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.



Still life

Toothpaste-Animation, HD-Video, 6′

„Still life“ is based on the story „the spiral“ by Italo Calvino.
A mollusk without a shape is stuck to a reef some 600 million years ago. He doesn’t know much about his environment except from getting some tastes out of the water that flows through his body. One day he starts to grow a colorful shell out of a fold of his slimy body. He creates a personal, visual expression. Unfortunately there is nobody around yet to see. The eye hasn’t been developped yet. But he doesn’t mind and starts to dream about where this adventurous act might lead to. He dives into the impossible.
What the camera captures of it, for a short time, is a bunch of white cells in their wild expansion.Together they become structures, but an inner drive makes them vibrate and flow into ever new forms.

„Still life“ is an animation that was mainly made with toothpaste. It is filmed with a single camera setting. The soundtrack was composed by the Belgian soundartist Els Viaene and consists of many layers of numberless fieldrecordings.

voice: Hans-Petter Dahl
sound: Els Viaene
mastering: Yves de Mey
concept, animation, photography: Roman Kirschner


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].


Series of hand deployable ephemeral sculptures

“Airbags” are a proposition for a format, or better a process, to incorporate or sculpturalize flexibility, the ever required almost instantaneous adaptation to fit an abundant number of situations, conversations, discourses, selection criteria, etc.. They are a series of explosive blow-up sculptures with a narrative character. They are wrapped up in small bags and can be attached to ankles, wrists, belly or neck. Unlike airbags in cars they are not triggered automatically, but can be activated at a specific moment – be it out of a need or an impulse. “Social Airbags” are deployed by pulling a handle and get fully blown up within seconds. As instantaneous short-term unfoldments, they serve, depending on the situation, as extensions to specific conversations, as signals for interests and abilities, as subversive interventions into everyday events, as spontaneous outburst and more. Yet they do not fit in every situation and must be used with care. They unfold their full potential and narrative when deployed at the right moment with the right twist.

As the situations asking for Airbags seem to grow in number after their first deployments in public space, the individual airbags conceived and presented here merely mark a starting point:

“Uncanny Hug” is a combination of multiple long, thin and twisted airbags that can shoot out of both sleeves of a jacket. They are like fingers that are extruded and rotated around their longitudinal axis. Yet they are not organized like the fingers of a hand. The airbags of “Uncanny Hug” spread out from the sleeves in many directions. Once deployed they make a handshake rather impossible and cast a shadow on most forms of physical contact.

“Elephant Feet or I started to walk 40cm below the ground” is a pair of airbags of equal size and form. They are worn around the ankles until they inflate and expand from underneath trousers or long skirts. “Elephant Feet” wrap the wearer‘s lower legs into columns of a diameter of 50cm from sole to knee, turning walking into a experience of shuffling through knee-high asphalt.

“The Brick” is the largest Airbag so far. It is worn around the waist like a cummerbund or broad sash. Fully inflated, it resembles a huge puzzle piece or a human body with short legs and head hanging perpendicular to the wearer‘s main body axis. It turns from an elegant piece of clothing into an obstacle that revolves around the center of the body. Several “The Brick”s can be attached together in rows to form a wall, or they can serve as protection not only for the individual wearer but for larger groups, making them more difficult to be handled or to be pushed around.

“You try to put me in a box?” consists of a changing number of small Airbags in the shape of bubbles – almost resembling heads. Before they are inflated, they are almost invisible, worn like a scarf around the neck. During inflation they emerge in a flash out of the collar on all sides of the wearer’s neck. The human blow-up heads – slightly smaller than real ones – start to flutter between shoulder and ear as if a terrified rabbit had ejected replicas of himself as decoys to facilitate his getaway.

Produced with a production grant of Cultivamos Cultura for the exhibition “Emergências 2012“, Guimaraes, Portugal.

Collective Perspective

Research into the organization of collective imagination – with the help of 25 artist and researchers.



Allison Kudla, Lennart Frank, Jörg Lindenmaier, Els Viaene, Tanvi Srivastava and Dave Vasant, Kerstin Ergenzinger, Lucía Ayala, Luis und Linus Negron, Andreas Hirsch, Maarten Crivits, Jarim Kim, Helga Schania, Stijn Pardon, Sarah Kesenne, Sung-Jae Lee, Tobias Grewenig, Olaf Val, Yuyeon Yang, Silvan Kaelin, Stefaan Viaene, Thomas Laureyssens, Younju Hee and Dieter Van Dam

Produced for Arko Art Center
Special thanks for the versatile and kind support to Jaewon Choi.
Photographies by Arko Arts Center



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





Billy crossing the red sea

Drawing and 3D-Rendering

„Billy crossing the red sea“ connects Christian mythology and capitalist ubiquity. Its first source is „Parting of the red sea“ by Julius Schiller from his „Coelum Stellatum Christianum“ 1627. It was a Christian Approach to remap the sky and to install images above our heads..
The second source, Billy, is the most widely sold shelf by a Swedish furnishing house. It can be found in many European households. It is on stock in 27 shops in the US, in 6 stores in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Israel, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait) and 200 other stores all over the world except Africa.

digital print 150x150cm

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.