Supersonic #5 (DE)

 

2012

Fiberglass, motion sensors, theremin, subwoofer speaker, amplifier, electric cabling, and custom circuits

Björn Schülke (DE)

 

Portraying an animist worldview, Schülke’s work is characterized by its lively interior consciousness. His sculptures often possess irrational character traits or distinctive emotional features, which are revealed through a cycle of behavior. Evoking artificial intelligence and the modern aesthetics of a research station, Supersonic #5 hybridizes the shape of a zeppelin airship with the stance of a bull. A theremin embedded within its body aggressively beeps and rumbles, suggesting the possibility of liftoff. Tethers of snakelike industrial cabling flow from its base, punctuated by one singular wheel, or ‘tail.’

 

Artist Bio:

Björn Schülke (b. 1967, lives and works in Cologne, Germany) is a sculptor who playfully transforms live spatial energy into active responses. Slow deliberate movements in his sculptures consider mass and weight of form while their striking physical presence is anchored in the formal vocabulary of modern abstraction. His constructions delight, disrupt, and disorient viewers’ expectations—staging an unpredictable behavioral exchange between the audience and the machine. Using solar panels, infrared surveillance and air propulsion to trigger movement or sound, the immediate surroundings of Schülke’s sculptures become sites of observation and intervention. His ‘creatures’ are suspicious, vulnerable subjects that are awakened by motion sensors as the viewer approaches. Psychically charged, these automated works seem fantastical, inheriting an odd performative humor from Valie Export, one of Schülke’s mentors at the Academy of Media Art, Cologne. Evoking the tools of modern observation and precision, Schülke’s work suggests artificial intelligence as well as absurdity. He is represented by bitforms gallery.