Carbon copies
Carbon paper from the archives of the Academy of Arts of the GDR, museum cardboard
8 cards, 21.6 cm x 12.6 cm each

These eight delicate carbon copies belong to an ongoing series that examines totalitarian systems and the utopian ideas they are based on, which always turn out to be dystopian in the end. For the sake of general validity, I have been replacing symbols, historical events and characters with my own inventions. To replace the swastika, I designed the Black Sun, a symbol with a square outline.

The “8 Views of the Utopian Tesseract, as Seen by the Little Creatures” were preceded by a thought experiment inspired by higher geometry and the dimensional model of string theory: The three-dimensional analogue of a square is a cube. If the two-dimensional Black Sun was elevated into the third dimension, it would turn into a Sun Cube consisting of eight monoliths. The fourth-dimensional analogue of a cube is a hypercube, a tesseract with eight volumes, each of which is itself cube-shaped. So the Sun Cube would become a Hyper Sun — a tesseract containing Sun Cubes in its eight volumes. As mere three-dimensional beings, we would be unable to observe this tesseract in its entirety. Instead, assuming that the fourth dimension is time, we would only see the three-dimensional “shadow” of the Hyper Sun from different perspectives at different points in time. Similar to picture postcards of a popular holiday destination, which has been photographed from different angles at different times in history, the Hyper Sun, whose essence never changes, manifests itself again and again as an auspicious utopia, which may look new and different to the Little Creatures each time, but is really just a poor copy.

As a template, I first created the “shadow” of the fourth-dimensional Hyper Sun in a 3D graphics program. I then chose eight views and rendered them as two-dimensional images. The views were then transferred onto museum cardboard using carbon paper from the archives of the former Academy of Arts of the GDR, which I had salvaged from a dumpster. All copies are unique pieces.