Documenta Truck | 2005

video | 01 | 02 | 03 |

To mark the 50th jubilee of documenta, the unique history of the eleven exhibitions held until that date was to be told in a touring exhibition. For this purpose a truck was converted into an exhibition space.
The interactive installation on board the documenta truck aimed to give visitors a detailed picture of the past exhibitions and key trends in art from a comprehensive archive of images, texts and films. To make the archive material as accessible as possible, the content was divided into five categories: curatorial concept, artistic positions, zeitgeist, statistics, and reactions.
The center-piece of the installation is an 11-meter touch-sensitive projection surface enabling visitors to navigate through the archive material. Original posters from the past eleven documenta exhibitions are suspended above this surface, providing an introduction to the subject and dividing the installation into the archives of the individual documentas.
The color spectrum of the posters is reflected on the interactive surface of the respective digital archive. A virtual scan line moves over the posters, picking up the colors and dynamically changing the user interface, creating a formal link between the analogue poster and the virtual projection surface, a live interface that captures the dynamic spirit of the documenta.
Although each of the eleven documentas was given a separate archive, care was taken to present them as a series of connected exhibitions. By touching the interactive surface, users generate virtual waves that spread out from the point touched to the neighboring archive, directing their attention to other visitors and sections of the archive.
The independent and interactive method of enquiry visitors are encouraged to pursue, alternates with a more linear narration. At regular intervals, the entire surface is wiped clean, making way for pictures of the exhibition venues. The eleven original documenta catalogues are displayed in glass cabinets opposite the media installation.
In 2005 the documenta truck toured around 11 german cities. Since september 2006, the installation has found a permanent home in the documenta archive in Kassel.

The project was commissioned by the city of Kassel and realized in conjunction with my friends and colleagues at art+com. Special mention: Denis Paul and Patrick Kochlik and the designers from Buero Staubach.