Columbus 2.0 (Sevilla, 2008)

COLUMBUS 2.0 - Biennale Sevilla 2008

The worldwide financial crisis which became apparent a year earlier led to the bankruptcy of numerous banks this year and in part to the rescue of systemically important banks with state funds. In consequence the public is vehemently urging for the control of banks. Barack Obama, as the 44th President of the United States, faces major challenges, as well as the European Union, from which Germany comes out of more strengthened than weak, mainly because of a relentlessly negotiating Angela Merkel. The time had come for that part of the global public that had always sought to achieve the ever-growing need for cultural synergies through digital cooperation, and even more so with the diligent support of Barack Obama from the US, the nucleus of liberal egotism. Columbus 2.0 is probably one of the most positive works gathered here and reflects the spirit of creative destruction that was then proclaimed on TV: the citizen had saved the financial system from ruin, the blue collar was allowed to look down on the white one, progress for the sole purpose of progress cannot work. Columbus 2.0 is to be understood in a similarly utopian way: the consumer or user, the pawn not only of advertising and economy, but even the victim of the constantly accelerating communicative technology, has to dare to become the captain of his communicative endeavors again. The Columbus-series is nothing less than an alternative to the pictographically overloaded Hades of communication that is Garden of Error and Decay. Ironically Columbus 2.0which is based on a simple alphanumerical software editor seems to call for ordered and encouraging content: only philosophical or poetic texts and religious texts of all faiths are used and will be used until 2020. Obviously, alongside the genre of the communicative Twitter primordial soup of meanings, an orderly representation of the world out there is possible. With one of the oldest and most universal interfaces in the world, a ship's steering wheel, the user in Columbus 2.0 maneuvers over the projected typefaces and is again an authority in the sea of ​​meanings.

Computer, projector, software, steering wheel: a specially programmed custom made Java-based text editor of just over 0.4 MB generates language waves in an endless loop, whereby the angles of the movements, the vectors of the movements, their speeds and many other settings can be programmed steplessly in the decimal range. The text that appears is also entered in the editor. The gears of the steering wheel are provided with an adhesive tape so that they set a (trackball-based) computer mouse in motion and thus result in the unreal and jerky-smooth control movements on screen.

Paul Kenig