Aus dem Nichts / Out of nothing


5-channel video installation:
5 flat screens 27”
5 player adapted to synchronisation
Loop 2min28
Recording format: Betacam
no sound
Installation of the screens: arranged in a circle on a wall
Camera: Miriam Fassbinder, Istvan Imres, Peter Liste, Till Beckmann
Edit: Till Beckmann
Production: Clear Fog: Rolf Engel, mediapool: Siegfried Paul
Production management: Neli Höfke
Picture taken of a 30 m high crane platform

Work about human error, existential cycles, and butterfly effects.

The nucleus of the installation is a test arrangement for a visualisation of the chaos research. The chaos research describes under what condition a system collapses in chaos.
The test arrangement is an staging. It shows cars driving in a circle. They try to maintain a constant speed and constant intervals between each other. After a while the flow of traffic is bogging down and stopping: a traffic jam arises out of nothing. The cause of this so-called phantom traffic jam is human error. Driving too close to the car ahead is followed by abrupt braking. The exaggerated braking is amplified rearward from vehicle to vehicle until the first car comes to a stop.

Just as chaos researchers calculate that the “flap of a butterfly’s wing in the Caribbean can trigger an autumn storm in Central Europe”, a small cause is enough for a large effect on the road, as well. Braking too hard at the wrong moment is enough to shift the system from a fluid to a solid aggregate state.