At night, a game of “rock, paper, scissors” runs in two light boxes installed in the support of the U-Bahn line on Oberbaumbrücke. Inside the boxes, a random generator controls three colorful fluorescent tubes, which form the outline of a fist, an outstretched hand, or a hand with two splayed fingers. Here, where two political systems once confronted one another, the artist Thorsten Goldberg raises the question of how decisions are made.
“This work is a permanent installation at an authentic site. Its appeal lies in the way it deals with the existing (bridge) architecture, subtly integrating itself into the structure – the way coats of arms would be lined up – and yet provoking viewers’ confusion.
This design is characterized by the use of abstract formal methods, commingled with a playful, sensual aspect. It has appropriated a game that has neither winners nor losers – and thus makes no decisions, either peaceful or violent – since the game’s only rule is its random nature.” (Excerpt from the comments of the jury, September 1996)
Born in Dinslaken in 1960, Thorsten Goldberg has lived in Berlin as a visual artist since 1990, realizing projects in public spaces all over Europe (http://www.goldberg-berlin.de).
He has taught at art colleges in Münster, Munich, Linz, and, most recently, as a professor for arts and media in Kiel.
As a member of various bodies devoted to art in public spaces, he has been involved in organizing competitions and selecting projects and in documenting and archiving art in public space projects.
Thorsten Goldberg is a member of the advisory committee on art in public spaces (KÖR) of the city of Vienna, a member of the “Art in Berlin” (BAK) advisory committee of the city of Berlin, and the initiator and co-editor of “Public Art Wiki,” the online lexicon on art in public spaces (http://www.publicartwiki.org).
Kunst im Stadtraum (Art in urban spaces). 21 Kunstprojekte im Berliner Stadtraum, Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung, Kunst im Stadtraum, Berlin 2002