The Tsiolkovsky Trick (2013) from Sascha Pohflepp on Vimeo.

Here’s two examples of work from Sascha Pohlflepp, who is making some interesting digital films. See more on his Vimeo channel. The piece above is elegant in its almost arithmetic construction. Shown at The Woodmill sometime in 2011 I think. Here’s the blurby lowdown:

Every freely available 3D-model of space rockets as found on Google 3D Warehouse. Chronologically ordered and assembled into one unbroken chain of our attempts to transcend the gravity well.

Nice. It’s like a sublime virtual megaphallus monolith, which may or may not be the name of my new band. Up next is The Currency of Living Matter .. be warned, this is where Pohlflepp’s arithmetic gets advanced.

The Currency of Living Matter (Every Thought is Sunlight) from Sascha Pohflepp on Vimeo

The artist was recently commissioned by Auto Italia South East to create a piece around the themes of ‘embodied value, identity economics, and human exchange’. The resulting piece collapses these themes into some sort of overdetermined equation of value.

Here’s the blurb: 

Before we learned to harness electricity all work was done by bodies; consuming, storing and expending energy that comes from a star called Sun. Within the body’s trading floor of cells, the molecular currency of energy transaction is the coenzyme Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). Each human body is a vast stock exchange of such chemical energy, turning over its own weight in ATP each day.
Drawing inspiration from Georges Bataille’s writings on flows of energy and excess, the Currency of Living Matter re-imagines a model of the ATP molecule, bought on the internet for five US dollars, as a desk accessory for biotech executives of the near future.
Presented online as part of opti-ME* at Auto Italia South East is a 3-minute excerpt from a 440-hour computer simulation. 440 hours is the approximate amount of time in which a human body interacting with a physical version of the object would turn over an amount of energy equal to that required for a Bitcoin mining rig to generate five US dollars.*
(Based on a fictionally under-clocked Avalon ASIC #2 mining rig drawing 100W priced at $0.20/kWh, at an exchange rate of $449.36 per Bitcoin, at a difficulty of 8000872135.9682 as of May 10th 2014)

'A star called sun’ ? I’ll ignore that bit. 

There’s something nice about the strange arithmetic of the piece, with it’s random equivalences, but the significance of the equation is lost. Out of respect, I’ll assume that this is intentional (why would anyone make me do such abstract maths for no reason! argh!). Also, I don’t buy that anyone would run a 440 hour simulation to render a 3 minute clip of shiny balls moving randomly. What is the simulation of? What is driving the movement? I love Bataille as much as the next guy, but I’m missing something here. The idea that the desk toy is for an executive in the near future is beguiling, but the blurb is very much not.

Looks nice though. Good work, Sascha.