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new text for upcoming book publication

-> “Private Investigations”, edited by Andrei Siclodi,
forthcoming 2009, Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen


(„notes towards a geometry of post-Fordism“, 2008)

27 (+1) clipboards, slightly interwoven micro-narratives; laminated glass, stainless steel, organic material in various stages of decay; sweat in sealed florence flasks; dimensions variable
Courtesy the artist and multiplex fiction


Sie hatten sich bis hier oben vorgearbeitet. Jetzt, in der äussersten Zirkuskuppel, wussten sie nicht, was weiter. Sich Mühe geben allein nützt gar nichts.      (ebenda)


A PSYCHIC CHERNOBYL. In early 2006, an exceptionally gifted psychic medium reportedly named “W. Tobler” was hosting a séance for a small group of Science Fiction afficionados. The subject of the invocation was 19th century occultism; more specifically, the group wanted to get in touch with the spirit of Edwin A. Abbott, author of the novella “Flatland”, both introduction to geometrical dimensions and social critique of Victorian culture. (The book had been eagerly received and incorporated by many occultist circles looking for an answer to the social transformations taking place in the wake of the industrial revolution.)
While Tobler was partially on the ethereal plane, the Chengdou disaster struck. No one knows the details, but it involved an ancient terra cotta model layout in the care of the Chinese government. The event caused a two-fold micro-apocalypse: Everyone within 3.1 miles of the disaster itself had their souls “consumed”, reducing them to mindless husks. On the ethereal plane, however, the disaster was much greater; everyone not physically in their body (during factory work, for instance) within three thousand miles of the incident was instantly incinerated. The only self-acclaimed survivor was Tobler, and some would argue that he died as well. The result of the Chengdou event was essentially a psychic Chernobyl. (source: Wikipedia)

WORKERS ENTERING THE NEW FACTORY. Palo Alto, California, 1872: Eadweard Muybridge tries to capture time and motion with his serial array of photographic cameras around a cartesian backdrop. At about the same time Étienne-Jules Marey and Ottomar Anschütz undertake similar experiments in France and Germany. “Their studies preceded the invention of the movie aparatus and influenced cubism and futurism,” Tobler continues. “A less established fact: these images also helped Frederick Winslow Taylor to research ‘The Principles of Scientific Management’, which were used at the conveyor belts of Henry Ford and other companies. A grid to optimize time and space.” The auditorium is a mockup of a greenscreen studio, the walls covered with distinct symbols marking an unknown grid, register marks for a future digital scenery of which neither Tobler nor the audience (if any present) have one hell of a clue. Tobler: haunted by a fever.

SCREWED BALLS  OF PAPER. “Like, not an easy start, ” he says, lost in a formats, letters, scraüps,models, crashed on a tablel fallen of, grtabbing ahnds, spilled liquidy, mixed gases, but – please – gon on, or “skip this ratp”, i mean yes, aggregate staes = unkownn, freeze frame of explosion, bullet time shot of a this freeze frame, 360 degree visoon, Qu’est Que C’est, animation of interior of a calabi yau manifold, palimptests of texts inside, cheap 3d rendering, inventory displays, lists of projects past prenset future, patience, go on, not my languae, you start a converstaion but you can’t even finish it, ah, yes modle.s

A PERFORMATIVE RESEARCH INTO MODELS AND MINIATURES. This year’s lecture series features a Tour de Force through performative aspects of model worlds, based on the eponymous (slightly idiotic, Tobler adds with an air of nonchalance) “art project”; i.e.: scrutinizing countless settings, in which people are building models to scrutinize and manipulate them. And finally one has to simplify these investigations again, focus on few elements that can depict the whole, so you can scrutinize it, like from above. Recursivity is a main feature of models, as we know not only since Rutherford and Bohr depicted the atom als miniature solar system. And every model is a sketch: abstracted, produced, interpreted. Tobler sports a white lab coat, projection screen to numerous non-completed experimental threads.

full text as pdf 

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