The Image Fulgurator & the Perpetual Storytelling Apparatus
The work of German artist Julius von Bismarck is a combination of radical ideas, technological contrivance and conceptual elegance. At Impakt, he presented the widely applauded Image Fulgurator, a machine which physically manipulates photographs of both journalists and tourists alike. Exactly at the moment the other person flashes the camera, the Image Fulgurator projects an emblem on the person or object being photographed by others, resulting in a manipulation which is only visible on the photo itself afterwards. During his speech in Berlin, Obama, for instance, was depicted in several photographs with the projection of a cross on the podium from which he delivered his speech. Obama was thus tagged as Messiah in this simultaneous hacking of public and media space.
Next to the Image Fulgurator, he presented The Perpetual Storytelling Apparatus, a computer controlled drawing device which converts text into drawings, thus illustrating a never-ending story on the basis of patent drawings. The machine’s vocabulary? An online database which goes back to the first patents from 1790, comprising 7.5 million patents connected by means of 22 million reference terms and keywords. These new visual connections result in amazing storylines and unexpected insights into the zeitgeist with regard to technological developments in society.