Bit.Flow (DE)

2004-2006
Installation -Stainless Steel, Pumps, Valves, Tubes, Custom Liquids, Custom Software, Electronics
Julius Popp

 

According to ancient mythology a monster known as the minotaur lived on the island of Crete. King Minos ordered a labyrinth to be built for the minotaur. The Athenians had to offer him human sacrifices, until Ariadne gave a ball of thread, “Ariadne’s thread”, to the ancient hero Theseus. He entered the labyrinth, killed the minotaur, and found his way back out with the help of the unrolled thread.

BIT.FLOW represents a visual and conceptional association to this ancient myth, in which the alleged chaos (the labyrinth appeared to the Athenians as a con- fusing structure of twisted paths) is defeated by unequivocal order. At the same time BIT.FLOW is concerned with an issue raised by French philosopher Michel Foucault in his interpretation of the ancient myth: What would happen if Ariadne’s thread would be irrevocably torn apart?

Navigation through the modern world is no longer linear, the thread cannot serve as a model for its description. In BIT.FLOW dozens of tiny pieces of the metaphorical “red thread” constitute a chaotic swarm of particles or bits, the smallest elements of information. At a certain point, they are unexpectedly recombined in the order of Ariadne’s thread and allow for perception. The signs produced by BIT. FLOW move through the tube in a particular order from beginning to end. But we can only recognise and perceive this bulk of information at particular times, from certain perspectives, as letters – a complex interplay: order in chaos – chaos in order.

 

Artist bio:

Based in Leipzig, Germany, Julius Popp is known for his interdisciplinary works in which art and science converge.  Popp focuses on the basic aspects that underpin intricate interrelationships among humans, machines and nature – all while using “software intelligence” that remains hidden from an observer’s view. Popp has received numerous international awards for his work, and has shown in notable exhibitions for Example at Moma in New York, at the Moscow Biennale, the Kunsthalle in Vienna and Art basel Unlimited.