Circularity Conditions (There might have been light), Berlin 2015

Visual artist Michael Just has developed a specific wall-based structure for Peppermint Holding’s office spaces in Berlin. The work inscribes itself into both sides  of a hallway measuring over 100 meters in total. The structure is designed precisely according to the specifications of the space while being an autonomous carrier of meaning at the same time.

Taking its starting point from Saul A. Kripke’s concept of possible worlds as a potential constitution of reality and Nietzsche’s dialog between Zarathustra and the Dwarf in Thus spoke Zarathustra as a negotiation of time, linearity and circularity, the production of the new and the coming into being of form, the work is based on the following text:

Possible Worlds and contingent Identities / Identity across Possible Worlds / Circularity Conditions: There might have been Light / A counterfactual course of History

See this Gateway! Dwarf! It has two faces. Two paths come together here: no one has yet gone to the end of them. This long lane back here: it lasts an eternity. And that long lane out there – that is another eternity. They oppose each other, these paths; they bang their very heads: – and here at this gateway is where they come together. The name of the gateway stands written above: Moment.

Everything straight lies. All truth is crooked, time itself is a circle.

Behold, this moment! From this gateway Moment a long eternal lane runs backwards: behind us lies an eternity. All things that can run, must they not have run along this lane once before? All things that can happen, must they not have happened, been done, and been over and done with once before? – must we not have existed before? – and must we not return and run in that lane out there before us, in that long lane – must we not return eternally?

In their course along the existing spatial structure, the signifiers repeatedly appear distorted, interrupted by abstract patterns; as if pervaded by gravitational waves, letters transform into artifacts in the middle of a word: Meaning is accelerated, warped, distorted to the point of its complete disintegration. At the height of the conference room, the tension exceeds the interactions that stabilize meaning – in its transition into Zarathustra’s speech on the bidirectionality of eternity, the counterfactual course of History disintegrates into its smallest components, its elementary particles as it were. Meaning dissolves in the process of its hyperacceleration. The work opens up a potentiality that negotiates structure and destabilization, position and contingency in relation to space, time and the unfolding of history.

Initiated through the Possible Worlds and ending in Zarathustra’s question of the eternal return, the circular installation is short-circuited at the main entrance. In cybernetics, circularity refers to an enclosed system whose iterative cycles are nonidentical. Within the concept of the work, this idea of production as a result of repetition and difference negates a potential end of history in lieu of the conceptualization of history as plasticity in and of the present. Likewise, the centrical collapse of the signifiers does not imply a purely negative process: similar to a particle collision, spaces of possibility are opened up through radical loss of cohesion. The conditions of the opening up of possibilities i.e. the production of difference within the course of history remains the primary inquiry upon which the work is based.