ZirkeltrainingBootleg Object #01 - ReBraun
"ReBraun" is an mp3-system that basically consist of an hi-fi system from 1962. It has been modified as follows: body and plexiglass hood have been lowered some centimeters, radio scale and grammophone have been substituted by two simple TFT diplays. The original switches, push-buttons and controllers still operate a hi-fi system composed of several components: the matching of radio and grammophone has been turned into a combination of radio/ net-radio/ mp3-player.
"Skinning" is the process of making software freely designable; programmes that are "skinnable" allow the user to change and redefine look, design structure and even functions of the buttons. The designers of "Zirkeltraining" have applied the same principle on their piece: an ordinary PC is optimized for a special assignment and receives a new "skin" - in this case a skin referring to the "Ulm School" of the Sixties. However, the rather clear measures of purpose and objectivity are being newly arranged and playfully modified: The inscription on the anodized frontside quotes ironically the language customs of the period of electronic promoterism (e.g., the button for receiving an audiostream is labelled the german name "Netz-Stationen" - which is an old term since in Germany most of today´s computer applications are named in english). A randomly positioned button named "Zufall" ("coincidence") is the synonime for being independent from mechanical constraints. The design does not represent the traditional way of combining form and function but emphasizes the placing of design in a defined context by "meta-design" related decisions: for example, chosing the object that a function refers to or the alignment of the given operation elements. "ReBraun" is an object out of the "Bootleg Objects" series which intends to re-design objects of everyday life.
"Bootlegging" is a musical term which means the careless re-composition of an old hit to a new track, regardless of any commercial or juristic conditions such as copyright or marketability. The presented works come from the interdisciplinary cooperation of designers, programmers and atists. The members of "Zirkeltraining.org" consider themselves a "virtual sport label" for design. Assignments are developed like a training goal. "ReBraun" is a cooperation of the designers Max Wolf and Markus Bader (concept, design, realisation) and the programmer Sebastian Oschatz (software). The object is not a prototype for a serial product but an handmade, single piece. The aspect of "craft" does not only imply the design of the "exterior" parts like body, skin etc. but also the custom-made production of the software. In this sense, "ReBraun" is a craft artefact that suits perfectly to the environment of the mp3 exhibition of the museum for applied arts.
"Zirkeltraining" was founded in 2001 by Volker Klang and Max Wolf; since then, there have been several cooperations with other designers as much as own works.
Oschatz and Wolf are co-founders of meso (www.meso.net) which is a media laboratory and design agency. They have also developed "ww", a graphical programme code that was used to programme the "ReBraun" hi-fi system.
Markus Bader (www.natural-reality.de) works as an artist and designer mainly in the field of new media on the combination of virtual and real objects.