My works are investigations of the human-machine interface. A special focus is placed on everyday technologies with which we are constantly confronted and that shape our human existence, our preferences and our behavioural patterns. Examples are the opening of the boot at the push of a button, the automatic room scenting system or the robotic lawnmower. All of these examples are automata – machines or computers – that carry out certain activities for humans with the help of programming. Technology can thus be understood as the effort to save humans effort.
The installations, robots and apparatuses that I design and construct myself are positioned just beyond the borders of the functional and rational logic of technology. For example, Newton’s Buddha, a perpetual motion machine kept in swing by a beckoning cat, Uruca Caliandrum, a robotic hairbrush crawling to the sunrise, Düsen nach Jägerart, a possessed executive chair that rotates around itself, Definitions of the Undefined, an encyclopaedia in which definitions of UFOs have been compiled from various encyclopaedias around the world, or Kruzifix, du weißt schon…, a crucified robot designed to show correlations between theology and technology or convert artificially intelligent robots to Christianity.
Inspired by Charles Ford’s witzenschaftliche Weltbetrachtung (jokey view of the world), I take a humorous approach in building creatures and apparatuses that disturb the sleep of scientific reason and tickle the feet of figures of thought of technological determinism, revealed, for instance, in the idea of the technological singularity where technology subjugates humanity. Humour and wit as a form of resistance to the functionalism of the Lebenswelt (life-world) in the “practical” sense. Seen in this light, my works are poetic attempts on the other side of meaningful logic, efforts to liquidate factual reality in the idling of its remote-controlled automatism, in the hope that they will pose questions contrary to the rule of purpose or, more precisely, subordination to utility, because unquestioned the useless is pitted.