Digital Schlaraffen Land (Edition cybernetic ball pit)

2024 | 50.000 modified plasticdice, black box | 350 x 350 x 30 cm

The work “Digital Schlauraffen Land” is a cybernetic “ball pit” offering unlimited possibilities analogous to the land of milk and honey. The work consists of 50,000 dice with zeros and ones, so-called bits, the basic unit of the digital. The 50,000 bits enable 2 to the power of 50,000 combinations, a number so large that it is almost impossible to visualize.

However, this impossibility becomes immediately tangible here as a “virtual reality” in its literal form. The work shows the logic and variety of options of digital technology using data to create representations of everything and everyone. With a binary-numerical representation of the world, literally everything can be transformed into pure numerical shapes, into algebraic structures of zeros and ones, the grammar of the digital.

What is specific about the digital is its unspecific character and almost ubiquitous form – previously reserved only for the presence of gods and the use of writing. In the case of “Digital Schlaraffen Land” an incredible amount of information with an infinite capacity for recombination is on offer. The same technology, zeros and ones, can produce and control the most diverse things; it is even more translatable than f.e. language, into almost any situation.

Most data is invisibly hidden in the “black boxes” of the devices. When they becomes visible they might cause discomfort, for example, in the form of revelations about our preferences and behaviour. However, here in the digital land of milk and honey or Schlauraffen Land, comfort is paramount. It allows to play endlessly with the possibilities and write data without any limits.


Decoding the Black Box, Galerie Stadt Sindelfingen, DE, 2024

Photos: Frank Kleinbach & Wolfgang Günzel ©Galerie Stadt Sindelfingen