Peter P. Kajzar
The intermedia pioneer artist Wolf Kahlen offers
with these highly innovative,
most probably first one-of-a-kind internet art prints ever,
an unknown number of collectors worldwide
the chance to acquire as a present a globally distributed original piece,
in honor of his 60th birthday on January 7, 2000.
Everyone, who dials his website receives a unique, custom-selected image, in which just one pixel is going lost, visually and audibly, the very moment you open the page.
A various, a random one, differing from person to person. This image may be printed out as the first print, out of a number of three in total. It is a negative self portrait from 1969, showing the artist with a vertical line shaved into the hair of his chest from throat to belly,"In Search of the Vertical", called "Selbstversuch II".
The second page just pictures this single, lost-for-ever pixel, at its original location.
A third page at the same time gathers all the lost pixels, yours and of any other user
of the homepage, which add up to a new image, which is a slightly different positive selfportrait of the artist. The process of appearence of this third image may take quite a number of users to become noticeable, since pixels are quite small, and since the given-away pixels may only eventually cluster to visible structures. Thats why later joining-in collectors may eventually get only a few left-over spotches as a third, while the earlier ones posess an almost entire picture as the first picture and an"empty" one as the third... These left overs are democratically created ones, like chance atoms, of impermanence, , of completeness, of a oneness. Watching this process you may consider this
as a decay, as vanishing life, the cutting off of self, in this case Wolf Kahlen's self,
or as a ritual death. A global weathering out on one side and a rebirth on the other side. As we all rub off our shoulders off at matters and at beings we live with, or come into existence by the same instances. The artist philosophically, and this is actually, what he has been aiming for ever since I know him, demonstrates here
the kicking-out of the ego, and the ego out of art. The given title
SELBST-LOS carries this ambiguity: off with your ego, as an urge
and: beeing without egocentrism already as a state of beeing.
The final impossibility of total self-lessness is part of the game too.
And actually it is also a non-profit-giving-away of art. Kahlen himself reflects another aspect of it: "...to experience that nobody in the world posesses me, coming or going, or my portrait in total, the taking myself apart, and that the particels are distributed all over the places in times and spaces and even more dimensions globally,
only virtually adding up to a a multidimensional sculpture,
makes me, and I hope others, smile..."
This statement and this piece here is remarkable in the context of his
EPHEMERAL PIECES (1992) and pieces on impermanence over the years
and his early WORKS WITH CHANCE THAT DOES NOT EXIST (1969-1982).
A truly extraordinary piece of art. Take one. You are very welcome.