When is there space? For the past three years, issues surrounding the subject of space as an agent, or the interplay between movement and space, have been the central interdisciplinary concerns of the team of architects, designers, media scientists, art scholars and ethnologists at the Cluster of Excellence "Image Knowledge Gestaltung. An Interdisciplinary Laboratory". The installation Raummaschine was developed for the exhibition +ultra. knowledge & gestaltung (Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlin) on the basis of this work.
Since the 1920s and even more so beginning in 1945, artists have explored spatial modification forms through kinetic experiments. Kinetic installations offer the viewer a chance to intervene within a physical space, thus opening up new perspectives for perceptions of spatial reality. Artists like Gianni Colombo were forerunners of this idea, creating spatial installations that used the grid and the line as a point of departure for Gestaltung, and actively involving the viewer in the artwork.
The machine hangs over the viewer’s head along with 384 small motors and coils, allowing for precise control of the many ball-chains attached from above. These are hung loosely on a grid, thereby generating successive shapes out of vertical lines that define the space’s width, and thus producing a direct sensory experience as well as unique configurations of physical relationships and movement. Though spatial relationships are drawn from two-dimensional lines, their effect is three-dimensional.