Ars Electronica 2007
Festival-Website 2007
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Festival 1979-2007



'Peter William Holden Peter William Holden

As with all my recent work I’m not only concerned with the sculpting of threedimensional spaces but also the fourth. Creating work that evolves/regresses with time. Arabesque is such a work: a real time animation.

The installation itself is a mechanical flower that has its roots both in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and the alchemist’s laboratory. Life-sized cast human body parts with translucent qualities bare their internal robotic mechanisms to the public. The wiring itself is an aesthetic expression deliberately integrated into the installation, bringing chaotic lines of abstract form to contrast with the organized symmetry of the body parts. When activated, air flows invisibly, bestowing life to these mechanisms, and its presence is only betrayed when exhaled loudly from the valves attached to the serpentine air hose. This, combined with the clicking of relays, creates a contemporary music that seems to complement Strauss’s Blue Danube.

Due to its nature Arabesque is in fact a performance: immersing the viewer in a similar way to cinema.With the extra advantage of its three dimensions the observer can choose from a multitude of viewing positions, each offering a different insight into the dynamically changing form of the work.With Arabesque I aim to create an installation that will hopefully appeal to a broad audience, utilizing unconventional methods, taking the grotesque and producing a kaleidoscope of paradoxically beautiful patterns.

The Blue Danube—Written by Johann Sebastian Strauss
Performed by Herbert von Karajan & The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Special thanks to Nadja Beckendorf and Ameen Muhairez.