Andreas Marti ; We Were Here (2014)

Andreas Marti: In the piece Testing a test of tests (2013), the work was very much connected to its surroundings, and in particular to an adjacent motor wheel located in the building. The aim was to follow the idea inherent to this wheel, to adapt to its mechanic; and then to install a new type of mechanic. The mechanical devices I am developing are rooted in an ancient technology, historically situated prior to the high-tech mechanical productions that brought us objects such as watches. It reflects on a time when people used energy power such as that of water machines. Therefore my approach has been to make installations based on bricolage, and on a form of reduced machinery, which still works, but is really archaic and based on archaic principles and physics.

Gabriel Gee: The pieces also produce material outcome, tangible aesthetics in the form of drawings.

Andreas Marti: The machines produce drawings, on the floor for instance, as well as wall drawings, I have used holes where a drill is drilling in pigments, in this test of a test installation, letting the pigments fall down. The machine in the end is working for me.

Gabriel Gee: It is an extension of the hand transformed into a mechanical device.

Andreas Marti: Yes, you make the machine, and then take a step back and let it work. I am using templates, it’s not like high technical drawings by hand. Yet the machine becomes independent.

GG: In a number of pieces, you actively engage with the work, you have to be present, there is an aspect of experimentation, and performance.

AM: Some of these works really need my presence and my attention, when I am using a torch and gas to heat a metal tube. But it is a parallel situation to that of the machines, as it’s based on the physical reaction of material, and the expansion of iron by heating it up, and cooling down. It goes back to the first situation. I am interested in bending the iron without using power, just based on a physical reaction.

GG: There is still a thin trace, a remnant of that physical change at the end. Is it where one can locate the artistic intervention?

AM: This little gap, this difference is interesting, it looks more or less the same, but it is not. Something happened but you can’t see a lot.