installation/ kinetic sculpture


plexiglass cube, steel frame, brush drive, custom built high voltage transformers (10000 volts each), 42 tungsten electrodes, 42 ceramic gas nozzles, ignition wires, PVC gas pipe, pressure reductor, electro-valve

„In Fear Of Dead Enigmas” is a kinetic sculpture in which slow rotation of a solid causes sequential movement of electrical discharge. It has a form of a translucent cube cut diagonally into two parts; in each of them 42 electrodes connected to the source of high voltage generated by special magnetos are built in. The upper part of the cube is subjected to rotation – through motion, the form is torn and the points of sparking are displaced.
This work uses the idea of ​​clean electricity as a creative material. Electricity is a phenomenon that is all around us, but unnoticeable on a daily basis – its only manifestation is an accidental short circuit that produces a spark. In the installation „In Fear of Dead Enigmas”, electricity is manifested in the form of multiple electric arc; it is manifested as a synesthetic experience – as light, sound, smell – and creates an aleatoric composition pulsating inside the cube.
„In Fear of Dead Enigmas” is inspired by the modernist work of Konstantin Brancusi, who as one of the first artists focused on the essence of things instead of on their appearance and allowed pure ideas to take a place in art. The installation has the form of a Platonic cube, one of the five regular polyhedra, from which – according to Plato – the universe was created.

An intriguing experience was caused by the work of Dorota Walentynowicz, „In Fear of Dead Enigmas”, which represents a longing  for the ideal of Platonic perfection. Shaken by electric shocks, the object strives to obtain the perfect shape of a cube, but as soon as it reaches its goal, it starts its sisyphean work all over again. (Krzysztlof Siatka, Fragile Magazine 2/2013)



technical consultant : dr Wojciech Kielczynski, Mechanical Engineering Department, Technical University of Gdansk

high voltage transformers: Emil Piotrowski, Lincoln Electrics Poland

kinetic design/ drive and plexiglass construction : Axel Mays, Wimmer Gmbh Monchengladbach DE

supported by MuseumsQuartier Vienna Residency Program

photographs : Krzysztof Polkowski