© 2010, Matthias Fitz


An Aesthetic of Physical Nature

The art of Matthias Fitz is experimental and installation-based, technical while at the same time appealing to the senses. The latter includes the active involvement of the spectators, who in many of his works function as necessary participants, or even the catalysts of certain effects and possibilities. For example, in his work “Streichlicht” without their actions – the striking of the matches – no action, or more precisely, no interaction takes place.
Matthias Fitz also interactively incorporates continually selected aspects of the natural world in his works, such as when he utilizes a VLF receiver to makes inaudible frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum perceptible as complex tonal sounds and soundscapes. The raw materials of his sensory stimulating artworks are often the tones and images that human senses are unable to detect – information and perceptual elements and patterns which can be physically measured and observed but which elude our direct perception.

This type of thing is primarily examined and presented in the natural sciences and not in art. Matthias Fitz, who trained as an electronic engineer for communication and then as a Meisterschüler with studies in experimental media at the Berlin University of the Arts, operates in the art world and sets up his plastic arrangements as both functional and poetic experiential spaces. Darkness often plays a role; many of the visible effects of his installations are only visible through it. This darkening also lends his works a bit of a magical, secretive atmosphere. The results are irritatingly beautiful images, crackling, original sound sequences, white noise, and flashing impressions. They are optical and auditory realizations of an unknown and yet existing reality which Fitz has transmitted, constructed and shown through technical and aesthetic artistic measures that seem deliberate and planned. His art employs an aesthetic of a physical nature.

But what is real? That which is tangible, which exists and creates an effect? The installation art of Matthias Fitz pushes the boundaries of how we define reality and objectivity, of perception and perceptibility. It implants moments and conditions of the invisible as sounds, movement patterns and images in what seem to us relatively familiar three-dimensional, objective spaces. It fascinates through systems of self-reference and disturbance, often with autopoietic moments and conditions of physical elements, which seem to have a life of their own that can now be experienced through the work of Matthias Fitz. In this way, he produces with his art situations that surprisingly seem to go unnoticed and that  sometimes appear chaotic but which do have their own system of order and disorder to which they belong and conform, although these may not be immediately understandable, and which are as much a part of our world as the phenomena of the clearly visible. For this reason, the art of Matthias Fitz is irritating, even captivating; it is unsettling and yet beautiful at the same time. It also shows that assumptions about that which we identify as reality are only relative assumptions. It may be that such findings are hardly new for physicists and mathematicians. However, the art of Matthias Fitz communicates and depicts these findings and experiences in terms of aesthetic quality – through installations, videos and photographs. The world seen in this way is one of wonder, in which the smallest and most ephemeral bits function as necessary building blocks and draw attention to themselves. Apparently, one needs to have two such areas of talent as Matthias Fitz possesses in order to combine scientific and aesthetic expertise with such clarity in works of art.

Dr. Peter Funken, March 2011


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