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Julius von Bismarck and Benjamin Maus

Julius von Bismarck & Benjamin Maus, Breisach, 1983 / Berlin, 1984.

​Julius Von Bismark y Benjamin Maus are two German artists, based in Berlin, who often work together on diverse projects, always related to media art.

Julius von Bismarck, studied visual communication at the University of the Arts in Berlin and was a member of Joachim Sauter’s ‘Digital Class’. In 2013, he was doing his Master as a student of Olafur Eliasson and his Institute for Space Experiments at University of Arts in Berlin. He also participated in the MFA program at Hunter College in New York.

Julius von Bismarck shows his works worldwide and was awarded with several prizes, among others: The Golden Nica Award 2008 and Prix Ars Electronica Collide @ CERN 2011.

Benjamin Maus, works as an experimental designer and artist in Berlin. After he had finished his studies at the University of Arts in Berlin, he took a semester focusing on research at the Tokyo Daigaku University. Benjamin Maus is the co-founder of Studio FELD and is mainly working on projects exploring the interface between crafts and digital media.

Their work “Perpetual Storytelling Apparatus” won the 5th edition of the ARCO-BEEP Electronic Art Award

Work at the collection: Perpetual Storytelling Apparatus

Julius von Bismarck and Benjamin Maus

Perpetual Storytelling Apparatus, 2009

The “Perpetual Storytelling Apparatus” is a drawing machine illustrating a never-ending story by the use of patent drawings. The machine translates words of a text (e.g. a novel) into a stream of patent drawings. Eight million patents – linked by over 22 million references – form the vocabulary. By using references to earlier patents, it is possible to find paths between the patents that have been found for word-combinations in the story. Those connections form a subtext. New visual connections and narrative layers emerge through the interweaving of the story with the depiction of technical developments.

The apparatus takes a combination of words in the story and searches for a patent document, whose text contains those words. Then it extracts the main drawing from the patent document and draws it. Advancing in the story, it finds the next patent document. Between the found patent and the previously drawn patent, the patents that connect the two are drawn in between. This process repeats and ingests one story after another, and generates an endless stream of patent drawings.

The first two instances of the “Perpetual Storytelling Apparatus” are using the database of the US Patent and Trademark Office. The third apparatus, which has recently been installed at the German Patent Office in Munich, uses the whole backlog of patents applied for in Germany.

Julius von Bismarck and Benjamin Maus
Julius von Bismarck and Benjamin Maus

Julius von Bismarck and Benjamin Maus

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