Logistics defines itself as a procedure in which every exception from the rule and every error are part of the plan. Frictionless transport means sophisticated planning and optimized processes. The work OSTL HINE ECSION (Postal Machine Decision Part 1), by the Swiss collective !Mediengruppe Bitnik seeks out the imperfections in the logistic systems in which nowadays computers calculate nearly all necessary decisions. To do so 21 packages were shipped out from Berlin via the logistics services provider DHL Express. Each package was, however, given two delivery addresses: one in Halle (Saale) and one in Brussels.
The work experiments with a decision-making process that was never intended and references the work The Postman’s Choice by Ben Vautier from the year 1965 in which a postal worker decides where a postcard that has two delivery addresses is finally to be sent. As it was back then, the standard rule in digital shipping operations is that for every shipping unit there must be one sender and one clear recipient. In between these two the logistics system works mechanically by means of barcodes, scanners and programmed directives. Autonomous judgements based on the same source information also remind us of Buridan’s ass and its dilemma, providing insights into a system that usually works invisibly.
OSTL HINE ECSION (Postal Machine Decision Part 1), 2018
14 of 21 LED illuminated letters, 14 of 21 cardboard boxes addressed and posted to two exhibition spaces, trafos and cables, chrome-plated pipes, hangers, tv screen with tracking web site, full screen, 16:9