Ralf Baecker – Putting The Pieces Back Together Again
This new kinetic installation by Ralf Baecker investigates non-hierarchical communication and collective behaviour by implementing such a system in the physical realm with a collection of electro-mechanical actors. The work is a complex system with self-organizing and emergent behaviour, while at the same time it is an artistic inquiry and meditation on contemporary scientific methodology.
The Installation consists of 1250 stepper motors, equipped with pointers and arranged in a two-dimensional grid. The radii of the pointers are chosen to intersect with the pointers of its neighbours, and all motors are excited with the same alternating current that let them move initially in a random direction. Each actor is at the same time sensing its environment. In the event of a collision the pointers reverse their turning direction.
Through the interplay of many entities, complex behaviour emerges on the surface of the installation, signifying a form of self-organization. Because of this, the work functions as an epistemological instrument to look at dynamics that emerge from non-hierarchical and collective organisations and systems. These can be found in many areas and different scales in the real world, like social systems, economics, climate system and biology.
Ralf Baecker is a German artist working at the interface of art, science and technology using installations and machines. In his representations and specializations of digital and technological processes, Baecker offers a poetic sight behind the surfaces of contemporary image making. At TodaysArt 2019, he will be present with three of his works, centred around the entanglement of the virtual with the real.