A letter from Karl Johan Waerndt, a student at the Royal Swedish Art Academy in Stockholm to Egill Sæbjörnsson. The following extracts are published with permission.
Here I am at a café on the top of the Tamya-skyscraper in the very center of Tokyo-city. I'm looking at cars and people and streets and houses 900 meters down below.
In the café is a hologram of a Japanese rockstar called Yamamoto who sings some ballads in Japanese. It is a kind of a cyber-space figure that doesn't exist in reality but everyone talks about it as if it was made of flesh and blood. She is becoming a major hit here in Japan now. Every ten minutes she appears and sings a different song in twelve different places in the city. It is an advertising campaign for her new CD. The whole thing looks really convincing and it feels as if she was here in her own person. Still it is a little tiring to hear the same song again and again since I've been sitting here much longer than I intended (most of the tourists just stop for a couple of minutes so it doesn't matter if they play the same song over and over again).
I hope you wont be insulted when I say that this singing hologram lady reminds me of your work with the turning stone. I kept thinking to myself, what in hell does he mean with this stone? It is like this rhythmically turning stone has become a machine that belongs to a mechanical world. It is like I have become a flying logo in some TV-advertisement and that I'm flying around the stone like a small airoplaine with a camera on my nose .
The stone has become an object that doesn't follow the laws of gravity and spins endlessly. You have taken a three-dimensional photograph of a stone and brought it into your living-room where it is kept on a videomonitor like some kind of a sculpture --- just for fun. Is this to glorify technology or are you glorifying nature?
The three dimensional world created in computers makes one think of the daily environment in a new light ...