Ad Acta

mixed media installation concept _ 009 - 12

This mixed media installation ‘Ad Acta’ is an ensemble of piles with diverse objects of the same kind, as gathered in extremo by the engineer Wilhelm Stahl (1936 – 2010). Most of his life an antisocial, single man with a very imaginary engineer´s mind, my father spent the majority of his spare time developing different technical devices over certain periods, including a Geiger radioactivity counter, a flying windwheel electricity generator, a 16 volt domestic solar power station with customized technical environment, a series of spectacular pipe-shaped loudspeakers, digital image outputs for microscopes and teloscopes, as well as setting up a high-end multimedia production studio for his business idea of “VBT - Video Based Training”.

all the while the amount of resources he collected in his and his parent´s house went far beyond workshop requisites and personal needs – and benefitted by the fact that he never had to move.
when i eventually came back on the scene, digging like a miner through his mountains of belongings, the recurrent findings of specific objects in absurd amounts really made me think, and eventually lead to the concept of ‘Ad Acta’ as an installation. the themes include: torches (ca. 50), cabels (ca. 1 ton), multimeters (analog and digital, ca. 35), telescopes (ca. 20), pocket calculators (ca. 25), computer manuals (ca. 4 boxes), man´s shirts (ca. 3 meters high, new and used), trimmers and shavers (ca. 20), meticulously cleaned stacks of aluminium cat food tins (ca. 150), data storage media (analog and digital, ca. 12 boxes), light bulbs (ca. 5 boxes), tool boxes (new, ca. 40), loudspeakers (new and own design, ca. 8 cbm).

the phenomenon of compulsive hoarding is by now pinpointed, reassuringly named and explained (related to “PTSD” and other personality disorders), has treatments concepted and is -inevitably-
dealt with on TV shows, all the while silently remaining a tabued burden on many families. yet it has another dimension far beyond the psychological and personal, which has hardly been tackled to this date: as being a significant reflection on our contemporary culture and way of living. it is a critique, and a large question mark.

manifesting the struggle of one engineer with an exceptional intuition for future technology and ecological challenges, ‘Ad Acta’ -mercilessly piling up evidence- stands as an imposing reminder of the difficulties consumer culture and the current digital revolution pose on all of us.