GERALD NESTLER

 

PROJECTS (selected) projectfriend~ship Texts Contact Biography
 — sexy curves revisited   June 2003 Bienal de Valencia, Spain


Audio-Visual Projection/Live-Performance
at the opening of the Valencia Bienal, June 2003
as part of the Timepill project by Norbert Brunner


sexy curves revisited - inside the data wave

sexy curves is an art project that puts in its centre specific forms of graphic representations of reality: the globally operating and encoded data streams that communicate informations of economic, political and social value as well as individual life-rhythms.

These data curves visually represent two worlds that are familiar to all of us: the rhythm of the beating heart and the fluctuating charts of market quotations. Both graphs are projected onto semi-transparent glass panels and form a tableau of ecriture automatique of information technology. On their way the projections impinge upon the visitors: thus they become visible in space, creating moving sculptures in more than one respect: moving patterns on moving visitors as moving monitors.

This ecriture automatique reveals itself today as a symbolic language below our visual apperception that nonetheless is leveraged incessantly as one of the main devices of constructing reality. These encoded waves that unswervingly and checklessly shoot around and through us as information patterns of a miniature size only comparable to molecules, cells, atoms, form the matrix and the munition, the designo (to use a term from the renaissance) for the forming, the "Gestaltwerdung" of social, cultural and especially economical reality.

In the atmospheric space that looks empty and only seems to be filled with the air we breath, a plane for another extension of the human being develops. It is going to become his medium of communication, his workspace of concentrated languages. Sexy curves’ live coverage of these "always now" happening actualities, mirrors and accentuates the penetration of these systems into their "world" in form of a kinetic-social sculpture: the blood circulation as the life giving and preserving system of (human) organisms and the thorough penetration of the financial/economic system into our individual and social reality.

In the installation a dual sound transmission leads this theme vividly into a real time flow of "music": the audio live feed of one of the world’s largest trading floors, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index and the even intense sound of an ultrasonic heart recording acoustically meet, mix, and move around each other.
A "sound-clash of systems"—music, in which the beat of the heart becomes the rhythm machine of the word rap of the financial/economic market.
Both these graphic transmitters of information display the enourmous potential of influence and power of their systems, although their "tracks" obviously are invisible and inaudible. For sexy curves they constitute the macro- and microcosm of a culture that is strongly influenced by global economy. They are seen as circular systems that carry their "messages" even to the most hidden nooks in their systems. Like mechanical loops with changing information, they feed back "reactions" to their respective centres (the world/the body) and so keep alive and regenerate their system and by this our so well furnished and arranged world.

But the interaction and cross-fading of the visible and audible informations in sexy curves mirrors a more and more disturbed interaction that nowadays starts to resemble what in economy is called an unfriendly take over. The sheer power that economic forces exert on the social and individual arena may be percieved in the experience of the penetrating sounds and visuals of the financial market and the heart rythem.

Man becomes the backbone of an aesthetics of automation as he/she is more and more interpreted as a pack of data among other packs of data that may systematically be controlled. The "real" is not invented, found or concieved, it actually happens inside encoded sequencies. It has been atomised. On our plane of perception it appears as virtual, fluid. If one is to take serious Paul Virilio’s redefinition of Marshall McLuhan’s famous formula "the media is the message" into "it is not the medium that is the message, but merely the velocity of the medium"1), one might look at the "information system blood circuit" as mere background noise, as a secondary code that might simply disappear from apperception one day—and with it its bearer.

From a "Culture of ersatz"2) this path then might lead on to a time of "enlitement" in which "Aufklärung"—the german term is refering to the Enlightenment era as well as to intelligence— will serve as information resourcing to systems of surveillance and automation. By then, the "Enlightenment" project, as defined by Immanuel Kant3), will have been reduced to absurdity. And branded man, misled to loose his conscious awareness, will live (again) in subordination—as an object to a sovereign system.


1) Paul Virilio, The Information Bomb, S.141, London, New York 2000
2) Jean Charles Massena, Sex Art And Dow Jones, S.23, New York 2003
3) "Aufklärung ist der Ausgang des Menschen aus seiner selbstverschuldeten Unmündigkeit. Unmündigkeit ist das Unvermögen, sich seines Verstandes ohne Leitung eines anderen zu bedienen. Selbstverschuldet ist diese Unmündigkeit, wenn die Ursache derselben nicht am Mangel des Verstandes, sondern der Entschließung und des Mutes liegt, sich seiner ohne Leitung eines anderen zu bedienen",
transl. by Gerald Nestler: "Enlightenment is the exit of Man from self inflicted immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use reason without guidance from someone else. Self inflicted is this immaturity when its cause is not absence of reason but of resolution and courage to use it without guidance by someone else,"Immanuel Kant, in: Beantwortung der Frage: Was ist Aufklärung?, 5. Dez. 1783, Leipzig 1929, transl. by Gerald Nestler.
Immanuel Kant, in: Beantwortung der Frage: was ist Aufklärung?, 5.Dez. 1783, Leipzig 1929