Maschinerie für Reuleaux, 2007
Site: University of Applied Science, Cologne, Campus Gummersbach

The Site and its conversion:
In 2007 the University of Applied Science Cologne (Germany) has become a new exterritorial campus in Gummersbach, which is hosting several applied technical courses of studies. This Campus is built on the former ground of the L. & C. Steinmüller company - a traditional factory, founded in 1864, which has been specialized in the production of steam boilers and plant engineering. The production has been stopped in 1999, because of bankruptcy.

The intervention:
For the entrance hall of the main building on this new campus, I have realized slide projections, which are moving digitally controlled through the space. The necessary apparatus has no significant visibility. Of course this does not mean to abandon the claim of interpretation. On the contrary, this light-installation is visually stringently connecting the adjacent spatial structures and considers itself as a part of the entrance architecture. Consequently the artwork is functioning even as an amplifier, by emphasizing the architectural features design- und concept-wise.

Thus the choreographed light images are tapping architectonical and constructive details, developing rhythms between standstill and dynamic, contortion, equalization and overlaps; sometimes the projections are operating visually strong, and then again almost frail, because of the Sunlight, in order to report back with delicateness; eventually during the dark months, the images are already in the late afternoon increasingly visible outside the building.

But this intervention is not only architecture- and space- related. It rather refers as well to the history of the place as a former production site of machine building on terms of the first Industrial Revolution and now as a place to study technical sciences on condition of the Digital Revolution. Thus the imagery presented here as luminous pictures is taken form two books, which have instituted machine building for the first time as an own faculty at universities: I am talking about the "Theoretical Cinematic" and "The draftsman" both published by Franz Reuleaux in the second half of the 19th century.

The aesthetically considered anamorphotical spatial breakings of the imagey, are posing the question for all perception and knowledge is dependent on its perspective - and with it for the human point of view in metaphorical as in concrete terms. And thus the distorted images may visually query the architecture and its use. Moreover, they invite us to (re-) think from time to time about the Identity of this specific place; and they may trigger occasionally thoughts among the users of this building about, what might be the consequence of their individual execution of their profession for the collective way of thinking and viewing, as much as for our idea of man. Finally those thoughtful once might discover perception as a knowledge triggering process.


More related information:
Download: Einführungsrede (.pdf)