Sharpener / Kunsthalle Nexus / 2016

Skizze, Vorbereitung Film Sharpener

SHARPENER/KNIFE GRINDER   In the old days, a knife grinder was an itinerant tradesman who sharpened dull knives, scissors, and other edged tools. While this is a dying trade the world over, there are aspects to it that point the way ahead for our global society because it juxtaposes the big with the small. It does not require a great investment and the market is a given; sooner or later, all knives or scissors become blunt. I believe it is interesting to link this idea with the notion of buildings as power stations in 1990s architecture, which could be set up through a simple process. The bicycle is at once a means of transportation, workplace, machine, and power station. When it comes time to serve a customer, one need only sit backwards on the bicycle and operate the grinding bench. The energy used to travel distances is turned back, so to speak. In this way, a reversal of its use results in a winning of energy. This balancing of energy creates a kind of perpetual motion machine. It appears that such an ideal system is more feasible on a small scale because small amounts of energy are easily available. The merging of different tasks leads to a bundling of energy and ultimately produces a result that is commonly impossible to achieve.  LOS ANGELES / GREAT AMERICAN STREETCAR SCANDAL Due to the height of its buildings, Los Angeles has the appearance of a sprawling cowboy-town mosaic around a small downtown area with high-rise buildings. The threat of earthquakes and the concept of the „City in the Garden“ account for its expansiveness. In keeping with the times, the people of Los Angeles, of course, exclusively „ride“ in cars. Companies such as General Motors have acquired privately owned streetcar operators, in part through a network of subsidiaries and holding companies, in order to dismantle and replace them with bus lines that operated busses built by the respective auto companies (Great American Streetcar Scandal). This led to the creation of an extensive network of highways, which has greatly contributed to making Los Angeles the number one "Smog Town“ in the US. WORKPLACE / TRANSPORTATION / POWER STATION   A modified racing cycle from the 1970s will be adapted only slightly to serve a second function: A grinding bench will be driven by a rubber belt powered by the back wheel. A kickstand will lift the back wheel so that the grinding bench can be operated sitting backwards on the bicycle seat. The „Sharpener “is an independent system that runs on its own resources. The bicycle is transformed into a workplace or a means of transportation the moment it is used for one of these purposes. This one-man business can be run through a lossless process, as it were, because it does not require long commutes but, rather, generates demand for services through movement. If we look at the city and its sealed transportation surfaces as a building, moving around its premises with a bike can be said to require minimal space. It can make excellent use of energy stored in cultivated urban spaces by optimizing energy distribution.

Der Film Sharpener wurde in Los Angeles gedreht. Im Zentrum steht ein geringfügig adaptiertes Fahrrad: Ein Schleifbock wird über einen Gummiriemen vom Hinterrad betrieben. Ein Ständer hebt das Hinterrad an, so dass der Schleifbock in verkehrter Sitzposition betrieben werden kann. Die Scherenschleiferei ist ein altes Gewerbe des fahrenden Volkes, das im Begriff ist auszusterben, in unserer globalen Gesellschaft jedoch hat es zukunftsweisende Aspekte, weil dem Großen das Kleine gegenübergestellt wird. Kommt es zu einem Auftrag, wandelt man die verbrauchte Energie der Wegstrecke in eine gewinnende Energie um. Das Fahrrad ist so Fortbewegungsmittel, Arbeitsstätte und Kraftwerk in einem.