Submission
Michael René Sell

The System Still Needs You To Fail

THE SYSTEM STILL NEEDS YOU TO FAIL is a contemporary self-portrait. The groups of works on dis- play were developed on the basis of collected data generated by the artist over the past seven years through digital communication channels. Using a combination of digital information processing systems and analog processing techniques, alternative notation and compositional strategies were developed to transform the collected data into musical scores.


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BINA / Embroidery / Pink Yarn - Black Laquer Foil 210 cm x 116 cm 2021
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Bina Back
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Bina Front Detail
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Bina Back Detail
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HEXA / Weaving / Black Insulating Tape Green PP Yarn 189 cm x 106 cm 2021
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Hexa Detail
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Base / Mosaic / Drawing Guttagliss Plate Acrylic Pen 189 cm x 106 cm 2020
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Base Detail
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BASE BOING! / Embroidery / Black Yarn Boing 8 cm x 4,5 cm Total 4,2m 2021
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Base Boing! Detail
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ESAB Weaving / Embroidery / Black Tape Black Cord Yellow Cord 100 cm x 59 cm 2021
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Esab Detail
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DECI / Weaving, Embroidery / Transparent Tape Nylon Yarn Elastic Red 100 cm x 59 cm 2020
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Deci Detail
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Exhibition View Bina, Hexa, Base
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Exhibition View Base, Deci, Control Cabinet

THE SYSTEM STILL NEEDS YOU TO FAIL is a contemporary self-portrait. The groups of works on dis-
play were developed on the basis of collected data generated by the artist over the past seven years
through digital communication channels. Using a combination of digital information processing systems
and analog processing techniques, alternative notation and compositional strategies were developed to
transform the collected data into musical scores. The working process manifests the artist’s search
for new forms of musical creation and expression beyond cultural “programming” to fixed forms of compo-
sition and interpretation. In parallel, the mass production of digital data by contemporary economic,
social and administrative structures as well as its impermanence is thematized. Both aspects are re-
flected by the material of the works (plastic), while the manual processing of the material deliberate-
ly breaks with the speed of contemporary technology.
To produce the scores, data was extracted from digital networks and converted into binary codes to gen- erate homogeneous data sets from heterogeneous information in the form of text, image or sound. These were translated into alternative code systems for each group of works and transferred to different media by hand by the artist. Depending on the object group, the degree of exactness, spontaneity, and abstraction in the transfer process of the coded information varied. The numbers were either translat- ed directly into systematically defined signs or taken up and materialized as a visual cluster by the artist. This takes on the function of an interface that transforms data into analog information. The production process thus reverses the genesis of digital data, in which impulses from the artist’s psy- cho-physical reality were fed into digital networks.
The eight parameters of the conventional musical notation system were broken down to one size. Instead
of key, pitch, tone duration, tempo, tone gender, timbre, volume and articulation, the scores specify
a constant that is freely interpreted by the musicians. The performance has an experimental charac-
ter and combines two methodically opposed procedures by combining free improvisation with the inter-
pretation of scores. Neither the production of tones nor a specific use of the instrument is required.
Errors are an essential part of the notation systems and their interpretation. As a characteristic
feature of human activity, errors in the production and interpretation process of the scores reflect
elementary aspects of the personality of artists and interpreters.
The installation makes the artist’s specific perception of the world, the transfer of visual structures
into sound, tangible. A space is created where past and present merge. The visual, performative and
acoustic encounter with the works confronts the audience as well as the interpreters with the artist’s
past and projects his reality into an immersive, sensually experienceable environment.