Ars Electronica 1994
Festival-Program 1994
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Festival 1979-2007


As Far As In-Between

'Martin Kusch Martin Kusch

One credo of European rationality is transparency. Its claim to analysis, understanding and construability of the world is formulated in this way. Reason may make the motives and purposes of all actions, facts and events obvious, transparent. In the imagery of light, this metaphysical system of illumination, this claim to enlightenment, is expressed visually. Consequently, "let there be light" means virtually the same as "let there be truth". In the glade of being, the hidden truth will become evident. "Let there be light", however, also means virtually the same as "the world shall be created". Reflections of light and the play of light are therefore reproduction media only in a limited, formal interpretation of the term. In its true meaning, art consisting of light actually denotes constructive creation.

Therefore, the artist is, however, not a creator mundi him or herself alone, but the one who sees the light, the beholder, also playing this role. With a photograph, the beholder becomes a co-creator, an equal partner in the act of creation. There are various manifestations of light: the various media in which it shows itself. From a spotlight to a film projector, from the camera to the screen, we can find sources of light and surfaces of light, which have various spatial and temporal functions. Light produces not only one world, but also multiple worlds. Color is one world which light gives us; a second is that of movement. The illusory world of light, the theater of movement in the tent of time, which we term the art of moving images, is born of these worlds. A dynamic system between the movement of the body and the movement of the light is created from the spotlight to the screen and the monitor. When regarding an image, the shadow of the beholder's body produces the image itself. However, it creates not only an image in the world of the here and now; on the contrary, the beholder's body produces many images in the networked multiple worlds of images, and this is made possible by the technical media's illusory worlds in the theater of shadows and light. A calculation of computable events mutates to a calculation of networked images in multiple refracted spaces of various optical and ontic densities. With his dislocated installation, Martin Kusch introduced the differentiation between optical and ontic density to art. Since we are accustomed to living in natural space in the unity of a space and of a light continuum, we have designed a metaphysical system of light as described above where a place shows a truth. In other words an identity of optics and ontology.

Kusch destroys this ontology; various light sources at various locations creating various images of truth and the world. Above all, it is the body of the beholder that functions as a switch between these multiple worlds of images, which constructs and controls these worlds. His installation shows us not only how, as if from nowhere, and from the simple act of looking, a work of art is created as soon as it has been embedded in an appropriate environment, in an appropriate measuring chain forming a network in itself. Even more, however, it shows us an example of contextual art, i.e. how the context, which consists of variables controlled by the act of looking, creates a text, a product. The installation is a system that is dynamic in many ways, which stimulates itself, auto-catalytic, auto-poetic. A refracted symmetry of beholder and image, of body and abstraction, of reality and illusion, which creates an optical density without ontology. The images delete and negate themselves, paradoxically creating new images. The zones of the invisible contain single islands of the visible. The images are delocalized and decentralized and become layers of a variable visibility.