//////////fur////: *OIS* One-way Interaction Sculpture
For AOYS, Tilman Reiff and Volker Morawe have developed an ironic approach to the hitherto unfulfilled promise of digital communication. With simple yet nonetheless fascinating means, »*OIS* One-way Interaction Sculpture« (2013) directs the gaze to the basis of our possibilities for understanding. This experimental set-up demystifies the idea of a possible multiple simultaneous exchange by means of dual one-dimensionality.
A simple installation comprising a 60-watt light bulb and a light switch is placed in the ZKM Foyer. An internet representation displays the status and enables control. The flow of electricity to the filament is regulated by a two-way switch, which functions, however, in only one direction each time. Whereas the light can only be switched on, on the web page, it can only be switched off on-site at the ZKM and at a partner installation at the Goethe Institute in Montréal.
The work is reminiscent of Claude E. Shannon‘s »Ultimate Machine,« a small box with a switch, which immediately switches itself off after operation by way of a hand from within the box. Whereas, with Shannon, only the box is present as an obstinate counterpart, in the case of *OIS*, a further authority, namely, the user, is added. The relationship between internet user and on-site actor can be symbolically transferred to the utopias of freely circulating information and multilateral cooperation. Has the internet really made our society more communicative, or even improved? *OIS* figuratively questions the services of the supposedly helpful internet of things, or the claim of a free, democratic connection of humans in the social media molochs. The work facilitates the experience of a never occurring connection between switching on and off.
*OIS* additionally plays with the three letters that represent Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS. Assuming that heads-up displays, such as Google Glass, Smartphones, Smart watches, and tablets perfectly epitomize and communicate multiple communication, the extension of the senses and thought, as well as augmented sociability through their marketing, then the title of //////////fur////'s work reads as an ironic commentary on the myth of such telecommunications symbols, which are contemporary icons. The manufacturers of these devices collaborate, perhaps, with the secret services, and are in this sense by no means as democratic as they would like consumers to believe.