Otmar Sattel

Otmar Sattel

Otmar Sattel’s energy sculptures are once again topical. But
perhaps they always were and only the questions about the
relationship of society and nature are now posed anew, after
the sculptures’ creation in the late 1980s. Faced with climate
change, industrialized countries are now once again looking for
ingenious alternatives to oil and nuclear energy.
The return of technological solutions is like a déja` vu. Which
lobby had successfully pushed for its interests? And why had society
not done any rethinking? Is it so fixated on technological
progress? All the technological solutions make clear that a reorientation
with respect to lifestyle is required. In this context,
Sattel’s artworks gain a prophetic quality.
In order to make natural processes visible, Sattel invented
a machine, Gras-Glas-Ton-Maschine II: a large glass cube—
on loan from minimal art—filled with hay serving as insulating
material for a further natural process of indeterminate length.
The hay keeps a constant temperature for a system of boilers
and pipes in which a mixture of sugar, yeast and nutrient salts
ferments. Sulfur, CO2, and other gases rise from this and cause
the air column to swing and resonate, which produces an uncanny
sound. In this way, Sattel makes an organic process audible
and lends it an acoustic presence; nature is no longer a silent
closed system.
Sattel uses the term machine ironically, because his machine
works autonomously, »nature runs around the clock«. On the
one hand, he alludes here to the technological paradigm of modern
art history. On the other hand, he prepares nature as a machine
so that it reflects the consciousness of a society whose
self-conception is based on technological feasibility. Where
technology appears as the only answer, other solutions are rarely
considered. Therefore the relationship between society and
nature is still present as a superordinate question. Like for example
Buckminster Fuller, Sattel defines the observation of nature
as a learning process, and it is a firm component of his
artistic practice. Thus the artistic play with nature and its sophistication
results in an allegory of a possible existence beyond
Text: Vera Tollmann

Dear partners, supporters, friends and lovers,

due to the COVID-19 Virus our little ETF! office in Berlin remains closed and we are working from home.

As many fellow artists, creatives and freelancers this Corona crisis has hit us hard.
We had hoped to send out a newsletter this spring informing you all about our 19th venue in Lisbon, which was supposed to open in Carpintarias São Lázaro on the 19th of June 2020.
Now, with all the cancellations and the shut down of cultural life we hope to postpone and for EXAMPLES TO FOLLOW! to still be part of the program of Lisboa Green Capital 2020.
We will keep you posted.

Keep safe.


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