The sculpture facing the Spreebogen (the arc of the River Spree) on the southern forecourt of the Futurium is reminiscent of a circus act whose dimensions have been dramatically enlarged. The rotating “plate” balancing on a rod only by means of the dynamism and virtuosity of its turning motion produces a simple image that viewers understand intuitively at first glance, no matter their descent and age.
The sculpture’s inherent simultaneity of stability and instability thereby triggers reflections on a multitude of observations and questions about and interpretations of our existence in the present and future: astonishment at the dynamic complexity of the world and our abilities to levitate objects of overwhelming size. The unease felt in the face of a possible collapse of many things that we try to keep up in the air simultaneously and lastingly. The quiet grace, beauty, and elegance of the endless, slightly wobbling circular motion. Worry about processes that could already, unnoticed, wobble and soon go out of control. Confidence in the lasting inventiveness of our society. Anxiety about the promise that technical innovation can solve problems. Or pure joy in childlike play…
The juxtaposition of various levels and strands of meaning, supplemented by the willful behavior of the installation, which oscillates between phases of standstill and various figures of movement, leaves the viewer enough scope for his own associative access to the kinetic work. It offers the possibility to become a catalyst of processes and questions that can be consciously or unconsciously evoked by the expectations of or experiences with a visit to the exhibitions in the Futurium.
The installation thereby becomes an active, but at the same time silent commentator of the building.
CONSTRUCTION AND PRINCIPLE OF MOVEMENT
The sculpture consists of two components: a discus ring with a diameter of 3.7 meters and a conically tapered and tilted steel mast, on whose tip the discus ring is hung on a hinge joint at a height of about 13.5 meters. When at rest or slowly moving, the ring hangs down from a support element. In operation, the mast is set in vertical rotation by an electric motor sunk into the ground. When the work turns slowly, the appearance of the installation does not change yet. At a higher speed, the increasing centrifugal forces lift the discus ring out of its lower bearing and keep it in a stable, slightly wobbling, horizontal position. If the mast’s rotational motion is slowed, the ring sinks correspondingly. Phases of different activity alternate over the course of the day.
ART IN PUBLIC SPACE COMPETITION
In June 2015, an open Art in public space competition was announced for the Bundesanstalt für Immobilienaufgaben (Institute of Federal Real Estate – BImA). In the first phase, 92 artists from Germany applied to take part. Desired was an installation that could “support the aim of the institution and underscore the impression of a visionary, forward-looking Germany”. In a second phase with 10 remaining artists in March 2016, the Berlin artists’ group realities:united was able to convince the jury with its proposal for a kinetic sculpture.
PRODUCTION OF THE INSTALLATION
The technical planning, production, and erection of the installation was carried out by the MAX STREICHER GmbH & Co. KG aA (Deggendorf).
As a discussion and exhibition site for “future-oriented, scientific, and technical developments of national and international significance”, the Futurium, designed by the Berlin architecs Richter Musikowski, will open in September 2019 and begin operation. Under the direction and substantive management of Dr. Stefan Brandt, a “site for interdisciplinary and cross-institutional work” is to emerge in the heart of Berlin.