Individual Power is an electronic installation in which a conveyor belt triggered by movements transports ceramic politicians until they fall and break. The chancellor election in Germany in September 2021 sparked my interest in the connections between contemporary politics and language. The election brought up how the German language mainly addresses the male gender. Print and Social media tried to make the language more inclusive of the female gender by splitting the noun with one of the following symbols */: and adding the female ending. Even without the government announcing an official way, many major journals and media continue to use both female and male endings. ‘Kanzler in’ printed on the wall behind the conveyor belt is the female word for chancellor. Individual Power explores the language individuals and media use regarding politics and politicians. Some of the terms used in newspapers and interviews can be seen on the wall. They include words like ‘norm, cynical, tragic, and threats. These words are chosen to show the moral numbness and cognitive overload every individual faces in the twenty-first century. Terms with a negative connotation are used, trying to gain attention with the most dramatic phrasing. There is not enough capacity to process the overload of information critically. In the last few years, newspapers and news have been filled with negative news, which influences the individual reader; it can lead to anger or hopelessness. This shows when one looks at the language used to address politics or politicians. This installation tries to open a discussion around the power of the individual by empowering the viewer to activate the conveyor belt intentionally or unintentionally. To conclude, this installation emphasises the immense effect of words and that language has to be used with care, which does not mean there can be no changes made. Furthermore, the installation opens room for discussing the power every individual holds and how it can be used nowadays.
Wandel durch Handel?