mOt1v _ exhibition - LAb[au]

m0t1v _ (Motiv)

exhibition LAb[au]
Kunst-Station Sankt Peter Koeln

featured projects:

framework f5x5x5, kinetic light art installation
framework notations, computer generated prints
EOD02 _ Frederik De Wilde & LAb[au]
SwarmDots, generative art console

Exhibition: with the support of Wallonie-Bruxelles International
Exhibition-catalogue: with the support of Commision Arts Numeriques de la Communaute francaise de Belgique

The title of the exhibition is derived from the word 'motif', and stands for the way visual and spatial patterns can be created and controlled by the means of digital media. It is the creation of art-istic/ifical systems following their own set of rules. The programming implies strict rules, a language. Results are motifs which are signs of these processes.


m0t1v: Kai Kullen, curator Kunst-Station

Motif from Old French motif, from Late Latin movere, motum: of motion

1. reason, cause, central idea that moves people to induce a certain action

The Kunst-Station Sankt Peter Köln has been a laboratory for 25 years - a kind of experimental arrangement where contemporary art meets church: a place where independent forms of expression by established artists confront with the tradition of Christian belief within the Catholic Church, its liturgy and annunciation. For several centuries art in middle Europe was religious and commissioned by the church. As a consequence of Enlightenment, Humanism and Modernity this long relationship was severed. The church denied contemporary creation while art itself emancipated and started to oppose often even provocative the institutions of faith. In churches, independent art was rare, whereas sacred and devout art was mostly historicist. For a long time a respectful approach was neglected obstructing a dialog. Sankt Peter wants to have this dialog and to carry it on. This also means to take on multimedia art, a transforming environment and society through digitalisation. New developments and tools lead to new forms of expression initially formulated by artists. For this reason Kunst-Station presents for the first time electronic and generative art.

2. art: term for a component of an image which content-wise or on a formal level defines the perception or structure of the represented.

The exhibition 'm0t1f' with the installations framework f5x5x5 and EOD02 pose the question of the images of our time which are increasingly marked by the digital. It is the search for the shape, the motifs, of a world based on 0 and 1. The work of LAb[au] might be a kind of contemporary Flemish landscape art. We are surrounded by signals from mobile phones, wireless networks and various emissions which are imperceptible for our senses. But these artefacts have a structure, a rhythm, a


shape - an aesthetic - which the artworks reveal. The art uncovers the invisible. In this manner the works refer to the sacred space. The church also transfers the inexplicable, the transcendent of the spiritual into an experience. The exhibition confronts two different worlds which are far away from each other. On one side the digital and kinetic art and on the other side the static and meditative space of the gothic Sankt Peter church: the tension between computer generated images, sounds and light effects and the old church windows, the painting of Rubens and the liturgy during a mass. Nevertheless they apply to each other. The new and the old art refer to a reality which surrounds us but which escapes our attention. Art facilitates the sensual experience of metaphysical or abstract phenomena.

3. Literature: any recurring element in a story that has symbolic significance

We perceive the technical world as abstract, factual and cold but also as rational, logic and provable. As such technology contrasts with the irrational, the emotional and maybe the warmth of religion. The belief in God refers to the incomprehensible, the limits of the feasible and the borders of human rationality. In contrast each technical advance stands for the creative power of man. 'In the beginning was the act' (Goethe, Faust 1). Whether the telescope of Galileo Galilee or the spaceships of the cosmonauts', all technology was declared as the building of the Tower of Babel and blasphemy or seen from the other side as proof against the existence of God. An enormous scepticism lies between religion and technology. The technological progress invites the church to concentrate on the essence of faith.

4. Music: a perceivable or salient recurring fragment or succession of notes

For the exhibition opening the composer Maciej Sledziecki feeds the organ with signals of the framework f5x5x5 installation. The composition 'Kopplungen' (couplings) is based on the transcription, the synchronization, of sound and motion data provided by the installation into music. These composed combinations based on generative processes and algorithms stand for a new method of


creativity. The visitors of Sankt Peter can be more than spectators. Sensors can capture their movements which influence the motion of the installation. These assignments are created, programmed, by the artists and are determined by technology. The images, the motifs, can reflect visitors' interaction resulting in endless variations.

5. Psychology and philosophy: a cause of behaviour induced by affective, instinctual or cognitive reason.

Cultural pessimists warn of a world where teenagers experience only through media losing corporality and motorics. A major aspect of the digital is its physical and spatial imperceptibility. Everything happens in the 'box' of the computer tangible only through its limited peripherals such as displays and speakers... In this regard it is remarkable that media artists increasingly transpose the digital world into physical, analogue, products. The motivation is the missing sensual experience of electronic media. Thereby the strength of the 'real' object and the physical experience of space get once more honoured. By the means of digital driven objects an emotional, visual, aesthetic and playful connection is established between technology and man.

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