Automatie is a performative installation consisting of a three-channel video, a kinetic object, and a performer. The whole installation is looped with a defined starting point. The performer first lets the audience into the room, and the roughly seven minute cycle repeats itself constantly.
In the room itself, a chair tied to an apparatus rocks it back and forth on its back legs, until it becomes loose and the chair comes to a standstill.
The video, played on three walls, each shows an event from a different angle. An apparatus is projected, circling a candle with the wick loose on both ends. Through the circular motion, the candle is lit on one side whilst the other side is put out. With each turn, the candle makes a person visible or conceals them in the dark. The chair apparatus and the one-take-video of the candle apparatus are initiated and observed alternately.
Neither of the apparatuses follow a goal, nor do they pursue a discernible function and are not productive in an efficient sense. Instead, they each describe a process within itself, ending of their own accord and constantly started up again by the performer. The apparatus and the performer are in constant motion and yet neither proceed forward.
The tension lies in the relations, correlations and seeming actions and reactions that take place and appear in this room.
Rana Karan writes on the piece: “[The installation] Automatie produces a feeling of transience that presents itself as the central concept of the work. In a melancholic yearning, it evokes the impression of a memory that can no longer be brought back into the present state. [...] This image of melancholy [opens], very much in the spirit of Bachelard’s poetic images, an entry into the images of the past and connects them with one’s own: ´through the evocation of an image, echoes in the far past are awakened and it is hardly foreseeable to what depth these echoes reach before they fade away. In its novelty, in its activity, the poetic image possesses its own presence, an own dynamic.` (Bachelard, Gaston: Poetik des Raumes) Automatie allows the viewer to develop their own dream-like dynamic, and offers a subjective shelter of possible interpretation. [...] The viewers themselves can leave this place at any time, yet it never seems to disappear or freeze - it composes a place of engagement.”
Video documentation: Vimeo
Prof. Heike Schuppelius, Prof. Anja Dorn, Răzvan Rădulescu
Contributors and support:
Mona Altmann, Anja Ruschival, Rana Karan, Valle Döring, Philip Lawall, Klemens Czurda, Carlo Siegfried, Leia Walz, Till Gombert, Jana Hofmann, Gerrit Kuge, Christina Scheib, Johanna Ruge, Lukas Biergans, Leo Bartels, Max Schweiger, Lisa Bergmann