The anatomy of everyday appliances. A metamorphic time travel from mechanical to electrical operations. The internal workings of the devices are not made to be seen; rather, they are carefully hidden from us. Their anatomical complexity takes place in secret. And even if we had constant insight into the bodies of the equipment, it requires technical understanding at the highest level in order to grasp any clear legibility from the confused structures of the machine interior. The latest changes from mechanics to electronics present absolutely no conclusions about their actual functions. With the effects of rapid digitalization, our understanding of former physical processes has become more and more abstract. The only sensual observation that remains is ones aesthetic observation of a gradual transformation from gears and drive belts into a tangle of wires and microchips.
Your Fear of Nostalgia
The series “Your Fear of Nostalgia” consists of a total of eleven metal plates – Four of them in the format 70 x 100 cm and seven in the format 50 x 70 cm. As a starting point, I used a small landscape, which I compiled as a spatial still life from various components of dismantled devices such as broken movie projectors, CD players, landline phones and household appliances. I scratched parts of this landscape into a drawing on asphalt paint and then applied it to zinc plates. I then etched these lines with acid onto the surface of the plates. The drawings became a haptic relief of metal. The background uses the same etched surface technique while the remaining material switches colour from glossy to dark grey to black through its contact with acid.
What remains are machines without added paint but metal drawings. The organic line of freehand drawing distorts the structures depicted. Machines are witnesses of technical transformations. In the field of tension between aesthetic assertions, references to the history of civilisation and hazardous waste, the components of our former companions now reassemble a metallic resistance that will ultimately be forgotten.
In collaboration with Martin Bischof