OFFERING A SITUATION DURING WHICH THE PRESENT TURNS INTO PRESENCE: THE SETUP SERIES IN PUBLIC SPHERES
Happy trapping (formidable oppositions, swift balances and sticky situations)
Video compilation featuring works of SETUP and EARLY TRAPS series
Suddenly and omit knocking, someone enters our room: The door moves, inadvertently touching a stick which causes it to fall. Its momentum is passed onto other bars and materials which were awkwardly standing there. Some slide along the wall, just to be stopped on their path by the edge of the table. Bouncing from there, one ends up leaning on a chair, another one hits the shelf, taking down a tray with the abundance of petty objects on it. The act concludes with a paper scroll rolling across the floor, leaving us in silent awe, gazing at the mess.
This incident sparked a series of experimental happenings called Setups, which have some common traits with the approach and practice of trapping – comprising observation, tracking, luring, deceiving and catching, trappers have to come up with a setup that surprises other beings in some way, presuming situative and ecological
thinking. But beyond artistic work and approaches of visual arts, quite similar strategies can be found all around in modern day society. From social behaviour, the experimental sciences and detectors to marketing campaigns; trapping has evolved, its purpose and meaning have shifted into vast, but misty territory.
The following body of work aims to question the hierarchic and controlling tendencies behind such strategies. To achieve this, a different lens is necessary. The setups and early traps work as tactile spiders, their cobwebs link objects, places and gestures. Incorporated in familiar, almost invisible structures and making use of common routines, they intervene with the inner worlds of the people, as Biologist Jakob von Uexküll would put it. A socio-technical apparatus, winking at the looming tragedy with a joyful twist, to reveal the momentum of change in a different light.