RATIO / FATA MORGANA, 2016, Videoinstallation
The title of this computer generated video worl includes the reference to the latin based term of ratio as a reference of reason, but even more to the rapport between two sizes, in this case the reference to the relationship of the viewer to the virtuell size of the video projection. When a person enters the room, he is faced with a larger than life projected image of a human figure on the opposite wall, resembling a mirage. This mirage is connected in a particular way to the reality of the viewer. Every move the person makes, gets recorded by sensors and mirrored into the projected virtuell space. Doing this, the viewer experiences a paradox. The nearer the person approaches the projection, the farther it moves away, until it finally, when it seem within reach, disappears into the void.
Rotation II, 2017, Installation
Rotation II, same as Rotation I, explores the reception of visuell patterns and its resulting processes of perception and awareness. As an installation in its space the work alternates deliberately between a sculptural object and a technical apparatus. Metallic cylinders are placed evenly spaced on a ring, emanating light impulses. The succession of these light signals does not follow a recognizable pattern, there is no guessing where the next light impulse will occur. The recipent finds himself thrown back into the position of an external observer, uncapable of discovering the inner working of this black box system. Questions arise as to the terms and determinability of information codes as well as their accidental nature. In light of the clear formal layout of this work, there still occur manifestations of essentiell opposites and an ambivalent nature, as the materiality and immobility of the construction versus the immaterial character of the random light manifestations. Rotation II therefore explores the relationship and divergent between a graspable reality and the phenomena of appearances.
PENDULUM, 2013, Videoinstallation
Thomas Lüer´s Realtime-Videoinstallation “Pendulum” shows the forward and backward swing of a pendulum within an empty space, and it´s interaction with the viewers presence and its reactions. As the pendulum swings back, the viewer sees himself from the front. As it reaches it´s peak and swings forth, the “Mirror”-image surprisingly flips to the viewers back. Even if the projected pendulum seems to physically behave as it´s Foucault counterpart, it does become a vehicle, a filmed metaphor,a transition for other images. Lüer avails himself of the association with painted mirrors, such as can be found in the Vanitas stillife of Pieter Claesz, depicting a room within a room, which misleads the viewer into believing he could grasp the “Background” behind the mirror. The hypnotizing effect of Thomas Lüer´s “Pendulum” does not mean to point towards the mechanisms of selfreflection,, but is staging the most disturbing way in which our view of the world and simulation in our contemporary society, interlock as a “program”, from which one can only escape by leaving the room.
SINGLE CHANNEL, 2013, Installation
A numbers station is a type of shortwave radio station characterized by unusual broadcasts, reading out lists of numbers. It has long been speculated, and was argued in court in one case, that these stations operate as a simple and foolproof method for government agencies to communicate with spies working undercover. The messages are encrypted with a one-time pad, to avoid any risk of decryption by the enemy… Following the example of the real number stations, a number between „0“ and „9“ appears in short order and seemingly at random within a number group of five digits. This specific number group will be repeated three times in a row, before moving to its next variation.The work „single channel“ relies on a projection in public space, which Conceptually replaces the public medium radio… The pedestrians become aware of an attraction, which seemingly does not disclose ist background or meaning. The viewer experiences the unpredictability and arbitrariness, as well as the failure to grasp a familiar regularity within those random patterns.
REINRAUM II, 2013, Videoinstallation
What we see is a wall-filling, almost limitless projection of cold, shiny chrome surfaces, within an undefinable engine room, floating by in calm, slow takes. The light reflects partially in cross fading, as the view sweeps into deep unknown expanses. The images are captured in extreme closeup and make it difficult for the viewer to classify their size… In the course of this, they evoke associations within the imagery of science fiction, as it is contained in our collective recollection. The intention is not to cause an overwhelming medial input, but to disrupt the viewers sense of space and demonstrate the incompatibility of real and unreal imagery… The reflexive potential of this work lies within the tension between immersion and dissociation. As with all Lüer´s videos, “Reinraum “is essentially a study about the power and magic in audio visuall media.
