Perry Hobermann, Workaholic, Dortmund



CLIENT: Stadt Dortmund

A bunch of cables is hanging from the ceiling like a giant pendulum. On the lower end of the cable, just a few centimetres above ground, an omnidirectional bar code scanner casting its intense red laser light onto the floor is supended. A laminated print of about six square metres containing hundreds of bar codes and other high-contrast black-and-white images covers the floor beneath the scanner. A few metres above ground, a small video projector is mounted to the cabling, casting its images downward.

By swinging to and fro, the scanner reads the various bar codes at random. The projector projects an image to the floor that swings in tune with the scanner at its centre. The bar code data are forwarded to a computer controlling the video projector and constantly changing the images and animations. The images are determined by the bar codes, their appearance depending on the direction of the scanner/pendulum’s swing.

An octagon railing of the size of the pendulum?s maximum swing surrounds the cable bundle. On it, eight powerful hairdryers are mounted to act as a sort of interface. The visitors may direct the jet of the hairdryers towards the pendulum in order to change its course. Several visitors can combine their efforts to force the pendulum into a certain swinging plane or into a circular motion that will produce spectacular images.

The work and its hard-to-use interface evoke associations of a consumerism out of control, with a flood of goods and transactions melting into each other and becoming undistinguishable.

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