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Lars Siltberg

Visusomatic was shot in a laboratory for physical research. The object of interest is an ultra high vacuum (UHV) system used to clear the air in the small chambers in which various tests on substances take place. Sucking out the air is neccesary since the objects of study are smaller than particles in the air.

The atoms that constitute the shell of the UHV-system can only be studied at atomic level by the help of such a system. A similar relation applies for the pixels in the digital image and the computer driven device that keeps it alive and visible.

The two sequences illustrates the ballistics of two common ways of dealing with a question or a thought. In the sequence Approach the camera moves straight towards the object in constant speed as deep into the structure as possible. In Scrutinize the camera searches the surface by following the form and structure of the object, trying to cover up as many angles as possible, making a lap round the machine.

Prod. format Generic SD-video
Duration 00:18:49
Color BW
Year 2003
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About the artist

Lars Siltberg

Lars Siltberg was born 1968 in Stockholm where he lives and works. Siltberg works foremost with video. Recent commissions and exhibitions include: Extras, permanent photography- and videoinstallation at the University Collage of Film, Radio, Television and Theatre in Stockholm, Miro Foundation, Barcelona, Beauty of failure/failure of beauty by Harald Szeemann, Koldo Mitxelena Kulturene, San Sebastian, Effort by Juan Antonio Álvarez Reyes, 49:th Venice Biennale, Plateau of Humankind by Harald Szeemann and Milliken Gallery, Stockholm.

Siltberg’s works consists of researches within the broad field of human existence where an interest in psychological driving forces like willpower and cognitive needs is merged with physical challenges and bodily reconstructions. This is indicative of Lars Siltbergs analytic approach, his way of choosing a subject and studying it within the parameters of a strictly defined set of circumstances.

His method has been called artificial empiricism. The subject can be seen as the phenomenology of experience – the way in which we engage with the world through our senses. In Siltbergs work such an equilibrium can exist for just a fleeting moment. Whatever synthesis the artists aims for, his artificiall constructs cannot retain it. This gives his work the character of an infinite struggle. In the end this might be the best way of approaching it: as an attempt to investigate a set of empricial ”What if?” – questions imagined by the artist. After all, empiricism can be the method of advanced scientific (and in this case artistic) research – as well as the most basic form of human interaction with the world.

/Frans Josef Pettersson 2004