Installation by realities:united, curated by Ilka & Andreas Ruby,
presented at archcouture Gallery, Halle, 17.10.2008 – 15.01.2009
The installation, “Contemporary Architecture,” by realities:united at archcouture in Halle, Germany is a piece of subtle transfiguration. Tim and Jan Edler of realities:united made legible a quality usually invisible in architecture: time, which was visualized through the manipulation of standard light fixtures.
The installation is composed of fluorescent lights configured like a classic seven-bar digital clock showing the current time in minutes. Mounted on the ceiling to mimic normal fluorescent lighting fixtures, this clock-as-light-source hangs unobtrusively above gallery visitors. As the sole source of light in the gallery it is easy to miss the point and take the videos of projects by realties:united showing on a couple of monitors dispersed throughout the space as the actual piece to look at. This confusion is carefully engineered by the artists who programmed the light-clock in such a way that the overall amount of light stays the same regardless of the varying surface area of the respective digits displayed by the clock (an 11 is powered with more light than, say, a 08 in order to compensate for its smaller surface area).
“Contemporary Architecture” was selected by Ilka and Andreas Ruby for exhibition in Halle because it was a quiet statement from realities:united about adding complexity to architecture with a simple strategy. Layering a functional element (light) with a quantitative measure (time), an enhanced experience for gallery visitors was possible. This enhancement subtly changed the awareness of those present in the space without dramatic pyrotechnics, visual or otherwise. Visitors to the gallery were timestamped by the piece, and became performers in realities:united’s unfolding exploration of design as the continuous enrichment by reality through selective add-ons.