Into the maze
This project for LG SIGNATURE OLED R is based on the concept of dazzle painting, a kind of camouflage technique that was developed for battle ships during WW1 by the British artists. Rehberger has been working with it in many different contexts since he first applied it to the cafeteria of the Venice Biennale in 2009. In contrast to the well-known camouflage patterns, that are designed to hide objects by blinding them into the background, dazzle painting is made to blind objects into themselves by making shapes and details of an object unclear. Therefor it uses bold geometric shapes and colours. What makes the concept so interesting is the objects being highly visible and obvious on one hand, but also – as all camouflage – it is about “not seeing something”. This paradox is the reason why the concept is applied to the LG rollable TV, as a television set is all about seeing.
Starting point for his proposal was the idea to contrast the stark minimalism of the rollable TV set with a sculptural approach that completely hides the TV set in an abundant accumulation of geometric shapes. Adding the dazzle pattern to all surfaces doubles the concept of concealment. The screen of the TV set, as it rolls up, blends into the pattern behind the screen like a chameleon thus rendering itself almost “invisible”.
The sculpture around the rollable TV set evolved to a rather minimal “stack” of three slightly offset cuboids which fully hide all original elements of the rollable TV set. The entire sculpture is fully covered with a black and white dazzle pattern that is accentuated by a few pink lines.
The pattern on the TV screen, as it rolls up, is precisely congruent with the pattern on the surrounding sculpture. Once the TV screen is fully rolled up, the pattern shown on the screen changes to a long tracking shot over a seemingly endless sequence of different geometry based patterns. Some black and white, others brightly coloured. The video is accompanied by the sound track „NYX“, taken from the latest album of world-famous DJ Sven Väth.
Using interference and moiré effects it creates a rhythm that interacts with the sound by superimposing different geometric patterns. Applying the same principles as the sculpture itself, the video uses the principle of spatially overlaying optical effects on a dynamic audiovisual level.
Until it’s very end, the video clearly contrast the sculpture housing the screen, before it returns to the pattern that precisely matches it’s surrounding. Even when the screen rolls down.
The title “Into the maze” hints at a possible reading of the work: the television screen as a metaphor for the wandering mind which is sometimes present (i.e. congruent with it’s surrounding) but might as well get lost in it’s own maze, that is not in synch with the world around it at all.
Later on, when Tobias Rehberger was invited to design the LG OLED Lounge at Frieze London 2022, he decided to use this rollable TV project as a starting point and build an installation following the same artistic concept.
Like adding another layer to a Russian doll, the lounge installation involves the rollable TV-project in the same way the rollable TV-project involves the rollable TV set: It conceals its shape and volume in a spatial array of similar volumes and patterns which also functions as seating opportunities for visitors to the lounge.