Ingo Gunther


In between the 58 pedestals, on which the 58 illuminated globes were mounted, the cables lay on the floor like trip wires, giving Ingo Günther’s installation World Processor, 1989, a provisional air. At the same time, they recalled a world held together by cables—Marshall McLuhan’s vision of a global village, his idea of global communication.

For years now, the world—no more and no less—has been Günther’s working theme. The globes in World Processor reminded the viewer of balls, or of early geography lessons about the positions of the sun and the moon. In a way, this installation reversed the situation of Günther’s United TV, 1989, in which programs from all over the world ran uninterruptedly on a large number of monitors. These were mounted on a steel skeleton, which prevented any possible intrusion. But in his new piece, Günther took the notion of global communication to the point of absurdity, making the excesses of information and the excesses of communication ultimately self-destruct. In this installation (one of Günther’s few non-video works), a vestige of an old idea seemed to flare up: we found something like a poetic picture of a starry sky. Old proverbs emerged, like the Spanish “Cada cabeza un mundo” (Every head a world)—proverbs that had their validity long before the idea of global communication was invented and the actual ability to communicate was diminished. Günther walks a fine line between the demand for a political statement and the demand for esthetic beauty. He does so with the self-confidence of a sleepwalker, and his work leads him beyond mere topicality.

—Doris Von Drateln

Translated from the German by Joachim Neugroschel.