“The universe is a delicious morsel for everyone who loves putting things in order. It’s a rush of information, in which the boundaries of new realities can be marked through combining and connecting random fixed points.”
The Institute for General Theory – founded by Hagen Betzwieser in 2001 under the auspices of a Merz Akademie Stuttgart master’s thesis – sees itself as a laboratory for all kinds of experiments in thought. It deals with the most varied phenomena, exploring, questioning and translating them into an artistic vocabulary in objects, photographs, installations and videos. The technological tools used here obtain an irrefutable authority through their method of application and presentation. One feels reminded of every scientist who dares to conduct experiments whose results he could not fathom in advance. The results of these works lead to a continually growing archive, which then leads to the formation of a “general theory”. Hence the name Institute for General Theory, whose irony is unmistakable, especially in an era that fears unified worldviews and theories more than ever.
The volume collects numerous works of the Institute for General Theory from 2001 – 2007, among them many collaborations with Martin Maurer and Goran Zivadinovic and projects like “Communication Device,” “How the Universe Smells”, “Heliport”, “Raumforderung (Spatial request)”, “Laser Device” und “Reflektor Honig (Reflector Honey)”.
Hagen Betzwieser, born in 1974 in Neckarhausen and a 2005/2006 Solitude fellow, studied visual design with Heidemarie von Wedel at the Merz Akademie – Hochschule für Gestaltung Stuttgart and earned a Master of Arts at the University of Portsmouth in Great Britain. He worked as a conceptualist and designer for video and media in Stuttgart, New York and San Francisco. Based in Stuttgart, he has worked as a freelance artist since 2005.