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Robert ter Horst

Wie man der Maschine die Freiheit erklärt
How to explain freedom to the machine (2016)

Videoloop 30" Min., HD, Color
Assistenz: Patrick Jaworek

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The machine fights itself. The electric whisk continuously spins on itself caused by its very function. The power cord, attached at the bottom dangles loosely yet plugged into the extension cord above it. The more the whisk spins, the more tense its cord becomes furthermore increasing the power required to keep the motor inside the whisk spinning on the ground. The rising tension increases the chance of the cord freeing itself from its plug, thereby cutting off its connection to the circuit and being rendered inoperative.

I recorded this process with the video function of my photographic camera, which limited the recording duration to 30 minutes and splitting it into three separate files. These files overlap each other by about three seconds. The resulting video was then projected onto a wall at a size of about 2 x 3 meters and then filmed a second time.
During this recording, I tried following the mixers movement by holding a thick-walled porcelain plate into the projection. The projection of the initial video ends by showing a still of the very last frame, allowing me to exit the room. The second recording includes an additional overlap in the video, the flickering of the lines created by the projection, as well as my enshrouding shadow on the wall plus the reflections of the projectors light on the plate. Since the projection of the whisk remains in the very last still frame, the sound and movements cut off, with the picture of the whisk still visible, the wrongful impression arises that the whisk would be completely out of order. Observable as well is the tremendous effort it takes to hold the plate during the duration of the act and moving it, following the whisk for half an hour respectively 1.5 hours in total. It requires great concentration, especially when the device stays put for five minutes and suddenly lunges. I was forced to adjust my posture as well as my grip onto the plate continuously. This struggle is visible in myself but also in the machine, that suffers until the very end.