Human Fabrication is an audio visual installation on the past, present and future of work with its challenges and opportunities. The focus is on increasing digitalization and the accompanying optimization of work and introspection.
The »Human Fabrication« shows the history of work in three stages. The past, in particular the industrial age, the beginnings of the digital age until today, as well as a possible future. The change in the relationship between employer and employee and the increasing digitalization, which is related to the pressure to become more flexible. In the past, employees were closely monitored by their superiors. The pressure today comes more from one's own self. We monitor and reflect our behavior, become more and more effective. We continue to educate ourselves and at the same time feed machines with data that learn from us. In order to keep up, we ourselves become a machine.
This is how we take up the theme in our design: You can see the three different time periods in the room of the small locksmith's shop of the
Ziegelei Museum, distributed. The supervision of the employer is shown in the past via a large pair of eyes. In the present eyes are increasingly visible, which are produced by the workers. Also in the future the surveillance is shown by many eyes and cameras. In the course of the projection, which loops every four minutes, they multiply and there is a feeling of confinement for the visitors present. Also visualized are the migrant workers of the past, who migrate to the present as digital nomads. In the future, they will emerge as robots that will replace the workers. Humans, however, are not quite so easily displaced and assemble themselves from robot parts to form a cyborg.
This important topic is presented as humorously as possible in order to reach a broad target group. The animations are aimed primarily at families with children, while the theme appeals more to adults. A combination of William Kentridge and the exaggerated, surrealistic animations of Monty Phyton was created for this purpose. In addition, the work »Mecaniques Discursives« by Anti VJ, with the Rube Goldberg machine provides an important source of inspiration. We are three different designers - and that should also be visible. Thus, diverse illustration and animation styles come together in a collage-like manner. You can see animated vector drawings, stopmotion, drawn frame-by-frame animations as well as animations from found footage image snippets. Stop motion animations can be found in the past part, in the present the collage figures from picture snippets predominate while in the future part mainly the rather smooth vector animations are used. However, several animation techniques always occur in each time. The animations are adapted to the space as much as possible. Projected machines are located on the existing lines and drill holes in the wall merge with animated screw parts. The locksmith's shop appears in a new light and harmonizes with the projection.
The Process
The brief for the project, which was created as part of a seminar for the Festival FUTUR21, was to visualize the future of work. The idea for the concept was born during the first visit to the museum. After inspecting the place, it was immediately clear to us that we would like to work in the old locksmith's shop. We liked the charm of the many old tools, there is something to discover everywhere. Exactly this feeling of desire to discover the place we wanted to reflect in our installation.
Each of us immediately had many ideas. For the first rehearsal we ran William Kentridge's »Shadow Procession« over the lines and let the cabinet live with arms. Quickly came the idea to work collage-like and exaggerated to bring our many different thoughts together.
The Exhibition
Photo: Pascal Mächtlen
Photo: Pascal Mächtlen
Photo: Pascal Mächtlen
Photo: Pascal Mächtlen
Photo: Pascal Mächtlen
Photo: Pascal Mächtlen
Photo: Pascal Mächtlen
Photo: Pascal Mächtlen

Location: LWL Industriemuseum Ziegelei Lage, Germany
Occasion: LWL/LVR Festival FUTUR21, Exhibition »Perpetuum mobile« of the University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld
Animation: four minute loop
Technical specifications: four projectors, ca. 22 m² room size, ceiling hight ca. 3,70 m
Planning time: October 2021 –January 2022
Team: Laura Hiebert, Finja Salzwedel, Lian Steputat (alphabetical)
Role: Group Leader, organisation, concept, illustration, animation, technical implementation, room staging and lighting
Programs used: Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro, Fresco, MadMapper
Sounddesign: Dennis Jegel
Supervisor: Prof. Claudia Rohrmoser, Benjamin Hohnheiser
Exhibition: March 2022

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