The Leak

2009
Mixed-Media-Installation
80 x 200 x 250 cm

With the use of mobile phones within the prison cells, the inmates
are able to breach the imposed condition of asceticism. The moment
of self reflection is interrupted, the time axis of their thinking
process is transported from the past into the ‘now’. A contact to the
outer world, to their life outside of the prison walls, is created in the
loneliness of their confinement. The architecture of restriction is
overcome; the electronic prosthesis creates a leak within the static
walls of the cell.

This leak within the power structure is the starting point of this work.
It shows how the development of technology can create holes,
through which, in the sense of Villém Flusser, “…the wind of communication
blows.”

For this purpose, frequency measurements were taken at the walls
of the JVA Ossendorf, where a directional antenna was used to
measure the walls selectively. The data obtained by this process
was then again transposed onto an aerial photograph of the prison
with the help of a GPS and a DV-camera.
The installation consists of three parts: the lowest being a prison
bed, above a plotter and on the highest level a personal computer
and a surveillance camera that monitors the process of the plotter.
The complete installation is a self-contained machine that only
needs electricity from the outside to begin functioning. The plotter is
controlled by the seven different videos of the DV-camera, in synch
with the camera image it draws the various types of interference
onto the aerial view of the JVA. When the position changes within
the video, the plotter also changes the marker and the position. This
process is not visible to the spectator. He can merely see the projection
of the surveillance camera’s image on the uneven surface of
the bed. After all of the seven videos and their measuring data have
been placed on the photograph, a new cycle begins. The “punishment
machine” repeats the same process over and over again. This
constant repetition is meant to reflect the ascetic condition of imprisonment.
Acoustically, frequency-sounds of the video are mixed with
the real sound the plotter makes within the exhibition space.

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