The Reawakening of a Mummified Artist – A Metabolism of a Very Special Kind

24 May 2015

The 5th anniversary of the OUBEY MINDKISS Project was a time to honor its work publically and put it in perspective. Up to this point the project had simply surged ahead and happened. It had fostered experiences and encounters with people all across the world from a wide range backgrounds and professions, created situations and hard facts, and publicized OUBEY and his works on the internet. And in the resonance space created, over the course of the past few years it had received a steady stream of comments and feedback. And now for the first time in the public spotlight it ventured onto the meta-level of having other people put their own perspectives on what it had achieved thus far.

That two such brilliant and famous thinkers as Professor Peter Kruse and Professor Peter Weibel came forward to give their views was in itself cause enough for excitement. And on the evening of the 5th May, together with the other guests at the ZKM Center for Art and Media, I was privileged to hear the thoughts of these two pioneering thinkers on the OUBEY MINDKISS Project. Click here to view a short video which gives a general impression of the happening along with some excerpts from their talks.

Taking as his starting point the question of what a MINDKISS actually means, in his opening address Peter Weibel embarked on an associative train of thought that led us through science, poetry and technology in its exploration of OUBEYs original neologism, and throwing a fascinating light on both its MIND and KISS components.

Professor Weidel also touched on what in his view made the project such a unique undertaking which is that he sees in it a successful attempt “to transfer this material painting with its material carrier medium into the world of electromagnetic waves. Dagmar Woyde-Koehler has taken these paintings from the old analog world and resituated them in the new digital world. This is an unparalleled undertaking. (…) Because the fact of the matter is that to some extent the painter already was preserved in another storage medium. He was partly mummified, he was already dead. But I can reawaken him by transferring him to digital data.”

Peter Weibel expresses in a nutshell exactly what we have been doing in the past five years of the OUBEY MINDKISS Project in a creative approach we shall continue to pursue unflaggingly in the years ahead. With Digital Discovery we have already made the next boundary-crossing step in this direction. Weibel‘s statement – but also the enthusiastic response of all our guests to the world debut of this Digital Discovery Technology – is reassuring testimony that shows us how right we were when we first struck out on these unconventional untrodden ways.

Quite a different tour of the horizon was taken in Professor Peter Kruse‘s conversation with the internet publicist Ulrike Reinhard the video of which was screened on the evening of the 5th anniversary happening at the ZKM. In Peter Kruse’s view the three key dimensions of the project are the dimensions of empathy, experiment and provocation.

Kruse offered not just an unvarnished personal account of his encounter with OUBEYs art and the OUBEY MINDKISS Project. He also pointed out the potential for growth inherent in this project as an open and interactively shaped process and as a cultural experiment in communication. And he also gave an extremely incisive critical analysis of current trends on global markets and the art market in particular, starting with the dominant position of the financial market and the repercussions this has on the overall system affecting every nook and cranny of society – including the cultural sector and art itself.

The guests followed Peter Kruse’s talk with the keenest interest and it provoked many lively discussions during the further course of the evening. Ulrike Reinhard has now written about the project and her conversation with Professor Kruse in her own blog which you can read by clicking here.

To sum up from our own standpoint: The OUBEY MINDKISS Project has succeeded in creating a free space which, as Professor Kruse says, is a model for how the general public can and should experience culture and art – free from all market regulation. This is precisely where he locates the project’s potential for provocation. At the same time – as Professor Weibel puts it – the project has also succeeded in endowing with new life the work of an artist who died too young by transferring it from the analog to the digital world.

From my own standpoint I see what is unfolding in the OUBEY MINDKISS Project as an energy-charged metabolism – a very particular kind of metabolism. It draws its life from the primary force of OUBEYs free spirit which finds expression in his paintings. It takes this primary energy and transforms it into completely new and very open processes of discovery and recognition. And by doing so it creates a resonance space which as it grows turns into a space of collective opportunities which generates a continual flow of new impulses. The space picks up the impulse emitted by the art and the art lives and breathes in the space. The project ensures that this type of metabolism can flourish.

Thus OUBEYs spiritual autonomy lives on in the MINDKISS Project in new and unexpected forms. In following his traces I allow myself all kinds of freedom – including the liberty to turn my back on the established art market. I do what I find to be true and meaningful – what I think best accords with OUBEYs way of thinking and working and – not the least of considerations – what gives people all over the world an immense amount of joy and pleasure when encountering his art. If this should have provocative effects, all I can say is that these are unintentional. But they are certainly not devoid of meaning.

Nothing of what has been achieved so far could ever have been achieved without the enthusiastic and professional support of an ever-growing number of wonderful people across the whole world. Four of these guys – representing countless others – have sent short greetings videos which you can view by clicking here. To them and to all the others I would like to express my deep and heartfelt thanks. You’re simply marvelous and I’m so glad that you’re a part of this great OUBEY MINDKISS Community!

Empathetic – Experimental - Provocative Professor Peter Kruse on the OUBEY MINDKISS Project

19 May 2015

Unfortunately Professor Peter Kruse wasn’t able to personally attend the OUBEYs 5thAnniversary in the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe. But his video statement was very much present. Played on the evening of 5th May at the Special Happening, it provided plenty of inspiration for lively talks and discussions throughout the evening.

