bios [bible], 2007/2010
In 2010, as part of the PLAY ADMONT . regional10 visited the Admont Abbey Library and unexpectedly found a massive industrial robot there. Within a few months he wrote down the New Testament by hand with a pen on a large roll of paper.
The machine executed the calligraphic lines with precision, gradually creating the text like a monk in the monastic scriptorium. The massive appearance of the robot, its movements and noises had an effect on the viewer, were interpreted individually and evoked ideas that could lie in the area of the immediately practical as well as the utopia of a possible human-machine culture.
bios [bible] was an installation of Robotlab, an informal group of artists (Matthias Gommel, Martina Haitz, Jan Zappe) formed in 2000 that is affiliated with the Institute of Image Media at the Karlsruhe Centre for Art and Media (ZKM). The core themes of bios [bible] are faith and technical progress. The installation brings together two of the fundamental aspects of western societies: Christian belief and scientific rationalism. In this context, the medium of writing plays a special role as it is used both to document Holy Scripture and record knowledge.
‘Basic input output system’ (bios) is a computing term that is used to designate the component that coordinates the interaction of hard drive and software and thus provides the essential, indispensable operating system that first allows computers to start up and process information. It thus represents that basic program, the initial causative script, on which all subsequent programs build.
The paper roll with the script produced by the installation in the library was subsequently added to the collection of Admont Abbey.