ralf baecker - Rechnender Raum

Rechnender Raum

Autonomous System - 2007
Video Documentation, Kasseler Kunstverein, 2016

The inverted machine – Rechnender Raum (Computing Space) is a lightweight sculpture, constructed from sticks, strings, and little plumbs. At the same time, it is a full functional logic exact artificial neural network [↓1]. Through its strict geometric and otherwise very filigree construction, the observer is able to track the whole processing logic from every viewpoint around the machine. This disclosure of the core of the machine is enforced by an uncommon distribution of its constructing elements: a nine-angled architectural body forms a torus. In contrast to an ordinary alignment of a hidden logic and an outer user-facing display, its geometric basis is turned inside-out. The core of the machine, with all its computing elements, is shifted outwards on the surface, while the “display” which indicates the results of the tasks is displaced into the center of the system. Even though the tasks and their logic run directly in front of the viewer’s eyes and even if one is long sinking into the interaction of the elements which is accompanied by a polyphonic but steady and reassuring buzz, it is not possible to follow the succession of the single conditions of the machine. On one hand, by turning the machine inside-out its function is completely transparent, on the other hand, a strict self-referentiality and ignorance of the viewer is realized. The machine turns away from the visitor and carries out its computations only for itself. Without depending on interaction or requesting it, it goes through its own states endlessly. The results of the computations are sent inwards -into its own center- they are not intended for the viewer. So an interesting paradox appears: while the machine opens up everything it closes it at the same time, as if it has a secret.

Rechnender Raum - Moltkerei Werkstatt Cologne, 2007
Rechnender Raum - Kasseler Kunstverein, 2016
Rechnender Raum - Moltkerei Werkstatt Cologne, 2007
Rechnender Raum - Moltkerei Werkstatt Cologne, 2007
Rechnender Raum - Moltkerei Werkstatt Cologne, 2007
Rechnender Raum - Moltkerei Werkstatt Cologne, 2007
Rechnender Raum - Moltkerei Werkstatt Cologne, 2007
Rechnender Raum - Moltkerei Werkstatt Cologne, 2007
Rechnender Raum - Electrohype Malmoe, 2008
Rechnender Raum - Detail, 2008
Rechnender Raum Installation views, 2007-2016
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Rechnender Raum at Trinitatis Kirche Cologne, 2007
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Schematics, 2007
[1] RR units operate similar to a very basic artifical neural network. Like a McCulloch-Pitts-Neuron with static weights (threshold) it implements the basic boolean functions NOT/AND/OR. RR consists of over 200 boolean units that form a parallel operating cellular automaton.

beech wood slats, strings (Dyneema), elastic bands, lead weights, servo motors, custom electronics

Produced with the support of the Academy of Media Arts Cologne


2022 Weltmaschine / World Machine - Art and Science - An artistic homage to Johannes Kepler
OÖ Kulturquartier, Linz AT

2019 Just What Is It That Makes Today’s Computers So Uncanny, So Nonsensical?
Chronus Art Center, Shanghai CN

2018 DIA-LOGOS. Ramon Llull und die Kunst des Kombinierens
Zentrum für Kunst und Medien (ZKM), Karlsruhe DE

2018 Thinking Machines. Ramon Llull and the ars combinatoria
EPFL ArtLab, Lausanne CH

2016 The Thinking Machine - Ramon Llull and the Ars combinatoria
Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB), Barcelona ES

2016 The Paradox of Knowing Universals
Kasseler Kunstverein, Kassel DE

2013 Rauchwolken und Luftschlösser
Gesellschaft für aktuelle Kunst, Bremen DE

2013 In Search for Precise Pleasures
LEAP, Berlin DE

2011 Life - Science version
Center for Contemporary Art WINZAVOD, Moscow RU

2010 The Poetics of Space - Sonic Acts XIII
Netherlands Media Art Institute, Amsterdam NL

2010 Space Inventions. Der künstliche Raum
Künstlerhaus, Wien AT

2010 WeltWissen. 300 Jahre Wissenschaften in Berlin
Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin DE

2009 Share Festival - Experiences in digital art & culture
Share Festival, Turin IT

2009 Rechnender Raum
Kunstverein Bochum, Bochum DE

2008 Artbots 2008
Science Gallery, Dublin IE

2008 CYNETart 2008
Festspielhaus Hellerau, Dresden DE

2008 Electrohype 2008 – the fifth biennial for computer based and technological art
Konsthall, Malmö SE

2007 LAB 30
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2007 Rechnender Raum
Moltkerei Werkstatt, Cologne DE