Hunters and Gatherers

Valentino Berndt

2022 | paper, mineral pigments, 400 drawings / QR code, video, 100 sec., 6fps | 28.05. - 25.06.2022

With the piece Hunters and Gatherers, the use of new technologies in hunting and collecting food is made the subject of attention. Cybernetics (Greek: κυβερνητικός kybernetikos, “control-manly”) plays a central role here, because the tools used, VR goggles and the drone controlled over them, show the communication between man and machine in a pictorial way. It becomes apparent that the human/hunter does not communicate unilaterally with the drone by controlling it. Instead, it allows him other perspectives on nature and the world in which he acts, reacts and navigates. A moment similar to intoxication or trance is created, which stimulates fantasies of archaic hunting methods and a relationship with nature that is alien to civilized man. The technological tools seem to become a medium as well as a filter between man and nature.

My research site consists of the layered land, rivers, quarries, swamps, forests, dolines, dunes, moraines and oceans. The level of the rocks and stone steps around me is a complex reality. Nothing is like the other and is constantly in transformation. The eardrum of time fuses and immortalizes itself with the drop, whose unstable state hides and carries coincidences. At this point the realm of symbolism bridges the realm of reality. Concentrating on a few places gave me a deeper understanding of the mechanism of current natural relationships and the behavior of these relationships under other physical forces, such as underwater or in other places with extreme climates, as found in various celestial bodies in space. The decay of matter is a process of dissolution in its first phase, but a new state is immediately created. How the remaining carbon after a Fire or the pure life that arises when ice melts. This inspires me to dedicate my work to these phenomena.

The use of a material library does not follow a formal decision. In the course of my work this is the factual place of my art practice. This ever growing material library is the test tube I examine and therefore the source of my work. The processing and differentiation of materials allows a better understanding of their performance, which is due to the inherent laws of physics and the influence of gravity. In the long-term process, layers of different materials are deposited and compacted. In my opinion, it does not matter whether the processing of materials with certain colors implies a symbolic meaning, since I am more interested in the metabolism, i.e. the consistency of matter and its exchange with other materials as well as the plasticity of these compounds. My working process also involves chaotic processes, so the results are unpredictable. The findings about my work often lead to new or at least more differentiated ways of acting. My work includes a number of sculptural creations, which trigger processes in different media or exhibition spaces. I record the nature of the working process, specific information about the size, statics, hardening time, transformation time and density of the material, as well as the possible forms of the sculpture, in drawings, which for me act as a kind of artistic recipe.

Valentino Berndt is a mexican-german artist based in Stuttgart, Germany, whose work bridges the realms of art, sound, kibernetik, environmental phenomenology, metabolism and cultural history.