FIELD: Interim Camp (2008), Muse (2010)
Computer-generated short films
The experimental short films “Interim Camp” and “MUSE” show us a glimpse into fluid dream worlds, synthetic spaces generated through custom software processes. The cinematic vision is here a product of algorithms controlling the camera’s motion as well as the simulated terrain it moves through.
The creation of artificial worlds has been a constant trope in computer graphics since its inception, reflecting the desire to model an alternate reality in silicon perfection. FIELD (Marcus Wendt and Vera-Maria Glahn) acknowledges this utopian vision, embracing a graphic style that clearly reveals the illusion they present to the viewer. Their films show three-dimensional landscapes but are constantly on the verge of becoming pure abstraction, space devolving into a composition of surfaces. Perhaps we should understand them as much as moving paintings as renderings of artificial worlds.
Ralf Baecker: The Conversation, 2006
250×250 cm, Solenoids, strings, custom electronics, cables, wood
“The Conversation” is an autonomous apparatus, consisting of one analogue and one digital part. These elements, which are almost inseparably tied together, simultaneously attempt to adapt to one another. As the process follows no linear program, it is not obvious which part is controlling which.
Even if Baecker describes the arrangement as a “Pataphysical Processing Environment” and declares it nonsense or else a machine without a purpose, we can nevertheless read it as a cybernetic diagram. Cybernetics employs the same method to describe both machines and living organisms as information processing (communicating) objects. In this, circular causal and feedback mechanisms play a crucial role. Through a feedback loop, the installation constantly supplies itself with the data on its deviation from “inner equilibrium.” The state of the apparatus, which in theoretical discussion is generally represented as a ‘black box’ and remains hidden, is visible in “The Conversation” as a relation of tension, so that we may view the machine talking to itself.
This text is taken from the NODE10 catalogue, written by Eno Henze and Marius Watz and edited by Valérie-Françoise Vogt. Please read the introductory curator text for an overview of the exhibition topic.
This is the first in a series of posts about the exhibition “abstrakt Abstrakt – The Systemized World”, which was part of the recent NODE10 festival in Frankfurt, Germany. The exhibition was curated by Eno Henze and Marius Watz to explore the use of abstract systems as artistic strategy and focus of aesthetic investigation.
This post consists of the curator text by Eno Henze. It will be followed by a series of posts describing all the works in the exhibition.
abstrakt Abstrakt – The Systemized World
NODE10 – Forum for Digital Arts
Frankfurter Kunstverein, Nov. 15-20, 2010
Artists: Ralf Baecker, FIELD, Ben Fry, Leander Herzog, Robert Hodgin, Thilo Kraft, Brandon Morse, Louise Naunton Morgan, John Powers, Patrick Raddatz, SOFTlab, Jorinde Voigt, Zimoun
The way of the world is increasingly controlled by relations and conditions that reside on an abstract plane. Cause and motivation for many events remain secret, because they trace back to invisible sets of rules that permeate our society and guarantee its functioning.
The two complementing events of the festival, exhibition and symposium, seek to analyze the nature and effect of such systems of abstraction. The exhibition draws upon artworks as visual evidence for the changing conditions of production in an abstract world. The symposium approaches the topic from a more theoretical perspective, facilitated by contributions from economists, scientists, artists and philosophers.
At first, abstraction appears as a method to contain certain properties of the world in a new medium. Formalized in this manner, these properties can be edited in a completely new way, demonstrating the power of abstraction as a productive tool. By these means the things of reality become transformable in an unprecedented way. This also implies a reversion of causality: the motivation for ‘real’ events now resides in an abstract place, in a certain constellation of values of the formalizing medium.