Norman White: Helpless Robot, 1987 - 2002, Stahl, Sperrholz, Computer, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queens University, Kingston, Ontario
Exhibition | 18.09.2009 - 7.11.2009

Norman White

we fix toasters | Preisträger des d.velop digital art award [ddaa] 2008
You are suddenly spoken to by a work of art in the exhibition space: “Excuse me . . . have you got a moment?” A friendly introduction, but you first have to accept the fact that an abstract wooden sculpture on an iron stand is talking to you. “Could you turn me just a bit to the right?” the work continues. You now notice the four handles on the wood and the movable lower part of the sculpture. You can turn it around its own axis. Why shouldn’t you want to respond? You move the upper part in the requested direction. “No! Not that way. The other way!” the work barks, although you did precisely what you were asked to do.

Do you have to let yourself be bossed around by this thing? You may still be so confused by its mood that you obey and turn it in the other direction. Or you don’t put up with it and walk away. Or you want to see how it reacts and deliberately ignore its anger and its commands. The work of art will in any case provoke a reaction, based on which you again change your own behavior. It is an intelligent work and is typical of the machines that the Canadian artist Norman White (*1938) designs, builds, and programs.

In 2008, White received the d.velop digital art award [ddaa] for his oeuvre. This prize is given to an artist for his or her oeuvre in the area of digital art on a regular basis by the Kunsthalle Bremen in cooperation with d.velop AG, Gescher, as benefactor; the Digital Art Museum [DAM], Berlin, as organizer; and sponsors Hauptpharma AG, Berlin, and kommunikation lohnzich, Münster. It is followed up by an exhibition and a catalogue. Because the Kunsthalle Bremen is currently being modified, this year the exhibition is taking place at the Weserburg | Museum für moderne Kunst, Bremen. Norman White is the third artist to receive the award. His work demonstrates the use of the computer as a “brain” for complex operations in machines whose second and visible level are electronic and mechanical components.

In cooperation with the Kunsthalle Bremen.

With the kind support of

www.dam.org


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Norman White

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