Issue #18, 2004

Daniel Knorr: Agents
Attila Tordai-S.

Daniel Knorr – born 1968 in Bucharest Romania, lives in Berlin

Education: 1989–95 Akademie der Bildenden Künste München; 1995–96 Vermont College USA

Solo shows: 2004 Artificial, Rote Zelle, München; 2002 Visible/Invisible Series, The Project, New York, USA; Cattle browsing in the field, Serge Ziegler Galerie Zürich; 2001 Not Another Ready Made, Serge Ziegler Galerie, Zürich, Art Chicago 2001, USA; Klaus, Klaus kommt auch zu Fuss, Serge Ziegler Galerie, Zürich; Haste ma’ ne Mark, Museum Folkwang, Essen; 1999 La femme de ma vie ne m’aime pas encore, Fri-Art, Fribourg; 1994 Good old Times, Kunstforum Lenbachhaus, München; 1993 My Market, Akademiegalerie, München

Group shows: 2004 5th Cetinje Biennale. Cetinje, Montenegro; “Berlin Murmur“, Ecole Superièure des Beaux Artes, Metz; Raumpool, Frankfurt; 2003 “Solmurlaici“, Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris; “Crossing Perspectives“, Enlargment of the Minds, ECF Headquarters, Amsterdam; 2002 “Unstable Narratives“, hartware Mediakunstverein, Dordmund; “Public affairs“, Kunsthaus Zürich; 2001 “Favorites“, Serge Ziegler Galerie, Zürich; “Foto-Documente“, New Gallert, Bucharest, Romania; “Periferic“ Rumanian Biennial, Iași, Romania; “Site Co-Opted“, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, N.Y.; 2000 “Hey international competiton style“, TENT Rotterdam; LISTE 2000, Fri-Art, Centre d’Art Contemporain Fribourg, Basel; “On the spot“, Bern; “Weltwärts“, Kunstmuseum Bonn; “Cafe Helga & Galerie Goldankauf“, Kunstraum München; 1999 “Dream City“, Kunstverein München; Salone Villa Romana, Florenz; 1998 Ateliers des Artistes, Marseille; “Personne sait plus“, Villa Arson, Nice; 1997 “Gang of Munich“, Shedhalle, Zürich; 1996 “Update“, Kopenhagen; 1995 “Collisiones“, San Sebastian; 1994 “Station, Interimsgalerie 2“, Galerie der Künstler München; “opening show“, Galeri Nicolai Wallner, Kopenhagen

The artifical society of the robots designed by Daniel Knorr and invested with simple functions suggests a world view in which obedience to instructions could even appear as a mode of behaviour on its own. The robots he calls agents are simple modules. They are able to establish a restrained relation with one-another and also to react on a primitive level to the impulses coming from their environment.

On a virtual basis for now, Daniel Knorr has manufactured robots analogous to the 192 states of the world. This is an abstract model, easy to transpose in reality in the future. Each robot wears the symbol of a state, their structure is totally identical, it says nothing about the current power position, economic power or geopolitical role of the state they represent. The only item displayed is whereabouts. The display is quite simple, similar to that of coloured fields or tiny flags designating states in the most peaceful manner possible on a world map, one might even say they are alike the complementary pieces of the Lego game meant to develop and diversify the imagination of children.

This visualisation of states suggests at first sight a pacifist and utopian world view, nevertheless upon a more careful inspection the message is rather a tense one: the model conjures up such a system of relations between state and agent, actually between state and individual within which the latter is nothing but a reprezentational object invested with primary functions, which may at any time be activated in order to serve the system.

The ten micro-robots displayed on the jacket represent the ten new member states joining the European Union, the work striking thus a topical political note. Its title, Welcome Agents directs our attention with bitter irony upon current global political relations, upon uniformism extending over everything.

Translated by Noémi László