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23 Oct 2009

Norman White | we fix toasters at Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Weserburg

Norman White, Helpless Robot, 1987,
Agnes Etherington Art Center, Queens University, Kingston

Norman White | we fix toasters


18.09.2009 - 08.11.2009

tuesday, thursday, friday: 10 - 6. p.m
wednesday: 10 - 21 p.m.
saturday, sunday: 11 - 6 p.m.

048 (0)421 59 83 9-70
048 (0)421 50 52 47

Teerhof 20
28199 Bremen

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Norman White is one of the pioneers of electronic and interactive art. The retrospective shows his humorous machines - machines, seeming to have a life of their own and confronting the viewer in an often unexpected and surprising way.

His most well known art work is the Helpless Robot, that initially kindly asks the viewer for help and then turns out to be of a dictatorial character.

Since the middle of the 1960s the Canadian Norman White (*1938) develops electronic, since 1976 also digital, machines, which are programmed in such a way that unforeseen forms and reactions are supposed to evolve. Since the 1980s he concentrated on robotics and launched the Sumo-Robot-Challenges in Toronto which take place regularly since the 1980s.

Norman White describes himself humorously as an 'expert in doing things in the wrong way'; he is not interested in achieving a completed object, but in processes, astonishing developments, 'independent' machines. In his works the smallest robots are winning the challenges, he initiated a noisy sexual act performed by robots or lets a mechanical eye suddenly appear in a painting to gaze at the viewer.

White recycles obsolete machines, like Nam June Paik has done at the same time, and therefore, you can often find objects that he modified several times, until the single components were beyond repair. Norman White prefers to let the audience encounter his artworks in places where art is not normally expected, outside of museums and galleries. From the 1970s White has conciously not participated at the art business. He became known as a teacher of a generation of important Canadian new media artists.

'If science can learn anything from art at all, it should be searching for it in this œuvre and this artistic attitude.' Anne-Marie Duguet, Exhibition Catalogue 'Norman White. we fix toasters', 2009

Under the patronage of Klaus Wowereit, Governing Mayor of Berlin, the d.velop digital art award [ddaa] is awarded by the Digital Art Museum [DAM] for the 3rd time. The prize remunerates the lifetime œuvre of a pioneer in Digital Art. He was handed over at the art fair Art Forum in Berlin in 2008. In addition to the price money the laureate has an exhibition at the Kunsthalle Bremen accompanied by a catalogue.

Due to construction works at the Kunsthalle Bremen the exhibition takes place at the Weserburg, Museum of Modern Art, Bremen, this year. 14 electronic art works will be shown as well as numerous documentations of other works, performances and actions.