The Swiss artist Pe Lang creates entire (sound) spaces in his minimalist, kinetic installations. These originate from his occupation with the laws of physics, which he investigates, and with experimental music. The small-format machine Positioning System VI – Falling Objects (2013) is the result of a series of the artist’s physical experiments on the surface tension of water. A relatively large, electronically controlled pipette filled with water is mounted above a small, dark platform, ready to dispense a square of 21 × 21 water drops onto it. The slow and quiet whirring of the high-precision water pump’s mechanical movement is audible throughout, interrupted only when the 21 rows of 21 drops are systematically dispensed with energetic-sounding precise staccato clicks. The acoustic presence of the machinery opens up a specific sound space for the duration of the test arrangement. The water droplets are distributed one by one in even and transient matrix onto the dark base, which is coated with a water-repellent, hydrophobic material. As a result, the water’s surface tension causes them to immediately contract into perfect little spheres that glitteringly balance where they were placed until they have evaporated after about five hours, upon which the pipette starts working again.
As in all Lang’s works, which, his series of Falling Objects as well as his series of Moving Objects, the arrangements are always clearly visible, nothing is hidden. Nevertheless, these installations develop an intrinsic magical thrall – perhaps precisely because art in real time offers us a particularly strong and poetic position in post-digital art.
(Text: Bettina Back)
Born 1974 in Sursee, lives and works in Switzerland.
Pe Lang is known for creating minimal kinetic artworks and installations throughout Europe, Asia, and North America.
In a constant process of gaining and losing control, Lang‘s kinetic installation engages a refined and focused exploration of interaction between the kinetic, the visual and the sonic.
In 2007, Lang received a one year research residency fellowship at the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology CSEM. Lang was twice honored with the prestigious swiss art award (2009 and 2010). Among other awards, Lang received the mediaprojects award in 2005, 2008 and 2011 from the Swiss Federal Department of Culture.