neljapäev, oktoober 24, 2013

The young technician. A male gaze at Arturs Bērziņš exhibition "Rodamība"

Indrek Grigor takes a look Arturs Bērziņš exhibition "Rodamība/ Origination*” in the Office gallery at the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art 26.09.–25.10.2013.

The young technician. A male gaze at Arturs Bērziņš exhibition "Rodamība"

Arturs Bērziņs exhibition presents an evolutionary selection of machines that originate from the author’s biography, depicting the way how the relationship to the complexity of the machines he has been using has changed hand in hand with the technical knowledge he has gained of how these machines work. In this process the mystical and holistic world of childhood has faded into a greyed out memory and has been replaced by a complex but overdetermined reality. The wonderful thing in this seemingly sad process is, that the author senses the fading of the nostalgic mysticism through the discovery of the poetry and beauty of complex machines - this is the secret that drives the young technician.

According to the poetical interpretation that the author has given to the laws of thermodynamics, when something is called into life something else is dismissed. The earliest memories of Bērziņs’ encounters with machines are represented as a vague holistic memory through the use of a molded copy of a toy car that has no moving parts. The sledge from a bit later is still there in its original form, but has lost its reality by being preserved as a gray memorial monument of a device leaning against the wall. But the skis, even though the wood has rotted away, have already left a memory of a mechanism that played a crucial part in allowing fun on the hills through their primitive metal clips.

Entering teenage years our young technician finally got access to the world of fully mechanised devices. At the beginning in the form of a bicycle that the author has spent many hours working on in his basement and that has left a remarkable amount of grease collecting on his hands. But the world of the bicycle has already lost a lot of its mysticism. Even though Bērziņš has referred to the early childhood as something that is as complex and as inaccessible as a bee farm, the mechanical knots of the bicycle are something that he has found access to. Whats going on inside the mechanism isn't anymore closed away from our eyes since Bērziņš has cut it open.

As a final step in the evolution of the experience of the world determined by the laws of thermodynamics the artist presents us an internal combustion engine. Here the machine is not only cut open, laying bare its mechanism, but is also disassembled and systematized. The complex but holistic mystical fairytale of childhood has turned into the black and red world determined by the laws of thermodynamics.


Arturs Berzins „Origination*”

1. For instance, within philosophy engines are considered as expansion of a body. Prosthesis. They expand options of usage of a body, facilitate performance and protect the body. At the same time there is something mystical in it. Even with knowledge in physics and chemistry it contains something preternatural. Most likely it is attributable to appearance in a strange imagery. One can recognize beauty, too. The peculiar beauty of engine.

2. Origination is a contemplation devoted to the engine. Engines were selected by applicability. They relate to the field of the motion (movement) of the body or thing. All works derive from subject's personal experience regarding the chronology of personal development.

3. Five exhibited works are not made by someone. They have occured. By something appearing, something else disappeared.

4. In this case one can find a certain understanding about particular engines or their junctions.

*There exsist no direct translation form Latvian word „rodamība”. Origination is closest, derrived form verb originate.

Laws of thermodynamics**

First law of thermodynamics: The first law establishes a notion of internal energy for a thermodynamic system. Heat and work are forms of energy transfer. The internal energy of a thermodynamic system may change as heat or matter are transferred into or out of the system or work is done on or by the system. All the energy transfers must be accounted for to see that there is strict conservation of the total energy of a thermodynamic system and its surroundings. The law implies that perpetual motion machines of the first kind, which would do work without using the energy resources of a system, are impossible.

Second law of thermodynamics: An isolated physical system, if not already in its own internal state of thermodynamic equilibrium, spontaneously evolves towards it. In an isolated physical system, there is a tendency towards spatial homogeneity. In particular, when an isolated physical system reaches its own internal state of thermodynamic equilibrium, its temperature is spatially uniform. When work is done on or by a thermodynamic system, a certain amount of that energy is lost to inefficiency, related to the difference between the energy level of the input and the output. This loss is described by the notion of entropy, which is often used to express the law. Some of the loss is due to friction when work is done, and some of it may be due to the relaxation of the system towards spatial homogeneity. The law says that these two mechanisms occur always and inevitably. The law implies that perpetual motion machines of the second kind are impossible.

Third law of thermodynamics: There are various ways of expressing the third law.[8] They derive from the statistical mechanical explanation of thermodynamics. They refer to ideally perfect theoretical models of physical systems. A common expression of the law states that no practicable means can bring a physical system to an exactly zero absolute thermodynamic temperature.


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