Tanganyika: Al-Khwārizmī, Burton, Assange
susceptive interpassive object by Paweł Janicki

Tanganyika: Al-Khwārizmī, Burton, Assange @ "The Matter of Code" exhibition

There is a small desk lamp on the table and a metal mug placed under the lamp. Inside the mug are plastic keys removed from the computer keyboard and old electric heater. The table top also has "scratched" (in the style of prison inscriptions on the walls and furniture) a web address that recipients can enter into their mobile device.

After entering the web address in the device, its screen begins to pulsate with steady light - synchronously with the lamp standing on the table, which also begins to flash with light when it detects at least one recipient (someone who has loaded the website on their device). The device also emits a sound. If there are more recipients in the installation space using their mobile devices, their light and sound pulses remain synchronized, creating a momentary, intimate audio and light environment around the table. At the same time presence of recipients turns on the power supply to the heater, which begins to melt the keys - the keys slowly dissolve into a uniform mass devoid of both internal distinctions and meanings.

The installation idea is a synthesis of several threads: the story leading to the recent arrest of Julian Assange of some elements of the life of Richard Francis Burton (freethinker, orientalist, linguist and swordsman, the first European who reached Lake Tanganyika, translator of "Arab Nights" into languages European and the author of the original poetic text "The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî" [written of course under the pseudonym Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî]); and the scientific achievements of Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi (a Persian mathematician from whose name the word "algorithm" comes from). The installation deals with functioning in isolation, in contrast to the mainstream and the social status quo (and even about the social gag imposed on individuality), as well as about communication discontinuity, but also the possibility of silent mutual understanding over cultural and semiotic barriers.

Tanganyika: Al-Khwārizmī, Burton, Assange: susceptive interpassive object by Paweł Janicki:

cooperation: Klementyna Jankiewicz, Karol Nowak

The work was premiered during "The Matter of Code" exhibition (a part of the Gdynia Design Days Festival, 6-14 July 2019, Poland) curated by Wiesław Bartkowski.

video: Szymon Pepliński