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Magische Maschinen

05 July 2002 - 08 September 2002
»Magical Machines« 5 July – 8 November 2002
Opening:5 July 2002, 8 p.m.
Press:4 July 2002, 11 a.m.
Christoph Keller: Helioflex, 1997 Christoph Keller: "Helioflex", 1997

A desire for the extraordinary, which is at the core of any fantastic machine, travels through this exhibition as an undercurrent – and is often transferred to the viewer as an experience for the senses.
At a time when the word ‘virtual’ constantly slips into the discourse on art, the Edith Russ Site for Media Art has brought together sculptures and apparatuses with a strong physical presence.
They are possibilities of artistic invention – from the dynamism of the object to the development of utopian idea for a better world through mechanical artworks.
The ‘Magical Machines’ are a testament to the hope for the endless source of the inventive spirit.

It was no accident that Marcel Duchamp (F) first exhibited his „Rotoreliefs" (1935/65) at a fair for inventors.
With this act, he rejected painting and initiated the mass production of his work, taking his historical place in the world of inventors. The colorful patterns of his discs spontaneously dissolve – from only a few simple lines, a martini glass appears – and fluctuate betweena two and three dimensions. Their circling movement animates the change, making it possible for the visitors to place the ‘Rotoreliefs’ on Duchamp’s turntable and experience music made for the eyes instead of the ears.

Artists also provoked a discussion on tradition and new genres through their use of video. The electro/opto/mechano installation „Allvision" (1976) by Steina Vasulka (Iceland/USA) is an early artistic experiment in which the video medium was investigated as a new manner of seeing.
The space is surveilled from every angle via turning cameras and a mirrored ball, playfully distorting the visitor and the surrounding space.
Time and movement become a single universe of endless cycles and satellites. This ‘machine vision’ (Vasulka) expands the possibilities of artistic worlds.

Steina Vasulka: Allvision, 1976 Steina Vasulka: "Allvision", 1976

Those who see the world through the focus of their own large or small inventions and nervously search the halls of the patent office for earlier patents that could potentially stand in the way of their own claims may be the last utopians.
The visions of these ‘artists’, the private inventor at the patent office, are also private utopias. Christoph Keller’s patented „Helioflex" (1997) shows the development of a project that brightens densely built spaces with sunlight.
The Helioflex sun mirror automatically steers direct sunlight into dark apartments and shadowy gardens.
It is composed of tested components such as satellite systems and follows the sun with a simple, robust tracking system. For ‘Magical Machines’ Keller (D) will show the papers and plans from the process of patenting the 'Helioflex'.

Paola Pivi: E, 2001 Paola Pivi: "E", 2001

It is often necessary for artists to work together with scientists in order to realize their concepts.
Together with the CERN laboratory in Geneva and the London Institute, Paola Pivia developed the sculpture „C“ (2001) out of the laws of physics and elements of design.
Its structure is made of numerous fine wires and needles that seem to float between steel and aluminum. They may, for instance, position themselves in defense when someone nears.
The simultaneous attraction and repulsion of the work awakens the sense of touch, without actually touching.

Gregory Barsamian: Mother May I, 1993 Gregory Barsamian: "Mother May I", 1993

Like Duchamp’s ‘Rotoreliefs’ and Vasulka’s ‘Allvision’, Gregory Barsamian’s work seduces and tricks the optical sense. ‘Mother May I‘ (1993) is an almost archaic sphere with a rotating movement that depicts the creation and destruction of the world in a never-ending cycle.

Herwig Weiser: zgomobil, 2000 / 2001 Herwig Weiser: "zgomobil", 2000 / 2001

It flickers with a dynamic that directly attacks the subconscious.
Its stroboscope fuses Barsamian’s detailed sculptures with beautiful chaos, a dream world of myths and the realities of time.


Artists:
Gregory Barsamian (USA), Marcel Duchamp (F), Christoph Keller (D), Paola Pivi (I), Steina Vasulka (USA/Island), Herwig Weiser (A)


Kindly supported by:

Logo EWE-StiftungLogo Oldenburgische Landesbank
Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art, Katharinenstraße 23, D-26121 Oldenburg, Tel.: +49(0)441/235-3208, Fax.: +49(0)441/235-2161
Opening Hours: Tuesday - Friday 14:00 -18:00, Saturday - Sunday 11:00 - 18:00, Monday closed info@edith-russ-haus.de
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