Novalisstraße 7, 10115 Berlin
Opening hours Wed-Sat, 1- 7pm
Lucas Buschfeld, Edith Kollath, Olaf Schirm, Sebastian Wolf
Curated by Olaf Schirm
The philosopher William von Occam recommended in the Middle Ages to free philosophy from all superfluous things with a razor knife, in essence to pursue the simplest explanation in the sense of coherence. This is a method which is nowadays commonly used when we perceive the “real world” because it makes life much easier and frees us from the need to weigh up the countless possibilities that present themselves at each and every moment. But consequently, this ease carries with it a big disadvantage:
According to today's knowledge in theoretical and experimental physics, the material from which everything originated and originates carries the fundamental property of possibility in itself. The fundament of all is probability and not absolute clarity. We know this from quantum physics research of the past 100 years, due to the groundbreaking thoughts and theories of Max Planck, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, and many others. According to them, by renouncing possibilities, one actually destroys the possibilities if one does not consider them.
Take the thought experiment of Nobel Prize winner Erwin Schrödinger in 1935. In the hypothesis a cat is enclosed in a box containing a deadly mechanism, there is a 50% probability the mechanism will be trigged sometime or never and leads to the realization that one does not know whether the cat is alive or not, as long as one does not look inside the box. The cat, in this thought experiment, is in a state of superposition, of being and non-being. In the 1805 famous double-slit experiment this even became and becomes visible, because here light occurs simultaneously as both a particle and a wave and completely contradicts our perception that something can only be one single thing in one solid-state at the same time.
Indeed, the observation, the measurement, the "looking" or “perception” destroys the superposition and forms a concrete manifestation. Like a breaking wave, the probability wave collapses and forms the unambiguous reality. The cat is alive! ...and there is no separation between the observer and the observed... The destructive power of observation therefore also leads to genesis, to emergence, to the crystallization of safety in the quantum foam of possibilities.
Another Nobel Prize winner, nobody less than Albert Einstein himself, could not believe this, as it shook his ingenious space-time construct of the theory of relativity. He asked, "is the moon there when I'm not looking at it?" and later he continued on the subject of "God doesn't roll a dice!”. We now know, yes, the moon is actually there, because it is constantly "measured" by subatomic and wave interactions and as Niels Bohr replied: "whether God rolls the dice or not, only God decides because he makes the rules".
With the works of the participating artists, the exhibition "Superposition" aims to focus on the aspect of reality formation through observation. The critical perception of the exhibited works leads to the formation of experiences, this is exactly what the works invite us to. In addition to their typical artistic, sculptural, technical structure, the installations have a narrative level that unfolds inside the viewer. This is a core component of the art movement "Science Art", which can be experienced here, if one is willing to perceive it and, as a consequence, is given the opportunity to discover new realities.
Enjoy the journey of your discoveries!
(*1983, Cologne) lives and works in Berlin. He studied art at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne and at the Institute for Spatial Experiments, class of Olafur Eliasson, at the Berlin University of the Arts. His work has been shown in exhibitions at the Neue Nationalgalerie, the Hamburger Bahnhof, the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, the Museum für Angewandte Kunst Köln and the ZKM, among others. Buschfeld's mostly installation works, open up a space for the sensual perception of natural laws in contemplative observation and allow the viewer to expand his or her experience of an objective physical nature by the dimension of a sensually constructed reality.
(* 1977, Eutin) explores recursive movements and systems - organic and digital - that are open to contingency in her artistic research practice. In diverse media, she tries to make dynamic tensions and fragile states perceptible to the senses of the viewer questioning the social and theoretical contexts of uncertain states. She studied costume design and fine arts in Hamburg. From 2006 to 2009 she was an active member of the hacker collective NYC Resistors in New York, USA. Since 2010 she has led various workshops and teaching assignments, for example at the Bauhaus University Weimar, where she has been a Ph.D. candidate since 2015 at the intersection of science and art. She has received numerous scholarships; her work has been exhibited internationally and her first monograph »Maneuver of Plenty« was published in 2013 by Distanz Verlag.
(*1958, Berlin) is active as a musician in electronic music and sound art scene under the name “Symboter”, which he has been engaged with since the 1970s. His background in biology and physics, coupled with his artistic and engineering family roots led him to founding companies in 3D computer animation, real-time motion capture technology, avatars and chatbots, research robotics and e-couture. He has received awards from the Royal College of Art London, Siggraph Los Angeles, Byte Magazine, Medikinale. Working as an international artist in the field of science art, he focuses on questions about the perception of time and man-machine/AI relations. Olaf Schirm is an art collector, author of studies and upcoming books and speaker at conferences and discussions about art and technology. He is also a curator of exhibitions on art collections and science art.
(*1989) designs and builds interactive kinetic and light installations driven by an affinity for novel technologies and their inherent aesthetic and emotional potential.