Will Work for Food - A studio visit to Karl Heinz Jeron

In the summer of 2008 I went to Berlin, where I visited the studio of artist Karl Heinz Jeron. From 1996 until 2003 Jeron had collaborated with Joachim Blank as Blank & Jeron. On their website sero.org Blank & Jeron presented early web projects such as Dump Your Trash from 1998, which invited the audience to submit web site addresses into an online form. The submitted website would be 'recycled' as if carved into a slab of stone. There was the option to actually order the website carved in stone. The influential text Introduction to Net.Art by Alexei Shulgin was immortalized this way. After having been among the main initiators of the Berlin digital city project Digitale Stadt Blank and Jeron separated ways on friendly terms. Blank now makes more sculptural works, while Jeron has, next to or overlapping with his online projects, moved into 'relational', performance, and conceptual art. This is a photo of one of his drawing robots in action. The robots are part of a work called 'Will Work for Food'. In this work the audience could request to be sent one of the drawing robots, and in return the audience would have to send the artist food in return. The robots played music while they worked. They could be made to sing either Happy Birthday or The Internationale.