5 Questions for rAndom International
Stuart Wood, Florian Ortkrass, and Hannes Koch, Founders/Directors
What inspired your novel Rain Room exhibition—a field of falling water that pauses wherever a human body is detected—for the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)?
It evolved from another idea: using water on a water-reactive ground to drop an image, each water drop becoming a pixel. We then found that the infrastructure of such a piece would be of more interest than the actual result. At the same time we were becoming more and more interested in spatial artwork: the concept of being completely immersed in an environment. Over time—four years in fact—these ideas turned into Rain Room.
What did you hope to accomplish and how did visitors respond?
Our work is experimental by nature and, with the participatory pieces especially, one can't try to predict too much; the beauty of human behavior perhaps lies in its unpredictability. Rain Room was the biggest, most ambitious, and most visible piece we had—at that point—realized and we had no idea how people would respond. But at both the Barbican in London and MoMA in New York, the piece generated a wonderfully rich public response and drew queues from the first day of exhibition.
What is the connection between hospitality and the arts for you?
Our work is only truly complete when an audience engages with it. Hospitality brings a wide range of people into contact with artwork in a way that is both incidental and intimate.
How can we make our hospitality experiences more meaningful through digital technology?
Unlimited free wifi in all hotel rooms.
From Future Self at MADE space in Berlin that studied human movement and what it can reveal about identity, to your most recent experiment with architectural forms at the RuhrTriennale arts festival in Germany, what is the common thread behind all your disparate projects?
The behavior of objects, the behavior of people, and, crucially, the interrelations between them—the man-machine relationship.