Custodians
digital collage
2009
 
 

Dwarfed by the industrial chaos of pipes, valves, wires, computers and machines – a solitary worker stops in his tracks and re-evaluates his significance. It's as if scientific and technological progress no longer belong to man alone, but also to the machines themselves. In his mind's eye he can see these tools of production claiming their independence from their human inventors. They spring from the frail structures and evolve into something like an Übermaschine. Realizing the implications of such a loss of control, this custodian is overwhelmed by the immense and ruthless power this new, omnipresent entity could wield. And he can't help but being moved. He loses himself in this intricate architecture of mechanics and forgets his own flesh and bone. He marvels at the thought of a stone cold gaze with no eyes coming from a dormant consciousness, and a phantasmagoric vision of a gray goo-ish substance emerging from all the valves takes hold of him. Every doomsday scenario he has ever heard of accumulates into one single, apocalyptic vision.

A world of dust, rubble, pillars, grids, beams and bolts frames an epiphany embodied. Seemingly alone, a worker takes a moment to reflect upon this vast, desolate landscape of angles and a thousand ton of rock and cement. In comparing something as trivial as the weight of his own body against the weight of the entire structure, he is filled with an emotion of wistfulness and insignificance. Struggling with coping with the intense heat, his senses seem to heighten. And especially the sense of touch. He becomes suddenly aware of how frail he is, in touching the hot walls. He is mesmerized by the thought of his own body pressed betwixt a world of cement and the earth. He is consumed by the realization that he is but an entity of meat, muscle, bone and flesh. He hears a deep rumble in the distance and his mind drifts off. The towering colossi topple over themselves.