Leaking (for the time being)

Processual Sculpture

Upside down a table is suspended from the ceiling. It has a peculiar shape, like being assembled from different cutouts, and stretches through space. Inside or rather on the table, rests a dark, light absorbing and reflecting liquid. A sudden sound is accompanied by the inflation of a thin bubble, that bursts somewhere in the landscape leaving behind a flat crater. A flittering, vibrant „Pffffff“ follows the burst of the bubble. Under the table, more actions is taking place. The thick, viscous liquid drips slowly, almost unnoticeably, through the table onto a white surface. For minutes long and thin threads, thinner than hair, flow along the trajectories of the drops.

During several weeks craters above craters of burst bubbles form hills and valleys. The resulting landscape sounds ever deeper and finer. Below the table, the fallen drops have merged into small and drying puddles which are being overflown by ever new ones, while the threads in the air are slowly and persistently woven into a complex and dense meshwork. Red lines meddle with this spatial meshwork. These thicker lines are tubes through which air is flowing into the liquid on the table. The hairy threads themselves are so thin that the slightest movement of air in the exhibition space changes the development pattern of the mesh. It makes the threads drift in space, meander, spin round, and stick to each other. Thus, the properties of the space (size, height, windows, floor, temperatures and so on) and the presence of visitors (through body heat, breath, movement patterns, door openings) have a significant influence on the resulting structure and body.
Between the landscape on the table and the image surface on the floor, a delicate sculpture is growing into the crucial intermediary zone where it provides exchange between sculptural, pictorial processes and all possible participants.

Leaking (for the time being) was created within the research project Liquid Things.


Dynamic Object

It shows a drawing process in a liquid medium. On closer inspection it is a sculptural process using tiny particles of a granular material that accumulate temporarily to form clusters and lines. But just moments before shapes become evident, they are overwritten or fall ­apart and disappear. They vaporize. And although Maelstrom is very material, it travels between two realms: between what is there and what is not there.

How do we perceive and shape the world in our minds? How does our imagination transform it? How does that feed-back on the world around us? What is the relation between matter and imagination and how are they entangled with each other? And why do things – and for them also materials – become increasingly malleable and fluid?

After a considerable contribution to epistemology, Gaston Bachelard, a french philosopher, shifted his interest from science to the psychology of imagination. He contrasted rational thought with the imaginary. Thereby he did not discuss so much how the structures of poetic images look like but rather pointed out that these images can move and transform. They are liquid. And they are attached to matter – the four elements in his case. In Bachelard’s description of the most important travel of human beings, namely the one between the real and the imaginary, he states that when art takes us to this travel, it is not about the stay in one of the two realms. But instead the journey, the movement, the border crossing and the mutual exchange is what we should pay attention to. The dark line in Maelstrom is the vehicle of this travel and the border at the same time. It doesn’t show us one of the two realms. It shows us the process of trying to make sense, its materiality, its movement, its buildup, decay, turbulences, and fluidity.

Sound: Els Viaene

Materials: Magnetite powder, Water, Glycerine, Magnet



A book (german, english, french and dutch) about the work was published in 2012.

Maelstrom, the installation, was inspired by Edgar Allen Poes short story „A descent into the Maelstrom“.


Funded by: Communauté française de Belgique Arts Numérique and Österreichisches Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur
Mostly developed in residency at lab[au].


Process-based Sculpture.

A world with a fluid atmosphere in a glass tank. Dark crystals grow trying to make connections. Constellations develop. They generate sound. And after some time they dissolve into clouds…

Roots is a dreamlike screen that is based on an old persian myth of a bush that sprouts heads. – In a green and brownish fluid iron crystals grow steadily…Bubbles ascend like jellyfish. Branches break off and sink to the dark ground. They start to dissolve and become thick clouds hovering over the scene.

The sculpture works in a cyclic way. Two thirds of the cycle it is active: a cystal object is growing and strechting in space which creates a more and more tense sound. The sculpture composes itself. The following passive dreamphase makes up one third of the cycle. The object dissolves and falls apart while the tension slowly fades. The cycle of growth and decay restarts on the ruins of the decomposition. One cycle lasts around 3 hours.

Electricity is pulsed through the whole Sculpture. It is the key to the constant transformation. Growth changes the flow of the current. The modified flow changes the growth. Software and Hardware leave the next step to the material. The voltages at each wire are put through a resonance filter and thus transformed into sound. The 4/4 pulse results in a sublime rhythm.

Utopian Screen
The installation is based on the model of a chemical computer by Gordon Pask in the early 1950s.
It was open to the environment and it managed to grow to a configuration which was able to distinguish between different frequencies.
Roots refers to a time when the big synthesis and simulation of image, sound, thinking and memory was soon to be started.



Credits – people who made Roots possible

Kerstin Ergenzinger, Urs Fries, Yunchul Kim
Thom Laepple, Agnes Meyer-Brandis, Pablo Miranda Carranza, Martin Nawrath, Heinz Nink, Juan Orozco, Peter Schuster, Micha Thies, Georg Trogemann, Bernd Voss





His Master’s Voice

Robotic Board Game.

HMV is a board game. The players can move semi-autonomous ball robots by making sounds. Form and gravity collude with voice, board and chance. Each ball listens to a certain pitch and starts to move if the right frequency was hummed or sung.

The initial setting does not provide rules. The players get involved and slowly experience strategies and goals.