The Conversation

Autonomous System - 2009
The Conversation, Video Documentation, 2009

“Break the pattern which connects the items of learning and you necessarily destroy all quality” — Mind and Nature, Gregory Bateson

The Conversation is an autonomous kinetic machine that consists of ninety-nine solenoids mounted in a circle and a custom-built electronic driver unit. The pulling solenoids are attached to thirty-three white strings that carry three elastic bands in their center. Each magnet acts independently, aiming to adapt to the forces in the network. Depending on the tension, which is determined by analyzing the changes of the electromagnetic induction in the electromagnets, the solenoids adjust the intensity of the pulling force in order to maintain their position. Similar to a cybernetic homeostat, this experimental setup tries to establish a stable equilibrium. The rubber band acts as a mediator between the single autonomous entities. The machine is involved in an endless process of negotiation. Environmental noise and friction picked up by electronic and mechanical elements prevent the machine from achieving its task. Constellations appear and stay until disturbances cause them to decay. The whole installation is immersed in a polyphonic buzz generated by the constantly shifting forces of the solenoid setup.

The Conversation - Kasseler Kunstverein, 2016
The Conversation - Detail, 2009
The Conversation - Detail, 2009
The Conversation - Electronics, 2009
The Conversation - Detail, 2009
The Conversation, Installation view (2009-2016)
The Conversation, Time Lapse, 2010
Solonoids, strings, elastic bands, MDF-plate, custom electronics

Solenoids with support of Laboral Gijón
Solenoids by Tremba GmbH


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© Ralf Baecker 2004 – ∞