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Farbwechsel – en passant

2011, Otmar Sattel
Remagen – Leinpfad / Rhinekilometer 637

In October 2011 Otmar Sattel's new work Farbwechsel – en passant (»Colour change – en passant«) for the Riverside Sculpture Park in Remagen was presented to the public. Motor-operated blinds in single colours were installed in eight niches along the railway line. On them you will find QR codes that are relevant to everyone. Behind these codes you will find Hans Arp's poem »Opus Null« from 1924. The movement rhythm of the blinds is prompted by the movement of passers-by and by a computer-controlled random generator.

  • © Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck
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    © Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck
  • © Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck
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    © Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck
  • © Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck
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    © Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck
  • © Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck
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    © Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck

About the work

Ottmar Sattel's work on the towpath beside the Rhine has been realised as a game involving colour and movement. Motor-operated blinds in strong, plain colours were mounted in eight coffer-like niches on the underside of the elevated section of rail constructed by the railway company. The result is a succession of different coloured surfaces arranged in order: black, green, beige, red, orange, yellow, blue and anthracite.

QR codes were applied to four coloured areas by means of screen printing. The QR codes can be found on small plates below the sunblind construction. They can be decoded by means of a smartphone and the corresponding software. Behind these codes you will find Hans Arp's poem »Opus Null« (»Opus Zero«) from 1924. It is one of his central early, associative poems and consists of four verses. The artist has allocated them to the four areas of colour. In his work, Otmar Sattel refers on the one hand to the geometric designs of Hans Arp and Sophie Taeuber-Arp, and on the other to the »Konstellationen« (»Constellations«) developed by Hans Arp, which follow the principle of contingency.

Otmar Sattel also makes use of the principle of contingency. He controls the rhythm governing the movement of his blinds by means of a computer-assisted random generator. The rising and sinking of the eight colour areas is also influenced by the movements of the walkers and cyclists who come past.

This interactive activity permits a lively and varied interplay of colour and movement which remains unpredictable. It alternates between the black of the night, the green of the vegetation, the beige of the earth, the red of dawn, the orange and yellow of the sun, the blue of the sky and the anthracite of dusk.

About the artist

Otmar Sattel was born in Speyer in 1955 and now lives and works in Berlin. Together with Eberhard Bosslet, Werner Klotz and others he founded the artists' group »Material und Wirkung« (»Material and Effect«) in 1981. In his sculptures and installations he works in particular with processes as well as with interaction between his works and their observers.

Further information

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