no agreement today, no agreement tomorrow, 2004-2028
Site-specific architectural media sculpture in Bergkamen.

"Like in many other Cities, the urban planers in Bergkamen built a system of roundabouts. Besides of reducing the rate of car accidents, five of them function in terms of urban structure as gates towards the inner city. Therefore Bergkamen launched in the year 2002 a competition and invited seven internationally known artists to make a proposal for one of the five roundabouts. The top priority recommendation of the jury has been the proposal for a media sculpture by Andreas M. Kaufmann for the Town Hall Gate roundabout.

no agreement today, no agreement tomorrow, Kaufmann's media sculpture for the roundabout tackles the urban situation of one of the most frequented squares in Bergkamen. The artist takes the shape of the roundabout for his structure and contrasts the bustle of his location with the self-containment of a round pavilion and the dynamics of his own visual world. Revolving projectors, each loaded with six continuous changing slides, create this light show on the all-round projection area. Slides scurry across the round glass surface. Passers-by can see a continuous parade of human Gestures, which change continuously, becoming larger, sharper or being blurred and distorted until they are unrecognizable, are superimposed, just becoming a light point or vanishing.

All the images are taken from the public sphere especially the mass media. Most of them related to the fields of Politics, Economics, Culture, Sport and Media, but there are also anonymous individuals. All the projected people are detached from their original context and with it they are detached from preconceived interpretations. The isolated people refer to nothing more than their human essence and state in the moment they had been photographed. By showing these public made humans isolated, no agreement today, no agreement tomorrow emphasizes the impossibility to equate their interest, and thus creates an contemporary image of the Shakespearian dictum “the world is all a stage”. Constitutional for this image today might be the omnipresence of mass media, which give many opportunities to express oneself in public, but creates few chances of real communication and real understanding.

As a sort of ritual, the artist will substitute every year one of the old slides with a new gesture of the previous year. Thus the media sculpture will have exchanged after 24 years the entire personage and it will represent the history of the first 24 years of this city gate. On the occasion of this ritual the Citizens have the chance to talk to the artist about the sculpture and related issues. The point in these discussion is not to exchange opinions and arguments in order to come eventually to a consensus; neither is the point to trigger direct participation towards the sculpture. The goal here is rather to know each other better and to built up an atmosphere of respect and confidence." (press release from 11.08.2004)

Going with it, of course I have to explain my personal motivation for invading Bergkamen (a town with 20 % unemployment) with this media-sculpture and why I choose figures like George W. Bush or Bin Laden as my personage. Background for taking this quite risky decision, is that I am deeply convinced that public spaces have its deeper sense in creating commune experiences and that they are not only the playground for commercial interests, architects, designers, artist etc.

Consequently the ritual will be not only happen in the town hall or other representative edifice. On the contrary it is planed to execute the ritual (submitting the new slide with the gesture of the just passed year to the city) changing sites in Bergkamen, like the "Turkish culture club" or the "association for breading pigeons" etc. This might lower the fear of thresholds for the average citizen and it seems to me suitable to create friendly atmosphere for a real communication. Moreover the citizens of the town will not only know more about me and my sculpture, but equally they will know more about their own city, its inhabitants and not at least about themselves. Thus the invading piece of art, built without any compromise, functions as much as an counter image to the reality of mass media as a trigger for a process of communication.

Thus this Ritual will change over the years both: the appearance of the sculpture and the mentality of the involved citizens; and hopefully, as a result of this 24 years lasting process, the physical sculpture will be transformed into a real "Social Sculpture".

Technincal data: 4 revolving projectors loaded in total with 24 slides


Ermöglicht durch die Kunststiftung NRW, das Land NRW, Hellweg - ein Lichtweg, die Stadt Bergkamen und Derksen Lichttechnik®

Kunststiftung NRW,

(image gallery)