VALUES ON DEMAND - an ongoing project
Point of Departure/ Motivations
The project VALUES ON DEMAND is based on an ongoing taking of an inventory inside Constitutions, Human Rights Declarations and other normative papers of agreement from all over our planet. The investigation has been focused so far on the presence of normative Values, which are supposed to function as mission statement for societies and their governments. Considering the reality (or better the mediated reality) of course one may point at the gap between those claims and actualities (Guantanamo etc.) Thus it seems on the first glance obvious to query their effectiveness as a political and social tool. But are those values tools? Or are they guidelines? Or are they rather of different nature, beyond short termed usability and other economic imperatives?

Anyhow, normative Values / Conceptions and Ideas (at least those which deserve this denotation) exist, due to a slow time-consuming screening process over several generations, sometimes even centuries; and this seemingly inefficiency has been-, and maybe is still making sense, as long as humans have a vision or concept of eternity, or at least of a future, whose dawn is not yet in sight.

Normative Values describe basic human conditions and are essentially valid beyond time specific circumstances, fashions and other moment guided interests: They share this quality also with really good artworks and other unforgettable pictures, e.g. from press-photography. Moreover value-based conceptions and pictures/images structure-wise seem to have a lot more in common: in their essence, in their function, in the way they are passed on and are encoded in collective memoriesÉ Last but not least both share the aspect of having a high degree of abstraction and condensation, which at a point is melting down individual multiplicity, into a single term (which then is qualifying a value), or into a single picture. Thus those Conceptions and pictures in that sense claim to be of everybody's concern and they are consistently subject to the public sphere.

After devastating catastrophes (like the World War II, or the Tsunami) or other heavy irritations, the collective memory and identity of a society has been ever since, a meaningful source of power to built up again a new sensible life as an Individual and in community. Here normative values play a significant roll in their diversified embodiments and envisions. Why? Because they and their manifestations, represent in a compressed way the whole human knowledge and experience throughout the respective own history, and with it the respective own civilization.

Due to the fact of economic globalization, the issue of world governments seems not anymore entirely absurd. And as Governments need legitimacy in the one or the other form, the question raises immediately: on which bases? - Most likely on the basis of proven normative Values. Considering the "competition of options", the question will be: Which are the ones?

However cyclically I am irritated. Currently I am irritated, because I am witnessing, that the society I am living in is loosing increasingly the ability to understand their own civilization, its basic condition and its strength. Even worse: This misconception has reached a new quality through the omnipresent claim of the mass media to represent and to create reality, with heavy consequences for the individual and the collectiveÉ flanking this tendency the increasing commercialization of our collective memory is draining the last free accessible source, to search and to find orientation in a more and more confusing world and will lead on top of it to heavy restrictions concerning the civil rights, because the access to our own identity, will be increasingly dependent on our income

The project VALUES ON DEMAND is approaching these issues with several artistic strategies and media, with humor and charm, with derision, mockery and acumen, and last but not least with artistic presence and qualities. © Andreas M. Kaufmann, 2005/06
Freiheit ist die Optimale Verteilung von Abhängigkeit, 2005 - 2010
Planned realisation in context of the Ruhr 2010, European Culture Capital.
First phase: 2005 - 2008.

A VALUES ON DEMAND-Project for the exhibition Folkwang Artoll ­ Kunst und Energie.

Freiheit ist die...
Stuffed Silence, 2005 / 2008
This work is a VALUES ON DEMAND-Project, conceived by Andreas M. Kaufmann, dedicated to the Nigerian inventor of Afro Beat Fela Anikulapo Kuti and realized in cooperation with the electronic musician Gabriel Ananda.

The choreographic conception of the video animation is made for a nonstandard extended surface: Four single projections should be bonded to one single screen. This screen should always be related to the architectonical site.


stuffed silence
lost & found, 2005
The series of photo-collages is based on an investigation of normative papers of agreement (Constitutions etc.) worldwide. The emphasis on this research has been to extract normative Values. In "lost & found" those values are presented in the official language of the respective government, country, ethnic group, etc. The filled in imagery has been taken from my collection of reproduced images, originally coming from mass media.

lost and found