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Surged Amber
Wogender Bernstein
Wood, copper wire, copper discs
Wooden balls: each ø 17 cm
Copper discs: 2 x 16 cm, 1 x 18 cm, 2014
Installation view at Kunsthaus Essen, 2018

The installation Wogender Bernstein consists of three wooden spheres each hanging on copper wire in different heights from the ceiling. Reclined on the floor, three copper plates form the respective anti-pole while at the same time transferring the three-dimensional spherical shapes into two-dimensional ones. Scientific electrical experiments are often conducted with circular or semicircular objects. The space between the two poles is of specific relevance as it doesn’t just disclose the void in between, but reveals the hidden forces (as sparks between two electric poles).
The work’s name Wogender Bernstein is based on the phenomenon of static electricity rubbing amber on certain materials – like fur for example. In noble antique households, a larger amber served as a clothes brush; it slid electrostatically on the fabric and attracted the dust particles off it. This was already known by Thales von Milet and was used for very early experiments on electricity. Electron is the Greek word for Amber.