'The Myth of Information', doubly focussed on the level of awareness, ties in with the project transImagine as a transformation of Joseph Beuys' 'Theory of Sculpture'. Franz Marc once said that future art will be the materialization of our scientific convictions. In terms of the awareness of one's methods, this is a visionary statement. Today's art can refer to discoveries of depth psychology about itself and thus use its weight as a mental force in the 'realm of computer-aided artificial senses' (intelligent environments).
The artist as a day-dreamer, creating symbols (finding, what he has intuitively been looking for) by using himself as material (for example in action, organization). Symbols that prove meaningful since they refer to reality in concrete terms and are linked to the living human being by the bridge of emotions.
The artist as a therapist, using the ability to bring forth symbols in day-dreaming in order to elevate the human mind to the state of 'progressive' differentiated awareness where it has never been before and has thus never been subjected to critical self-appraisal.
In my opinion, 'information myth' ties in with the struggle of art on an archetypal level. It seems as if in the media age the artist by acting turns himself into a symbol or as if his works only take shape through his own material experience. In other words, it seems as if the artist does not project his soul into the material world, into objects, but that he grasps and reclaims his soul acting out of it. This is always a personal act.
Beuys' use of his own body as material to be shaped in order to make use of the energy flowing through the body, and the relational systems he created stand for an integrated practice, with the simple and yet so challenging demand for increased awareness (of oneself), of the human being.
But there is also an important social meaning to awareness, only he who is aware of himself can take responsibility. Thus, in his 'Social Sculpture' Beuys called upon the sociality of man.
Seen against this backdrop, the words which accompany his late monumental sculptures (such as '7.000 Eichen', 7.000 oak trees) appear all the stranger: 'To replace media by monuments'. Does this give monuments the status of a material counterpart to the media, surviving beyond the creator's death in an emerging immaterial world?
This is precisely the point at which the project transImagine is positioned: What about Beuys as a myth in the media age? We are faced with an oeuvre the complex contexts of which present themselves as continuous transformation (also with a view to human and social claims).
transImagine wants to give form to immaterial conceptual structures by means of digital media, thus attaining transformation and continuity. In our interactive computer installation the audiovisual medium allows for open chains of associations by search procedures in a maze-like formation on the monitor.
The approach is dialectic and ramified. transImagine does not convince by means of a clearly delineated pointer, i.e. by rational conclusion, but by circling and repeating, by a recurring view of the same thought - moving on as the perspective keeps changing.
The arguments move in spirals, growing upward from the basic thought, just like a bird circling a tree. The recipient may realize from recurring aspects, but without ever getting proof of it, that he has unwittingly been circling and absorbing a growing realm.
In structuring the project we also wanted to deal with images of images, tying in with the state of complexity reached and "scanning the horizon of representation self-critically and experimentally." (Peter Weibel)
In allowing for personal experience, the main structure of the project, the 'Generische Kiste' (Generic Box), conceived as a space-time-axis broadened into 'Anima'- a world of free associations.
The three structures of the project
nature morte, anima, signa
are not linear but within themselves woven into complex networks as well as linked with
one another by associations.
Still life in museum (Darmstadt)
Workshop with objects/tools
installed in related clusters.
In the eye of the object
The visitor moves through the relational field created by the works.
Installation with stage-like character (Kapital Raum 1970-77)
Discourse depository - language cognition awareness
Plastic opera libretto
The visitor remains excluded from the potential field of the works.
The grammar of 'Plastische Sprache' (Plastic language)
Sculpture as an evolutionary process.
GENERISCHE KISTE (GENERIC BOX)
Actions and objects, starting with the introspective actions of the early years, increasing openness towards the exterior world, moving out into the public realm, to discussions and organizations, communication worldwide.
'Materialfluss' (material flow)
material from ANIMA and NATURE MORTE
brought together, ideas kept in constant motion - the actions trigger new works, unique and multiple ones as wide-ranging carriers of thought.
The works are not put on a multi-media stage (no virtual museum). The project focusses on the relationship between drawings, objects, actions and monuments. It serves as an anthology uniting different contributions.