Christmas Piece (single—channel video, 2011) A traditional paradigm of economics lies in viewing the forces of capitalism as the laws of nature: be it the “invisible hand”, be it the centrifugal and centripetal forces of the market which regulate the production and circulation of goods according to Newton’s laws of inertia and centrifugal force. Laws of nature appear to be deliria, states of externalisation, either to be taken into account or to be ruled out. That’s never quite sure. The inhabitants of Finland are known for their elevated risk of suicide, stoic tranquility, dry sense of humour, and their own interpretation of tango. They are also fans of pointless enterprises and absurd competitions. But what is absurd in times like this anyway?
Using a fixed camera view, David Muth films a man who tampers with a strange installation between a garage and a red van in the deep snow of Finland. An engine that should propel a conifer requires his full attention. But it is still warming up, humming a little, whilst the tree appears to start moving by trembling slightly. Then another man joins in: the machine is tinkered with and hammered on, the drive belt is being helped manually, and finally the tree begins to turn. The men are watching, laughing, and gesticulating towards the camera and off stage. The tree is spinning faster and faster. The engine starts smoking. An attempt is made to save the process, but the tree itself lost balance through the rotation and seems to tilt at any moment. Or to fly. That’s it. One is fanning the smoke away, the other one switches off.
David Muth (b. 1971 in Salzburg) — an Austrian artist, musician and programmer. Having grown up in Salzburg, he relocated to the UK to study at Middlesex, University, where he received an MA in Digital Arts.
His artistic practice combines conceptual and experimental approaches and is informed by his background in architecture. His project range from installations and responsive environments, through video and experimental documentary, to composition and performance of music.
His work has been shown on numerous occasions internationally with venues and events including the Musée d’Art Contemporain in Montreal, the Kiasma Museum of Modern Art in Helsinki, Ars Elec- tronica in Linz, ISEA2006 in San Jose, Le Cube in Paris, Montevideo in Amsterdam, Laboral in Gijón, SIGGRAPH2009 in New Orleans and the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid. He also teaches at Goldsmiths and the Royal College of Art.
He currently lives and works in London, Vienna and Turku.