Polish Performance Archive

Description by Filmoteka Muzeum

Kwiek used the cybernetic model to address the construction of reality, the fundamental function of human cognition, and a mutual interdependence between communicating individuals. He wrote: “The cybernetic model says: What and how we know is the result of the way we currently organize reality. This is one of the central tenets of cybernetics, a science that organizes reality into systems and sub-systems and examines the relations between them. The creation of value is based on the same mechanism.”

Cybernetic “character theory” was the context for Kwiek's cognitive experiments with video installations. It was the point of departure, allowing him to identify the structure of his own cognition with the structure of a machine. Commenting on video technology Kwiek said: “We thus have a tool that works much like our imagination, like our mind, which processes perceived, remembered, or currently produced images. The discovery of successive parallels, relations, analogies, and oppositions between the functions of means of mechanical recording, playback, and transmission happens to be on the one hand the process of learning about those means and, on the other, learning about the analogous structures of our minds.” Continuing his discussion of “closed circuit” video installations, Kwiek said: “ What fascinated me about television was the simultaneity in observing the effect and the working cause. So that one could create model situations in which the effect of an action was instantaneous, and in which one could observe and turn that observation into another object of cognition to be manipulated in turn. 'The reality of the television studio,' with all its cameras, was like a piece of the human brain that has such characteristics as: perception, cognitive structure, some ability to operate on objects, on what it perceives, and some ability to operate on the objects of thought, that is, filming itself. And when one adds to this the structure of live intellect that enters this system, the model of reality created by television, the opportunity for the penetration of reality becomes doubled: a human being resides in the reality which is a model, and simultaneously this model becomes the reality inhabited by that human being... Models... give one the opportunity to observe what is over the horizon of everyday life, what is at the limits of cognition.”

Quoted from: Ł. Ronduda, Polish Art of the 70s, Warszawa 2009.