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With: Der Verlag des Teckboten

© Ralf Baecker

Kirchheim unter Teck, »Alter Teckbote«

Ralf Baecker: »Putting the Pieces Back Together Again«

How does a single element behave within a whole? Which rules and laws are followed by social, physical and biological systems in which many parts form a whole? And what role does chance play in this? Ralf Baecker examined these questions with his massive installation »Putting The Pieces Back Together Again« at the »Alter Teckbote« in Kirchheim unter Teck.

He arranged lots of small motors at regular intervals over a large surface area. Each of them was equipped with a hand that was made in such a way that when it moved it collided with the hands of its neighbours. When the motors were activated, the individual hands had to negotiate each other. A hand's alignment also depended on the behaviour of its neighbour. The analogue collision of the hands brought an unpredictable element of chance to the digitally controlled programming of the motors.

The resulting image was reminiscent of a surface being subjected to strange movements by the wind, or the organised formations of flocks of birds or schools of fish.

Ralf Baecker's work dealt with complex systems, principles of self-organisation and emergent behaviour. With his trial arrangement, he showed how individual parts organise themselves by acting together when there is no central control system. In this way, he created an artistic model of non-hierarchical communication.

The Artist

Ralf Baecker, born 1977 in Düsseldorf, studied media art at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne. He views his art as a form of research for examining technology and how it works. He takes technical and digital processes that are usually beyond our perception and makes them visible and understandable through art.

Since 2016 Ralf Baecker has been Professor of Experimental Design for New Technologies at the University of the Arts in Bremen. His installations and machines have been exhibited at international institutions such as the Centre for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, the National Art Museum of China in Beijing, and the Center for Contemporary Art WINZAVOD in Moscow. He has received numerous awards for his work, including a scholarship from the Stiftung Kunstfonds, the Grand Prize of the Japan Media Art Festival, and a project grant from the Schering Stiftung in Berlin.

Artist website
© Klaus Wälderle

The Partner




Alleenstraße 128
73230 Kirchheim unter Teck


5 October–4 November 2018