2016 — Kinetic installation, dim. 300 x 300cm
Actuators, stretchable fabric, LED light, interface display
Inspired by the theory of Hermeneutics, Hypergradient analyzes the different interpretations of an impartial consistent statement. The installation repeatedly changes between two states: the statement state and the interpretation state.
The statement state displays a sequence of characters of a distinct semiotic system, which can be described as a deputy for all known semiotic systems. These single characters are grouped to strings and then form string orders into an abstract proposition. These abstract propositions don't follow human dwelled principles, they posses inherent logic and can only be decoded, when the observer transfers them into his own mindset. In this state, the space containing the installation and the installation itself is lit up with fixed light sources. Therefore, the consecutive, physical shifted patterns on the flexible surface are visible as pure characters without or subtle alterations affected by shadow casting.

When the installation reaches the interpretation state, the whole space changes into darkness and the surface is illuminated by four light sources, which are arranged around the installation. Vicarious for the various views, understandings and pre-learnings of an universal recipient, the sequence and the brightness of the light sources follow their own principles. Simultaneously, the sequence of the characters remain the same as in the statement state, but cannot perceived as pure characters anymore. Through the constant change of light, the physical deformation of the surface and the consequent modification of perception, the original statement now has to be interpreted by the observer.
Statement state
The semiotic system for Hypergradient consists of 26 different characters. The number of the characters is derived from the Latin Alphabet — one of the most common alphabets in the world — but should not be limited or seen as an equivalent for the Abc notation. Instead, this distinct semiotic system stands for the smallest entity of a sequence, which together form an abstract statement. This entity / character also could represent a whole word, an object, a sound, a color, a habit, etc. or even a statement itself. A character is depicted by a static state (s) or a moving array (m) with one or more of the 13 actuators.

Semiotic system / Interface

The single characters are arranged into a sequence according to their inherent time-basis. The characters consisting of a moving array naturally have a longer time basis and could be compared with consonants (needs an additional vowel for phonetic articulation) on the contrary to vowels, which can be compared with the shorter static state characters. Furthermore, the global time basis varies and blends the transitions between the characters as an interpretation for different reception methods. Shown on an external interface screen, the observer can comprehend the current / all characters from this semiotic system and view the timeline for changing between the two installation states. To indicate the completion of a sequence (word), the completion of a sequence group (sentence) and the completion of the whole statement, a short sound signal is audible whereas every statement has its own sonic representation.
Interpretation state
"06s" character in interpretation state
Abstract on "Semiotic machines"
"What is a semiotic machine? A robot, a computer running programs endowed with artificial intelligence, any computer, a simple calculating machine, or even an ordinary mechanical typewriter? The question will be examined in the light of Charles Sanders Peirce’s concept of semiosis, which requires reference to processes such as reasoning, translation, interpretation, control, self-control, autopoiesis, self-reference, creativity, as well as to the distinction between genuine semiosis and quasi-semiosis. (...) Peirce, long before the advent of computers, showed on the one hand that machines can certainly participate in processes of quasi-semiosis, but on the other hand that human minds, to a certain degree, can also operate like mere machines. (...) It is in fact questionable whether machines produced by humans, can already be described as capable of triggering genuinely semiotic processes."
Abstract taken from SEED Journal 2003 (3), p. 81-99, by Prof. Dr. Winfried Nöth / University of Kassel

In-situ at Galerie Mazzoli, Berlin / Germany, 2017 (Photo by Riccardo Malberti)

In-situ at Antarctic Pavilion (57th Venice Biennale), Venice / Italy, 2017
In-situ at B39 Art Bunker, Bucheon / South Korea, 2019
In-situ at ISEA2017, Manizales / Colombia, 2017
In-situ at FILE, São Paulo / Brazil, 2017 (Photo by Camila Picolo)