[NetBehaviour] Search - public art installations by Darko Fritz made of mint at the trijunction of Slovakia, Austria and Hungary

info info at furtherfield.org
Sat Sep 15 16:20:06 CEST 2012

public art installation made of mint

September 2012
location: Rajka, trijunction of Slovakia, Austria and Hungary
curated by Zuzana Duscho for the Culburb project (Cultural Acupuncture 
Treatment for Suburb)



Installation "Search" is set near Budapest, at the trijunction of 
Slovakia, Austria and Hungary, at the very national border, next to 
official sign "Slovensko" (Slovakia) at the highway. Since Slovakia 
joined EU, there is no border control any more. Artwork is situated in 
environment of two road signs "Slovensko" (Slovakia), empty flag poles 
and absent custom border office in Rajka.

Project consists of making, planting, maintaing and using the 
horticulture unit / art installation “Search”. Installation is build in 
the shape of the typical searching interface of internet browsers and 
other interactive electronic media. It consist of one 'empty' 
rectangular field, and another one, letter-designed button that reads 
“Search”. The installation is made in total size of 2.2 x 20 m, 
graphically shaped by paving stones and growing mint plants, surrounded 
by grass field that lay between two roads. Everybody may feel free to 
pick any of 670 mint plants from installation for personal use. Several 
kinds of mints are used: Mentha piperita 'Granada', Mentha piperita 
citrata (Lemon Bergamot Mint) and Mentha gracilis Ginger. The paving 
stones will be given free of charge to local population after concluding 
the horticultural unit / art installation.

This project is part of "Migrant Navigator" project by Darko Fritz, 
where author question the notions of home and identity. As part of this 
long-term project (since 2002), he already setup the images of Home 
internet browser icons at national borders of Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary 
and Italia.


Excerpts from the "Not Home" by Eric Kluitenberg:

Darko Fritz Migrant Navigator project series can be seen as an abstract 
machine - a kind of GPS for an impossible (because inaccessible) space: 
a space of dislocation. ... Hit the search button! The migrant will find 
anything and everything, except home. All that is a home, is temporary, 
provisional, simulacrum (copy without original), irreverent sign in a 
hyper-space of merely symbolic circulation - no referent adheres. Its 
noeme, contrary to photography as Barthes identified it, is 
this-has-not-been. The migrant home is only a negative proof, an 
inverted sign of absence that attempts to cover up, unsuccessfully, the 
ever present trauma of the loss of the lost origin.
Ever expanding communication networks produce ever increasing migration, 
and in this sense also produce a continuing devastation of the notion of 
home for a growing population in flux. Home becomes a floating 
signifier. ... The digital networks, of which the internet is now the 
most comprehensive example, are similarly migratory spaces of 
dislocation. Information travels in a non-space encoded in a digital 
code that has no analogy to its origin - it refers back only to itself. 
All that is visible within this non-space are temporary and fleeting 
appearances, hyperreal symbols, floating signifiers. Apparently stable 
appearances are mere simulacra of the purest sort. Meaning is 
constructed here in action, in dynamic exchange, through short feedback 
loops. The referent does not adhere as much as that it floats by. Thus, 
sense and meaning is produced in and through movement. Meaning in that 
sense is nomadic, it floats with the migrant / user, producing a highly 
useful space for tactical operation, but a very complicated space for 
strategic investment, yet also a space of control 'in flight'.
The migrant can float because control can now float with the migrant. 
The migrant, for the vested system of power interests, is a controlled 
exteriority, a dislocated, dis-informed and therefore dis-empowered 
entity. It poses no threat as such. The distributed structure of the 
migrants' dislocated life invites a new microstructure of contestation 
and conflict to which the notion of homeland defence just seems a 
hopelessly antiquated response.
The migrant's Romantic quest, meanwhile, remains an infinite one:
 > Search: Home
 > Response: 404

"Migrant Navigator" project by Darko Fritz: 

Eric Kluitenberg: Not Home, written for "Darko Fritz - archives in 
progress [ projects 1987 - 2007 ]". Published by the Croatian 
Association of Artists, Zagreb (HDLU) / Museum of Modern and 
Contemproary Art, Rijeka, 2007, and at Tactival Media Files, Amsterdam, 
2011, http://www.tacticalmediafiles.net/article.jsp?objectnumber=54202


Darko Fritz


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