Artist-programmer Ralf Baecker who is currently colaborating with V2 Rotterdam, has 2007 realized a work i can and will not forget, and therefore has its place in this archive-collection. Rechnender Raum (Calculating Space) is a lightweight sculpture made of sticks, strings and small weights; at the same time, it is a fully functional, logically precise neural network.
When the machine starts up, it tries to resolve spatial differences in its mechanical logical structure. Every attempt, however, generates new variations, capturing the machine in an infinite contemplative loop. Thanks to its strictly geometrical and intricate construction, the observer is able to track the processing logic in its entirety from any point around the machine. The visibility of the machine’s core is reinforced by the unusual distribution of its components: a nine-angled architectural body forms a torus. In contrast to the ordinary alignment of a hidden logic and an external user-facing display, here the geometric basis is turned inside out.
The core of the machine, with all its computational elements, is shifted outward to the surface, while the “display” showing the results of the operations is displaced to the heart of the system. Without either depending on or requesting interaction, the machine turns away from the visitor and carries out its computations for itself alone.
Ralf Becker, Rechnender Raum