Zwitschermaschine „Auf und ab“ (Twittering Machine “Up and Down”) (1988) – Peter Vogel

Peter Vogel

Klee’s famous painting of the same name was the stimulus for a whole group of works titled Twittering Machine. Here, loudspeakers replace the birds; they move and imitate chirping birds when a crank is turned.

Peter Vogel sees Paul Klee’s painting as “a parable for the scientization of nature and an allegory of the mechanization of desire.” Visitors must turn the crank to trigger the twittering. The wire framework may be touched; the work’s mechanical construction is easily grasped. But the electronic mimicry of the birds’ warning calls remains mystifying. The artist draws an analogy to our use of technology: “We get our hands all these apparently harmless little machines and with them set things in motion that we can no longer understand and that insidiously intrude into our lives. We are confronting a system that is developing its own independent dynamics and slipping out of our control.”


Further works in the exhibition

Römischer Turm (Roman Tower) (1989)
Sensible rote Punkte (Sensitive Red Dots) (1989)
Grüne Lichtpunkte (Green Points of Light) (1984)

Abb.: © ZKM | Karlsruhe, Foto: Steffen Harms