Freiheit ist die Optimale Verteilung von Abhängikeit, 2005 - 2010
Cooperation between art and science for the project related exhibition "Ruhr Atoll - Art and Energy” in the framework of "Ruhr.2010" – European Capital of Culture:

Our contribution will condense the complex cultural, political and socio-economically global contexts, in which the topic "energy" is embedded in a work of art. It will retrieve to Europe the exported wars and potential for conflicts due to energy resources, being formalized in an apparently run on aground Navy submarine. Being located on the River Ruhr respectively the lake Baldeney it referes to a site, which is historically closely connected with the high demand of energy for our living standard.

In concrete terms the following is projected: “The sentence ‘Freedom is the best distribution of Dependency’ will be cut out of the exterior walls of a look-out or a bow deriving from a scrapped submarine. The resulting windows will be closed again by carefully selected picture events, made of photographical slide material, which will be processed in an appropriate way due to the specifications of the site. The induced impression will remind us to the windows of a gothic church. There being inside the submarine, the sunlight will give visibility to these image worlds during the day, while it will simultaneously store energy for their conspicuity at night from the outside.”

With this presetting the project is expanding into areas, which exact downright a close cooperation between art and science. At this the accent is focused on a description of the performance capabilities and limitations of the medium IMAGE.

Amongst others, from a scientific viewpoint, the project "Freedom is the best distribution of dependency" is important, because the visual side of the installation is inextricably linked to its architectural environment, so with the landscape and other urban contexts. In the concept of 2005, this has been worded as follows: "In these typo-shaped image worlds is reflected the whole range of imaginable natural and civilian life, again with all its highs and oppressions of the present and the history, because every movement and thus Life itself, is owed to energy-based processes. "

The undertaken cooperation between scientist and artist is devoted to the following topics and individual aspects:

• Typology of image formulations of epochal nature,
• History of picture-criticism,
• Apologia and critique on domination by artists in the sphere of art and applied Picture journalism,
• Connections between religious tradition (e g likenesses of Old Testament prophets image interdiction) and epochal dogmatized and limited =('legitimate') image formulations,
• Epochal history of the picture conventions,
• General Image Science and image criticism for the purpose of improving the embedding of artistic intentions,
• Systematic relationships between art and energy,
• Art as a principle of energy (especially since the European romance),
• Representations of energy in the art and art history (elements theory, planets-children, Image-magic).


Prof. Hans Ulrich Reck and Andreas M. Kaufmann (March 2008)


Dear Norbert,

Thank you very much for inviting me to participate in your exhibition project „Ruhr Atoll: Kunst und Energie“. Due to the fact that the art works will be placed surrounded by water, the viewer has to leave also physically secure ground and take a boat in order to have a closer look at the art piece. That is challenging! Please find below my proposal:

We will need the tower of a huge scrapped submarine (as I heard the Russian Marine is currently selling those submarines for a reasonable price). The tower should be cored still in Russia and the remaining side plates after should be transported to the Ruhr area to the place of the exhibition. There the side plates of the tower have to be re-assembled in such way that the inside of the tower is building one big space. Finishing that, the sentence “Freiheit ist die optimale Verteilung von Abhängigkeit” will be precisely cut out of the shell with a torch. The cut out letters will function as windows, which will be closed again with translucent collages made of photographical material. The imagery will be taken from printed and electronic mass media and will be visible during the day from inside - and during the night from outside the tower; the effect of these windows can be imagined similar to those of medieval churches. The letter shaped imagery will mirror the full bandwidth of natural and civil life including highlights and atrocities throughout history and present.

The sunlight, which gives visibility to the images inside the tower during daytime, concurrently provides the Energy by means of photovoltaic technology for its nightly appearance. During the day, visitors will be able to access the space inside with little boats through the smaller backside of the submarine-tower. There they will be able to read the sentence easily. With the dusk the inside will be illuminated, but the access will be denied. By then, the sentence “Freiheit ist die optimale Verteilung von Abhängigkeit” will be legible only from the bank but mirror-inverted; only if there are no waves one might be able to read it on the water-surface again without disturbance.

Cordially regards from Barcelona (the place, where Narcís Monturiol build and tested in 1859 the first engine driven submarine),


(March 2005)