “core part of the original team” – obviously just him – ”carries on with the project”. Thiel is far from following his own “indispensable” guideline: “Be true!”

I and the Friends of the Great Pyramid claim no copyright on the idea of the Great Pyramid. If Thiel or anyone else should be successful in making it happen, we would only be happy. But stealing content from our website and telling lies about our association is another matter. Until now, almost 1600 people have made an unbinding reservation for a Pyramid stone and we have the utmost respect their trust. We are currently developing different strategies to make the Great Pyramid actually happen. We are far from defunct. 

Autostrada Verticale


Besides the legendary Italian architecture collective Superstudio we are participating in Riccardo Benassi’s exhibition “Autostrada Verticale” at PAC Ferrara, Italy. Since Oct. 3rd, 2009

‘Pyramid Drift’ out now



Dial records, a renowned label for electronic music, released the 12” EP ‘Pyramid Drift’ with tracks by Arises, Christoph de Babalon, Momus and Phillip Sollmann (aka EFDEMIN). All music was performed at the Great Pyramid Gala in Berlin last year.

Listen and buy at Whatpeopleplay
Listen and watch on Youtube

New web address, new team



After two years, Jens Thiel, founding member and former chairman of the Friends of the Great Pyramid, left our team and our old .org-address is no longer valid! The web address of the Friends of the Great Pyramid is now or www.diegrossepyramide.deThe new elected chairman is founding member and civil engineer Heiko Holzberger. Writer Ingo Niermann continues to be the deputy. Artist Erik Niedling ( joined our team and became the new treasurer. In Bauhaus-City Dessau-Rosslau, Germany, architect Dieter Bankert and politicians from different parties are trying to implement the Great Pyramid. Still, it will be a tremendous effort to actually realize the tomb and monument for all of us. All help is welcome.

New social networks


Join us spreading the idea of The Great Pyramid:
Facebook fan site
Facebook group site

From the Venice Biennal

The Great Pyramid has been selected as one of the projects to be exhibited at the 2008 Venice Architectural Biennale´s German Pavilion from September 12 until November 23. Under the title “Updating Germany”, commissioners Matthias Böttger and Friedrich von Borries of raumtaktik are collecting steps towards a better future with ecologically and socially sustainable projects. The Venice Architecture Biennaleis the biggest and most important exhibition on architecture and urban development worldwide.



We guess, our project expands the curators´ initial question “How will we live tomorrow?” to an even broader context, probing a time beyond individual existence. How will we die tomorrow? And how will we be interred, be memorized and remembered? The project hopes to provide the soothing prospect, so that all of us might rest with a great many of individuals from most different national, cultural, religious, and social backgrounds in an ever-expanding grand pixelwall of humanity. The Great Pyramid seeks to help us to acknowledge death as a natural fact but will also be able to convey a message of peace and unity into life long before death.


It´s been a rather bumpy ride to Venice. The text that ended up in the catalogue is not authorized and contains factual mistakes. Also, the curators did not find it necessary to cut a couple of euros from their half million budget to cover travel expenses for the creators of the work they put on display – but still we enjoy being part of the exhibition.

We would like to thank Marco Beeck and everybody at  Shapers, the manufacturer of the new prototype stones in the exhibition, for their support.

Photos of the 2008 German pavilion by Mario Ermoli.

The Great Pyramid book is out



In there: 192 pages including contributions from Rem Koolhaas, Christian Kracht, Chus Martínez, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Madelon Vriesendorp and others, plenty of dazzling press blurbs as well as various texts and presentations by the editors. Plus full color pages of fascinating architectural designs and ideas for the area around the Great Pyramid from Atelier Bow-Bow (Tokyo), FAKE Design/Ai Weiwei (Beijing), Nikolaus Hirsch, Wolfgang Lorch & Markus Miessen (Frankfurt/London) and MADA s.p.a.m. (Shanghai).

If you have made an unbinding reservation for a Pyramid stone and agreed to have your name listed on the project´s website, you too may find yourself in the book. More on this when we make a more extensive excerpt available soon. Meanwhile you might refer to a few preview pages at our publisher´s website, Sternberg Press.

Oh, and course we wouldn´t mind if you consider ordering it from, etc. or through any local bricks and mortar bookstore of your choice. Thanks to Sternberg Press´s advanced distribution network the volume should be available more or less worldwide.