November 16, 2008
This Post Typed By A Robot
The installation ‘bios [bible]’ consists of an industrial robot, which writes down the bible on rolls of paper. The machine draws the calligraphic lines with high precision. Like a monk in the scriptorium it creates step by step the text.
Starting with the old testament and the books of Moses ‘bios [bible]’ produces within seven month continuously the whole book. All 66 books of the bible are written on rolls and then retained and presented in the library of the installation.
‘bios [bible]’ is focussing on the questions of faith and technical progress. The installation correlates two cultural systems which are fundamental for societies today – religion and scientific rationalism. In this contexts scripture has all times an elementary function, as holy scripture or as formal writing of knowledge.
In computer technology ‘basic input output system’ (bios) designates the module which basicaly coordinates the interchange between hard- and software. Therefore it contains the indispensable code, the essential program writing, on which every further program can be established.
You’ve really got to see the videos to see quite how it works. When I first saw a lo-res picture, I thought that it might be in Hebrew, but it’s beautiful blackletter German.
Part of the reason I thought it might be Hebrew is the use of a long paper scroll (one for each book of the bible), which is consistent with the Jewish tradition. So instead of a manuscript Hebrew Bible on scrolls, a Catholic bible scripted in Latin in a parchment codex, a Luther-era German Bible printed in blackletter on paper, or a modern industrial bible printed by machine, the bible written by the bios machine isn’t quite any of the above.