Working since the late 1970s among the downtown New York music and art overlaps, video artist Tony Oursler (born 1957) is famed internationally for his immersive installations. In the summer of 2001, Oursler staged a spectacular installation at the Kunsthaus Bregenz. Titled Flucht, it involved projections onto the building's glass façade and an audio component with actors speaking in a range of dialects.
LOCK 2,4,6 was developed over a number of years in conjunction with Eckhardt Schneider and the Kunsthaus Bregenz. The installation was in part inspired by Peter Zumthor's provocative architecture. Oursler converted the entire building into a meta-installation, using synchronized projections, supergraphics and shaped flat panels to form a maze through which participants navigate.
The title of the exhibition is derived from the psychologist Peter Wason's study on hypothesis testing. He challenged subjects to analyze the number sequence 2, 4, 6 and to produce a rule that fits the sequence. His subjects came up with many theories but very few worked out the simple, correct solution of ascending numbers. His results are important in the study of confirmation bias or how we tend to skew the facts of our world through the filter of our own preconceptions. The work opens a discourse on the bias implicit within one's personal perspective, questioning the relationships between thought and action, biology and belief, fear, strength and vulnerability. Oursler takes an intuitive approach to the mind-body problem, linking three systems roughly defined as mind, body and the unknown. Each occupies a floor of the building: the top floor is pervaded by consciousness and remote control; the second floor is dominated by physical or haptic control; and the first floor is under the influence of compulsive risk-taking and chance-stochastic, out of control. A struggle between volition and fate plays out across these zones as the viewer is asked to question his or her position in this scenario
Clth, 9.75 x 12.25 in. / 160 pgs / 80 color / Audio CD