table, chair, TFT display, computer, 2000

In 1925, Freud wrote a text that compares the faculty of memory to a child's toy known as a Wunderblock. It consists of a wax slab stretched with cellophane, upon which a text may be inscribed, and just as readily erased by lifting the cellophane layer up and away from the wax slab.

In contrast to Freud's model, in which the pressure of the act of inscription onto the cellophane surface continues in the direction of the underlying layer of wax, in 'The Wunderblock', the original selection and entry of data has been concluded in the past. The movement originates from ROM and is held in RAM, before travelling up towards the surface.

Quite independently of our own states of presence or absence, the installation searches and inscribes autonomously. One has the impression that the underlying textual sources can never be perceived in their entirety. Because the many texts fragments are inscribed and erased simultaneously, one can read a given fragment only with difficulty before it vanishes. The model of memory demonstrated here is at once highly unstable, fragmentary, incomplete, perishable and ephemeral.

The sentence fragments appearing and disappearing on the screen describe a process of finding and loss, safeguarding and destruction.

Texts from: Sigmund Freud, Notiz über den `Wunderblock', Wien 1925; A Glossary for Archivists, The Society of American Archivists, Chicago 1992
Software: Alexandr Krestovskij
Exhibited:
Galerie Anselm Dreher, 2000
Art Forum, Berlin, 2000
Gemäldegalerie, 2001
Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken, 2003
Kunstverein Hannover, 2003
Jewish Museum, Frankfurt am Main, 2005

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