FOS - One Language Traveller
with a contribution by Krüger & Pardeller
One Language Traveller was a travel through membranes, tents, grids and a strange factory. There were machines and curiosities, sound and street lamps, warped floors and a mysterious soap production.
The Danish artist FOS's work combined sculpture, design and architecture in an aesthetic and idea-based hybrid form, which he calls "social design." He is interested in how our social relations and our physical environment mutually influence each other. His works provide a framework for social opportunities - meetings, activities, experiences and insights. Conversely, the physical space becomes meaningful only through the social activities taking place in them.
On your way through One Language Traveller, you constantly encounted evidence and elements that pointed back to earlier meanings yet forward to upcoming parts and meanings. In the tent space you passed display cases with objects that seemed carefully collected according to specific, but unknown criteria. A machine recirculated a ball and dissolved the separation between production and product. In a blue tent, you went over a clay floor and past a clay sculpture shaped like a steep mountain.
At the other end of the installation you reencounted a clay mountain landscape. On top of this hill, a factory produced soaps, shaped like the very first "designed" objects, namely arrowheads and flint axes. In another tent the sound of your own footsteps was recorded and sent scrambled out through the speakers somewhere else in the installation. Sophisticated street lights marked a zigzag route through the space and connected the installation. The route led the traveler through enormous membranes to other areas and through a grid-like structure, with a sign system of symbols.
A social space
FOS insists that art can be an alternative to the systems that normally regulate our behavior and social interaction. His own projects function as a complex circuit of material, ideas, objects, symbols, and situations.
The project forms a strange and complex narrative that constantly spring up, decompose and transform, but which also reach back to earlier stages. In this way, the same elements constantly generate new meanings, which adds to the previous meanings in an increasingly bigger and more widespread pattern- like language does.
FOS believes that this continued accumulation of communication produces a sharpened awareness of and basis for a different, common social situation. And, important to him, this reflection is facilitated by one's own physical movement in and out of the installation space.
According to FOS, “artists are the last free agency in our society." He believes that art can create a space that allows for other experiences, other acts and maybe even other ways of thinking.
This work was a crumpled and strange journey in which some of these alternative models maybe took place, while exceeding the thresholds between the installation's various zones, between art and architecture, between inside and outside, between interaction and observation. All the time you had to translate one system to another in a continuous process that still gathered new information and insights.
Krüger & Pardeller
FOS often works closely with other artists and integrates this collective process in his works. The Austrian-Italian artist group Krüger & Pardeller contributed to One Language Traveller including a machine in the black tent and collaborated closely with FOS on the soap factory and the aluminium gate. Like FOS, Krüger & Pardeller is interested in how art can challenge and intervene in social and functional spheres.