Common Datum at the Museum of Glass

SEPTEMBER 26, 2021 — FALL 2022

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Common Datum is an environmentally reactive, hygroscopic sculpture. A series of suspended 3D printed vessels continuously absorb the humidity in the meticulously environmentally controlled exhibition space. This humidity stems from the visitors. It is generated through their breath and the conversations they have. The process of filtering this humidity is based on maximizing surface area in lamellae-like 3D printed constructs – condensers -, and through a chemical hygroscopic substance attracting the water from the air. Slowly each 3D printed condenser accumulates water. Upon saturation, it drips along a series of threads drips into three glass volumes, mirroring the murmurs of conversation around the artwork. Without witnesses, in silence, the artworks seize to produce water. It stops, becomes inanimate without visitors, and only restarts when visitors, humidity, can be traced in the vicinity of the artwork.

The work explores the notion of reifying invisible forces, condensing the invisible traces of our presence as a physical element, accumulating the spoken memory of a place – participatory phenomenon -, into a solid form. The work articulates a confluence between traditional and digital craft in the context of environmental art. The articulation of such techne, the condensation, and poiesis, the memory, is a timeless and constant problem of any craftsmanship and one, “…in which Sublimation and Reification act as techne and the methods of Amalgamation/ Augmentation as poiesis.” (Klein, 2018) The medium is the site of an operational synthesis; a confluence of techniques and concepts so symbiotically intertwined that they cannot, and should not, be hierarchised one beneath the other.

link to the Exhibition

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Studio Tobias Klein is a practice operating in the ‘between’ of architecture; across the fields of art, installation, experimental design, interactivity, and sculpture.

Trained internationally as an architect, the work of Tobias Klein maintains a fascination with the construct of space, while questioning the modern image of its understanding, instigating a re-positioning between embodiment, perception and projection. The works constantly evolve between static and dynamic models, shifting from objects to installations and design, prospecting new visual territories in the field of narrated embodied space.

The work of the practice is linked to academic research at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong where Tobias Klein holds the position of Associate Professor. For inquiries regarding internships or Ph.D. research positions, please email: ktobias (at) cityu (dot) edu (dot) hk

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