Some of my influences
For what it’s worth, let me tell you what thinkers have had an influence on my work and if so in which way. Of course this is me throwing around some big names, but it is also to guide my audience to some of the great intellectuals of our time. It is thus a way to pay homage to these masters. I will try to cultivate a small list of link for the curious reader. So keep checking in again, this should be an evolving page.
As an artist, I have always been interested in philosophy. I say this to stress that my interest in philosophy is to draw inspiration from it not to study it for the sake of becoming a philosopher. I do not intend to conceive a system nor do I have any ambitions to adhere to any specific school or movement. As an artist that is, to me, the basis of my dealing with politics, history and any other science or structure. Artists in my opinion have to stay apart so the can analyse, comment or testify as for the times they are living in. This gives their art relevancy, actuality beyond the zeitgeist.
I consider myself as a media artist. This includes working with (primarily digital) media but also my work very often is about (mass & social) media. I try to understand this phenomenon, this global linkage of the mind and its effect on us as individuals, societies and as a species. I recognize my opinions and views on the subject matter in the works Michel Foucault. His theory of the Panopticon fits my series “before the fuck” like a glove (or is it the other way around). This series of digital stills taken from porn sites and chat pages in that particular moment, when the user / actor leaves the room leave us with that distinctive feeling of loneliness and bleak despair. It is a look inside the sadness and harshness of modern day sexuality when confronted with ‘the market’.
In a wider sense one could argue that a big chunk of my work orbits around the structuralist galaxy or let’s say the few things I know about it. Jacques Lacan was of some great input and inspiration as I have always been obsessed with Psychoanalysis and the feedback loop with art it had developed in the 20th century. The modern and post-modern evolution of art cannot be separated from the advent of psychology and analysis but only Lacan saw that this evolution was bilateral, intertwined. My series of abject art is as closely linked to his works as it is linked and influenced by post-feminist thinker Julia Kristeva and her workings on the so called abject.
At the same time, I cannot deny my fascination for Jean Baudrillard and his theories on simulation. We tend to underestimate the problem of virtuality. We play down the effect it has on our everyday life. But we pay a steep price in loosing our individuality and sense of being (alive) since it is formed by our experience of the real and undeniable. The essence of life is that it has no UNDO button – entropy will finally get us all. A number of my installations and pieces deal with this issue like “Island of life in a sea of death” or “Narziss Maschine” just to cite two.
The whole video art series “DOGS” for that matter is a very psychologically tainted one. It can be viewed as my homage to Wittgenstein. To my mind he is one of the most underrated and misunderstood philosophers I know of. People tend to be blinded by the harshness of the Tractatus and forget that this was just a sort of prologue to his later work which is deeply humanistic. Stiff of course obcessed by language, Wittgenstein lays down his misanthropy and becomes the philosopher of understanding each other. Not without making clear that it is a vain effort and that the best we can achieve is comparing our worlds never able to share them.
“DOGS” picks a very special setting for this experiement of (mis-)understanding each other. It deals with issues of relational miscommunication and the effect of technology on the human condition in general. The title DOGS refers to our animal instincts and emotions that, when suppressed, tend to erupt in an uncontrolled fashion. This again often results in violence, hatred and misanthropy / misogyny. The series tries to uncover what should remain hidden – those things we better not say or show…
Another of my interests has always been socio-political. I cannot help but despair at the turn humanity has taken in the last 30 years or so. The global market and its known associates, the financial and banking sector, big corporations and big media has left its traces and scars on our world and the reverberation of this day and age have not even begun to ask the price we will have to pay for it. There are many intelligent ‘prophets’ that point our nose at the open would that is the 21st century up to now. Slavoj Žižek for one is a constant reminder that all is not well or getting better. Apart from being a keen media analyst he always reminds us that we have to question all and everything the so called main stream is feeding us. More than one of my works like “no”, “Nexus – Kult | Markt | Kunst” and “Der Löfelkratzer” is tainted by his scepticism and hopefully his humour.
One of my biggest projects yet is called “the code is cold”. Here again I find myself heavily influenced by Foucault, Bourdieu, Lacan and so forth. Yet in this instillation / series of videos, prints and sounds I have tried to synthesize my views, ideas and opinion concerning the past, present and future mutual evolution of man and machine. “the code is cold” deals with subjects such as spirituality and consciousness in the realm of the machines, the beauty of intellectual concepts vs. their structural coldness in terms of human emotion and the issues of our modern-day hyper socialized augmented reality in contrast to our loss of real face-to-face human interaction.
Again these above mentioned works of mine are more associative in nature, not systematic. That is not the job of art anyway. And there are many more things in life than philosophy or psychoanalysis to feed my creativity. It is always good to have a concept about things but it is wise to adapt this concept to the reality surround you – not the other way around which I would call the fascist way of handling things. And fascism in art, politics and humanities – or any other realm – is what I have always been fighting against.