Interface I

Autonomous System - 2016
Interface I at NOME Gallery Berlin, 2016

Interface I investigates the boundary between two interacting systems. Each system is a compound of motors, strings, and elastic bands arranged horizontally. The two units face each other vertically (one on the top, one on the bottom). Each motor on each level (top, bottom) is connected by a string to its opposite, which meet in the center. Both motors pull their string in the opposite direction (like in a tug of war). At the point where the strings meet, a mesh of elastic bands connects each string to its neighbors. The mesh couples each element to its surrounding elements in order to achieve a local emergent behavior.

In order to excite (stimulate) the system’s behavior, each motor is fed with random impulses of different pulling strengths. Random signals are taken from a number of Geiger-Müller tubes, which are used as an entropy source. The Geiger-Müller tubes pick up the natural ambient radiation of the earth. This noise acts as a catalyst that enables the systems to change.

As the process begins, the systems start to negotiate an interface/boundary surface [Grenzfläche] between two separate organizations. The behavior of this system is not programmed or choreographed: the shapes and behavior develop out of the interactions of many individual elements. Depending on the force distribution of the opposing motors, units move either upward or downward. At the same time the overall forces of the neighboring elements influence this movement and vice versa.

Interface I investigates complex interactions of entities in a kind of encapsulated model space. Complex and emergent behaviors appear at different scales and in different realms, ranging from biology, social science, to economics. By removing all real-world references, Interface I allows for manifold interpretations. The installation takes a closer look at the construction of digital images. Here, the focus is on the relationship between the almost infinite fast signals/switching operations in the materials of the machine and the coherent and orderly looking images on the outside. Interface I removes the distinction between process and display (output) by making the display (the mesh of rubber bands) the crucial part that defines the outcome of the process (behavior).

Interface I - Ars Electronica Linz, 2016
Interface I - NOME Gallery Berlin 2016,
Interface I - NOME Gallery Berlin 2016,
Interface I - Detail, 2016
Interface I - Detail, 2016
Interface I - NOME Gallery Berlin 2016,
Interface I - Geiger, Mueller
Interface I - Geiger, Mueller
Interface I - NOME Gallery Berlin 2016,
Interface I - NOME Gallery Berlin 2016,
Installation view at NOME Gallery, Berlin 2016
and Ars Electronics 2016, Linz
Interface I - Sketches, 2016
Interface I - Screenshot analyzer, 2016
Sketches, schematics and screenshots
Interface I Time-Lapse
[] Research and experiments essential to the realization of the installation were carried out within the framework of Ralf Baecker's research project Time of Non-Reality at the Graduade School of the University of the Arts, Berlin.

Aluminum tubes, DC motors, strings, elastic bands, custom electronics, Geiger-Müller tubes

Represented by NOME Gallery.
Produced by NOME Gallery(4,80 meter version) and the Graduate School of the University of the Arts, Berlin (3,20 meter version) with support of the Einstein Foundation.
Photographies by Bresadola+Freese


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© Ralf Baecker 2004 – ∞