A professional-grade fundus camera as used by ophtalmologists provides high-resolution images of the visitor's retina, interior surface of the eye and iris. These images are then transferred to a projection screen set up in the middle of the installation space. A computer then evaluates the images produced and reveals the hidden thoughts that have manifested themselves on the visitor's retina.
The results are then projected onto the left wall as a "Thought Frieze". The images from the eye and the interior surface of the eye as well as the thoughts that have melded into them are then streamed onto the internet. Online users, for their part, can comment on or attempt to interprete the images, and this material, in turn, is streamed back to the installation and projected onto the right wall.
At the heart of The Well-Tempered Kitchen is the serialization of everyday life. The live-performance features such trivial situations as small town kitchens and turns private spaces inside out, stretching them across the public space. Commonplace situations are turned into a stage set and everyday actions become theatrical gestures.
alien productions invited the inhabitants of their host towns to send them photos of their own kitchens —as elements for an art event. The photographs were edited into a sequence and projected as large scale video-loop—the backdrop for the live event. In front of the projection, a simple kitchen was set up with hotplates, cutlery, pots and frying pans. These utensils served both as instruments for cooking and for sound production. Sometimes accompanied by fellow musicians, the alien productions team prepared a typical regional meal using traditional recipes, such as pasta in Northern Italy or "Krautfleckerln" in Lower Austria. The artists electronically transformed those samples and loops live into musical-serial patterns. After the performances, audience and performers together dined on what had been prepared. Whoever had sent in a photo of their kitchen received a certificate declaring that kitchen to be a work of art.
In their project "Arbeitsmuster" (Work Patterns) Andrea Sodomka and Martin Breindl focus on the history of a Krems location which today hosts several cultural institutions such as the Factory or the Artothek. A manufactory for coarse cloth and window blinds since 1868, the facility was in 1905 purchased by the Austrian entrepreneur Karl Eybl and subsequently converted for machine assisted operation. The textile factory was active until 1982. What is now the Factory’s exhibition space had been home to the actual weaving mill up until the 1970s.
Frederick Kiesler’s visions of a kinetic theatre and the biography and inventions of Charles Babbage, the “inventor of the machine that calculates and prints” (the difference engine, an important precursor of the modern computer) inspired a team of artists to develop the stage play “Die Differenzmaschine—ein event mit einem theaterraum“ (“The difference engine —an event with a theatre space”), which was staged at the occasion of the sonambiente Festival in the Berliner Ensemble theatre.
The customary spatial arrangement was reversed. The audience entered the stage, and the entire machinery that usually creates illusions became the real protagonist. Lighting, projections, hoists and pulleys, curtains and sound installations sprang into action. The orchestral kinetics of the single events, sometimes in tenuous communication across a spatial distance, at other times resonating throughout the space in powerful synchrony, created the impression of an enormous meta-machine, as seen from inside, from the viewpoint of its components.
der_schaedliche_raum-VHS from alien productions on Vimeo.
Performance by Andrea Sodomka, Martin Breindl and Igor Lintz-Maues, 1989.
Performer: Helmuth Reiter