27 May 2020 @ 4:00 pm

Metamorphosis or Confrontation

This talk will take the form of  guided tour through the recent exhibition Metamorphosis or Confrontation, the first solo museum exhibition of Tobias Klein. The exhibition traces Klein’s modi operandi – an operational synthesis between digital and physical materials and tools as poetic (poïesis) and technical (technê) expressions as a new hybrid practice model.

The exhibition is structured in 4 distinct spaces that articulate a new practice model that strictly opposes a traditional dualistic separation of digital workflows and traditional making and material understanding. Instead, the talk will highlight three operational methods to define a practice model able to overcome the fifteenth- and sixteenth-century schism of intellectual from manual labour, as well as the nineteenth-century gulf between automatic mechanisation and poetic creation.

The first articulates the transfer of physical traces into digital environments and reversely fitting digital objects into the narratives and values of cultural artefacts. This model will be extensively discussed in the first space of the exhibition – BONES.

Antithetical to the first method, transformation formulates an emancipation of transferred data through materialising transformations in constructed cultural contexts and is articulated in the second and third space MASKS and MUTATIONS.

The exhibition – an materialised echo of Klein’s writings on Digital Craftsmanship is able to synthesise the previous dialectics, articulating the notion of Digital Craftsmanship in the form of a collaborative practice in which methods of transfer and transformation collapse into a dialogue between practitioners from craft, science and engineering, enabling the emergence of new hybrid objects, materials, tools and associated values and narratives – all shown in the final space of the exhibition – FORCES.

This forum took place on 27th May 2020.

Tobias Klein, born 1979 in Bonn, is a German Artist and Architect. Trained as an Architect, his work and recent PhD articulates a syncretism of contemporary CAD/CAM technologies with site and culturally specific design narratives, intuitive non-linear design processes, and historical cultural references. He sees the multiplicity of roles from architect, artist and cultural agitator as the creator-craftsman that finally has the chance to overcome the fifteen-and sixteenth-century schism of intellectual from manual labour, as well as the nineteenth-century gulf between automatic mechanization and poetic creation.

His works are exhibited international at the London Science Museum, the V&A, The Venice Architectural Biennale, the Science Gallery (Melbourne), the container (Tokyo), the Bellevue Arts Museum, the MoCA Taipei, Museum of Moscow and Vancouver and in the permanent collection of China’s first 3D Print Museum in Shanghai, the Museum of Glass in Tacoma (USA) and the Antwerp Fashion Museum(MoMu).

Tobias Klein is an Associate Professor at the School of Creative Media at City University of Hong Kong. Before 2014, he ran a postgraduate studio at the Architectural Association and the Royal College of Art and was invited Guest Professor at the TU Innsbruck Studio 3, Institute for Experimental Architecture. Klein founded, and has been the director of the Architectural Association’s Visiting School, Post-Industrial Landscapes since 2013.