Never Change a Running System

by Marcel Schwittlick


This installation portraits a carousel or centrifuge of data. The 30 macbooks are hung from a custom-built motorized mechanism that never stops spinning. The circular movement is constant and hypnotizing in itself, providing a sense of stillness and calm. The idea to create this kinetic installation originated from thoughts about the connections of people and their computers. What does it mean when one single object like a computer is in one person's hand for 10 hours per day, for several years? The computer symbolizes some kind of bottleneck of all the activities of work and leasure that is happening on the same keyboard, touchpad screen. With time and energy going into the devices, do they become more special or more banal? Apart from these questions, the installation is the documentation of an social experiment. The experiment of collecting many old & used macbooks from their previous owners. Having discussions about what the computers meant to the person, for how long and for what it was used. In total, all computers that are part of the installation make up for about ~250 years of work (30 computers used for ~6 years each).