Nowhere, rhizomatic sculpture


To be born, grow up and die. All in three weeks. This is the vital cycle of Nowhere, electronic landscape conceived by Ralf Baecker. It’s a net project, based on a search engine results (a concept originally developed here and later experimented also in Emailerosion). In Nowhere the user does his searches on the German Metager. For every accomplished search a mechanical arm is activated, eroding a block 75x75x10 cm made out of PU Foam, that can be seen in a window on the website. Depending on the time spent to index the data, the arm’s eroding movement will be slower or faster. Rivers, canyons, valleys… the created topography exists only for the research time period. The simultaneity of the different connections and the alternation of day and night (that usually corresponds to a major or minor net access) influences the transformation rate. The opportunity to noticeably modify a sculpture that’s visible online only enhances the relationship between the contemporary artistic expressions evolutions and the virtual reality potential. In this case the space / object is transformed in a space / image. The interaction and man / work reaction can be tuned and manipulated without physical, temporal or representative limits. The work assumes a rhizomatic character, that is to say a network of polymorphic entities with different access points. This is the result of an interaction amongst heterogeneous elements, developing an internal non-hierarchical communication, or in other words the path mapped out with the connected users’ cognitive links.

Francesca Tomassini