ralf baecker - The Conversation

The Conversation

Autonomous System - 2009
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 apparatus that consists of 99 solenoids mounted in a circle. Together they carry three rubber bands (attractors) in their center. Each magnet acts autonomously and aims to adapt to the forces in the network. Depending on the tension, measured by analyzing the changes of the electromagnetic induction in the electromagnets, the solenoids adjust their pulling intensity/force in order to conserve their position.

Similar to a homeostat it tries to establish a hyper-stable equilibrium. The rubber band acts as a mediator between the single autonomous entities. Environmental noise and friction picked up by electronic and mechanical elements prevent the machine from achieving its task. Constellations appear and stay until disturbances make them decay. The whole installation is immersed in a polyphonic buzz generated by the constant shifting forces of the solenoid array.

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)
Time Lapse, 2010
Solonoids, strings, elastic bands, MDF-plate, custom electronics

Solenoids with support of Laboral Gijón
Solenoids by Tremba GmbH


2019 Todays Art 2019
TodaysArt, Den Hague NL

2019 Computing Spaces [more]
Stereolux, Nantes FR

2016 The Paradox of Knowing Universals
Kasseler Kunstverein, Kassel DE

2015 Artistic needs & Institutional desires
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin DE

2015 The Secret of the Machines
Kapelica Gallery, Ljubljana SLO

2013 Conversations Électriques
La Panacée, Montpellier FR

2011 Kunstfrühling 2011
Gleishalle am Güterbahnhof, Bremen DE

2010 When Process becomes Paradigm
LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial, Gijon ES

2010 New.Brave.World! - META.MORF 2010
Trøndelag Centre for Contemporary Art, Trondheim NOR

2010 NODE10 - Forum for digital arts
Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt am Main DE

2009 genau. mathematische Strategien und künstlerische Prozesse
Künstlerhaus Dortmund, Dortmund DE