Interview with Wolfgang Scheppe
Flux Magazine / 0|0|2002
- How was End Commercial conceived/ what inspired the project?
Since we are working in the construction of fictionalising iconographies we started to be more and more interested in the lost empirical and documentational character of pictures. We started to look in adifferent way at our urban surroundings. To act like ethnographers doing fieldwork means you concentrate on the most normal and common objects that strangely enough are due to their ordinariness beyond perception. People look at this everyday objects, but they do not perceive them.
- How does it relate to your previous work/s?
Professionally working as an agency we are engaged in the linguistic and iconographic quality of urban reality since years.
- What is the function/ significance of the book compared to the website?
The website only serves as an organizational center of the activies being encompassed within the Endcommercial project.
- What are the hidden meanings behind the ‘signs’ in the book, what do they say to you about the city/ all cities? What is the significance of the repetition of the ‘signs’?
In our eyes, a multitude of visual samples evaluates the generic, the universal and the global charakter of a phenomenon. We are not interested in the unique, in the singular or the picturesque. We are interestet in essential structures and necessities of the generic city.
- The project is obviously based in NY, but how does it relate in an international context?
The global economic system fortified by a global crisis tends to generalize the conditions of life in endemic contexts the used to manifest local cultural qualities. Today the typical first world metropolis driven by an economical crisis developed a selforganizational low end economiy subsytem that years ago only existed in third world cities. In New York a kind of antizipation of urban trends is materialized. Due to its size and the fact, that economical trends are being started there, New York serves as both: a kind of model-situation for trends and a paradigm for an early adaptor of processes of the future.
- Can these signs be read in their own context, or is the collection all important?
The linguistic element of our work is not the single picture, as seen in galleries and museums. The significance of this visual language is constructed in a syntactic way: It is the grammatical correlation of objects in urban surroundings and their taxonomic composition that makes them readable.
- What is the future of the project?
Endcommercial is conceived as an ongoing archival project. There are new pictures everyday, there are new cities to be analyzed, the taxonomy is bifurcating and growing like a tree, there are new understandings, new forms of awareness and new concepts. And the crisis developing everyday. There will be a new book that serves as a critical appendix to the picture collection of Endcommercial. Endcommerciial was only pictures no text, this will be only text no pictures. There will be new exhibitions, that alway show new extracts from the archive.