HELIX, 2012, Installation
„Helix“ revolves around the principal questions concerning the production and reception of images as based on the analogical Technique of image reproduction from the 1930`s. An image is mirrored partially onto a screen, deriving from the reflexion of a rotating reflective helix. Our perception than adds it back into a whole image again. Thomas Lüer´s extensive sculpture in its twisting, spiraling form, as well as it´s reflective surfaces, is a reference to this technique, but at the same time decisively deviates from it. Firstly Lüer´s sculpture is motionless, which means, it does not rotate at all, secondly there is no projected beam of light onto the reflective surfaces… A crucial part of this work is its presence in the space, which it fills out almost completely, reducing it to an enveloping box. The viewer is denied entry and the possibility to see the backside of the sculpture, therefore making him an “outsider”, his view restricted to the reflective front of the sculpture.
SHIFT, 2011, Videoinstallation
We see a sequence of approx. 9 minutes, in which a man plunges in free fall through a vertical space and – just before he touches the ground – miraculously „flies“ back upwards. With the free fall, „Shift“ represents one of the most frequently used cinematic motifs of motion. The reduction of colors to black and white serves to emphasize the emblematic character of the situation. The rather slow motion of the sequence allows the viewer to closely follow the meticulously staged motif. This free fall into empty space and the subsequent rising are not mere repetition, but actually a loop consisting of eight different settings. Eight time in a row, we witness this scene, each time in a slightly different variation. The „shifting“ illustrates the deviation variants of the scene, while referring to the common cinematic practice of producing numerous takes of one and the same scene. There are no indications as to where this fall could be taken place, bei t from a bridge, a roof or a train. By extracting the scene from ist possible context, a poetic constant is revealed that constitutes the basis of all filmmaking: fiction as a „hand-made“ construction.
SPIN, 2010, Videoinstallation
The pictures filmed for this installation derive from experiments in cognitive science. In many of these experiments with animals, the research is concerned with their capability to learn how to navigate in unknown territory. The faster they learn orientation within a maze, the better their grades… In the videoinstallation “Spin”, the viewer is first confronted with fast moving images of spinning hallways, interrupted by short glimpses of two moving persons. The movements are too fast for our brain to process actual details. Suddenly the mode slows down considerably and the same images can be seen in a slower time stretch, only to accelerate again. This permanent change between the projected speed leads to a changed image perception – therefore making the viewer not only a witness of a documented past, but also of a present time phenomenon, it´s control through an “invisible hand”.
ZERO, 2010, Installation
Thomas Lüer’s installation „Zero“ is based on the interplay between the pictoral surface and the space of action and light, and thus comes quite close to a „theatrical“ spatial experience…For the duration of the exhibition, the gallery space remained closed… passers-by could examine the installation through the large front windows. The ideal situation fort his was, of course, the classical cinema or theatre situation: at night, when the „house“ (the forecourt of the gallery) was lying in the dark… On the right side of the gallery space, for example, the onlooker sees the three-dimensional and round shaped, free floating white form, reminding of a partially wall enclosed racetrack. This impression is supported by a video projection on another gallery wall, with a point-of-view-shot, it depicts a subject trying to master the circular course in slow motion, while restlessly seeking protection in the tunnel- like segments of the track. One suspects to have encountered a test-run, in which the computers and other equipement have already been shut off, and the relevant context and codes thus slipping from the grasp of the „ethnologist“ in front of the gallery window. Technical and semiotic matter, media and symbolism, all are being interfaced to shape a physical experience of space.
SCHLÄFER/SLEEPERS, 2008, Videoinstallation
The video „Sleeper“ features pictures that were taken with an infrared camera in a sleep laboratory. The image section is reduced to the facial area, the facial muscles are in a fully relaxed state, except for the eye muscles. The sleepers are in the so -called REM sleep, a phase of sleep characterized by rapid eye movements. Experiences of the wake phase are processed and the brain is „cleansed“ of superfluous information. The observer becomes a witness of an inner process, the scope of which, however, remains unrevealed. Which inner pictures a certain eye movement may evoke, is not to be detected. At the same time, a nearly voyeuristic situation arises, bestowing on the viewer feelings of shyness, suspense and curiosity. Watching someone in his sleep is normally reserved to the intimacy of private spaces. Aside from this clash between public and private space charactarizing many of Lüer’s works, the title refers to another interpretative level – a construal, which, since 11th September 2001, has permanently inscribed itself into the collective memory of the western world. The automatism, by which the word „sleeper“ at once rouses associations of (yet) inactive terrorist cells, mirrors the ambivalence of how we tend to interlink media and private realms.