Admired in art-world precincts for nearly a decade, the German-born, Queens-based duo Franziska Lamprecht and Hajoe Moderegger, aka eteam, traffic in transience. But the English translation of their domain name—“a home of my own”—is the truest compass to where the heart of their work lies. Straddling some hazy intersection of relational aesthetics, and Web and land art, eteam coordinates performative happenings and conceptual transactions between the earthly plane and the realms of the interweb, all wryly reconstructed in hypnotic video work.
In September 2002, eteam bought a remote patch of Utah desert for $450 on eBay and tried to induce trains on the nearby Union-Pacific railroad to stop, in a ludic attempt at giving geographical heft to their digital purchase. Since that piece (dubbed 1.1 Acre Flat Screen), eteam has continued to create tenuous circuits between locations on earth and virtual space through equal parts Web- and real-estate development. They’ve established an “international airport” on a desolate Nevada airstrip, with the neighboring town’s few dozen residents acting as staff, and, more recently, connected two communities in Germany and Nevada through the common search for a stable water supply.
Eteam’s best video, Prim Limit (09), chronicles a year in the life of the artists’ “Second Life Dumpster”—a designated area in the then-popular online world where inhabitants were invited to discard virtual objects. Visiting avatars ponder the purpose of the concocted landfill, making for a group exercise in incidental existentialism. Eventually, a “decay code” must be applied to each article resulting in its deterioration and disappearance, layering a fictive sense of physical impermanence upon Second Life’s weightless atopia.
The interzones that eteam navigates between real and virtual space can be far-fetched and even farcical, but, through the artists’ thoroughness and insistence, each creation takes on an existence that can’t be denied—at least, for as long as it lasts.
Go to meineigenheim.org.
© 2012 by Jesse P. Finnegan