Michael Winkler, New York/USA

English version

Michael Winkler, artist at Daimler

Michael Winkler is a visual/conceptual artist who explores the patterning within the alphabetic sequencing of written words: the alphabet is treated as a 'uniquely spaced' circle of 26 letter-points; by drawing lines connecting the letter-points according to the spelling of words, abstract images are create, revealing a meaningful design in the intuitive choices underlying the signs of language. 

In the mixed-media artwork created at Daimler's Mercedes-Benz axle plant in Kassel, a common origin of forms inherent in the process of visual perception underlies both the patterning of the signs of language and the structure of mechanical systems. Additionally, the work includes the 2.000 year-old Antikythera Mechanism which uses 37 gears to accurately predict astronomical events, it illustrates how cosmological phenomena are also mirrored in the natural formation of language, sensory perception, and mechanical systems.

In the Daimler work, the spelling of twelve German words for abstract concepts (concepts inspired by the engineering of the axles produced at the Kassel plant) is inscribed within a fixed circle of alphabetic points. The inscribed spelled-forms are overlayed on an image of a ring-gear (the key component of a driven axle). Rolling the alphabet into a circle mimics the rolling of the gear. The fixed positions of the letter-points, which are rigorously spaced according to a symmetry of vowels, echo the carefully engineered locations of the teeth on the gear's perimeter. The formulation of language and physical engineering share a common origin in simple forms (rows of dots, circles, zigzags, ...). These simple forms, known as 'Entoptic Forms,' can be generated spontaneously by the human Central Nervous System (it is possible that they are the sensory building-blocks of visual perception). Entoptic Forms are depicted in the prehistoric markings which provide the earliest evidence of the emergence of the symbolic mind.

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