"Every medium has a way to communicate and our mission statement was at all times to figure out how we can communicate in a meaningful way with this medium." The medium Joachim Sauter spoke to Crane.tv about was media. As a media artist and designer, Sauter founded the group ART+COM in 1988, along with other designers, artists and technicians. Describing what made up the group - the art part, computer part, with both these merging to become something that back in the '80s was not a very common thing.
Despite having no aspirations for a career as a media artist or designer, it was the sudden widespread use of personal computers in the early '80s that started to alight his interest. Even when so many other designers at the time continued to work in the same way as they had always done: rendering, using desktop publishing, imaging. To Sauter and his team, there lingered a feeling that there was more behind it - that it was not just a tool, but would most probably become a medium as well: this being the motivation behind ART+COM. He continues by asking whether we can communicate in a meaningful way with this medium, describing this as a 'grammar' developed for the medium, "it was say building the digital house and showing people how we can build this building, what our meaningful spaces is in the digital building."
On the subject of 'kinetic sculptures' our media expert gushes with enthusiasm and it illustrates their move away from the virtual direction to the more physical one, where they work with pixels in space as opposed to pictures on a screen. "You're doing something which in a way is very complex: it's computer driven, electronic-based, but it's physical -- physical pixels in space I think is a new direction where we're heading."
Besides ART+COM, Sauter's role as a university practitioner is one of the most important fundaments to his personal design career, he notes "I'm quite sure that I got a lot of motivation out of the fact that I'm teaching." Expressing that with success comes complacency, Sauter underscores how with teaching you have to reflect very precisely on what you're doing, as without doing so, you can't answer the questions that teaching brings.
Text by Carmen Ho for Crane.tv
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