War of the Corners
At a time when populist and nationalist vocabularies have again re-surfaced, Torsten Lauschmann's "War of the Corners" is a series of ambitious works which interact with and reframe referents and resources from high and low culture, thus drawing together abstraction, humour, politics and art.
Simulacrum of materials, images and motion are presented and sequenced to question the fantasy of posthumanism and technological positivism.
Taking its title from a war of words that broke out in 18th century Paris when an elitist French opera had to make way for a sudden wave of populist Italian opera, War of the Corners reflects the artist’s concerns at a time when populist and nationalist vocabularies have again re-surfaced.
War of the Corners combines video projections, light, sound and sculptural instruments that have been programmed and automated to create a fictitious post-human place of worship. Torsten uses these materials, images and motion to speculate and reflect on his world's absence of toil, suffering and pain – questioning the fantasy of posthumanism and technological positivism.
Torsten Lauschmann's art is notable for its innovative and idiosyncratic approach across a range of formats including video, photography, sound, online projects, performance and installation. He is interested in the earliest forms of magical and cinematic entertainment, as well as the latest technological advances. He tweaks the mechanics of both digital and analogue technologies, producing works that explore our relationship with machines, as well as our understanding of the moving image and illusion. Made using a range of materials, found objects and technological processes, his works defy categorisation and deliberately avoid the notion of a signature style or appearance. Instead, Lauschmann is interested in delving into the fundamentals of life and human nature - resulting in artworks that range from the melancholic, poetic and romantic, to the theoretical and the absurd.
This exhibition presented a new and extended composition of audio shown at Glasgow School of Art during Glasgow International 2008.
War of the Corners can be seen as a three-dimensional, time-based composition where all of the different elements are choreographed in advance, so that the movement of objects and light are synced to the same video, breaking down the boundary between the virtual space and physical objects.
I’m interested in the disconnect between technology and the socio-economic wider awareness of how technology functions in society. For this exhibition, I wanted to imagine what a post-human space could look like in a future where we had overcome pain or even eradicated death. I imagined how the technologies we use now to manage our health would look in this futuristic society, and tried to create a window into this world. Demystifying technology is a theme that recurs in my work, partly because I feel like artists should feel free to claim new technologies as their own and not impose artificial boundaries.