Kruse was of one of the very first to venture on an “Encounter” with one of OUBEYs paintings which he did in February 2010. It proved an encounter full of empathy “almost like meeting a kindred spirit” as he puts it today.

The way the project grew organically in an open process of interaction – which Kruse describes as “an experiment in cultural communication” – caught his interest back then and has held it ever since. In the meanwhile Kruse thinks that the project  – continuing on its own idiosyncratic way and turning its back resolutely on all the prescriptions of the speculative art market – has taken on the character of a counter-model to the art market and thus appears to him as a provocation in the positive sense of the word.

Our Blog “A Metabolism of a very special Kind” picks up and reflects on Professor Kruse’s thoughts. It will be published on May 27.

OUBEY MINDKISS 5thAnniversary – This Special Kind of Happening Thrilled Everyone who Was There

13 May 2015

On 5 May 2015 OUBEY MINDKISS celebrated the anniversary of the project launch in the same place where, five years ago, on 23 March 2010, it took its first tentative steps in the public spotlight at the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe.

What follows is the first photo-reportage of the event. A short video is now being prepared and will be online shortly.

OUBEYs PhotonPainting POW, the key visual of the 5th Anniversary was suspended in the great atrium to greet the arriving guests.

OUBEYs original works accompanied by their companion Encounter Videos were shown for the first time in Karlsruhe– the city where they were created many years ago.

Some people came by in the early afternoon to give themselves plenty of time to see everything there was to see.s

The Special Happening kicked off with a marvelous surprise. SennerJazz filled the atrium with the unusual sound of alpine horns playing melodies by George Gershwin.

Dagmar Woyde-Koehler welcomed the large company of assembled guests. With a twinkle in her eye, she placed the 5th Anniversary in the context of the great anniversaries of the year: 100 years of Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, 25 years of the Hubble Space Telescope, and 5 years of OUBEY MINDKISS!

Friends and partners of OUBEY MINDKISS, who were unable to make it to Karlsruhe, sent videos of greetings and congratulations from New York and Berlin. Stefan Sagmeister, a partner of the very first hour, Director Bernd Müller, Webmaster Jurgen Altziebler and Christoph Brosius, who together with their team developed the OUBEY Digital Discovery. Please click here to view the video of their best wishes.

In his inspirational welcome address, Professor Peter Weibel, Director of the ZKM, took the opportunity to explore what is actually meant by a MINDKISS in the intersection of science, philosophy and daily life. So he put the audience in the mood for experiencing it themselves.

The internet is the main channel by which the project communicates with its worldwide community. On the evening of the Happening too.

Unfortunately Professor Peter Kruse wasn’t able to attend himself but his video talk situating the OUBEY MINDKISS Project in the context of present day societal developments was followed by the audience with the keenest interest and gave plenty of food for thought and animated discussions thoughout the rest of the evening. The video with Peter Kruse’s provocative and insightful thoughts will go online next week on OUBEYs YouTube Channel.

The questions he dealt with and a great many other issues were touched on in the conversations Dagmar Woyde-Koehler had with her guests.

Each guest also had the opportunity to meet with one of OUBEYs paintings in an Open Encounter. Unfortunately time was too short to give everybody who wished to participate the opportunity to do so which we very much regret and hope that at some point soon in the future the occasion to remedy this will present itself.

The Digital Discovery experience was not only an extraordinary kind of highlight, it was also a world premiere. With this special technology interactive experiments in discovery can now be made with five of OUBEYs paintings. Click here to read more.

At the end of the evening all the guests were anxiously awaiting the result of draw to see who would be the proud new owner of the PhotonPainting POW, in its large format size as presented at the ZKM. The lottery was open to all the guests.

The lucky winner of OUBEYs PhotonPainting POW was Eve who had come all the way from Paris specially to be at the evening. Even if everyone in the room was hoping they would be the one to take this painting home with them, everybody warmly congratulated the winner for her tremendous stroke of luck.

The whole happening went off with great conviviality and good humor with many guests staying for more than three hours to sup their fill of what was offered on show. As someone remarked on one of the Tweet Sheets where guests could leave their comments, “This place really rocks you!”

We would like to say a big thank you to all those whose generous support and cooperation helped make the evening the success it was, and particularly Peter Kammerer.

The photos were taken by Uli Deck, who also photographed the project’s launch five years ago.

Anniversary Greetings from New York and Berlin

11 May 2015

Stefan Sagmeister (conceived the design of the multi-awarded OUBEY MINDKISS Book), Bernd Müller (created the experimental OUBEY Experience Film), Jurgen Altziebler (developed the website oubey.com) and Christoph Brosius (invented and produced the worldwide brandnew „OUBEY Digital Discovery“ installation sent their congratulations on occasion of the 5thAnniversary of the OUBEY MINDKISS Project via video message to Karlsruhe.

If you would like to know what these appreciated partners of OUBEY MINDKISS said, click here

The Play of Light and Time

06 May 2015

Two years ago during the Encounter between OUBEYs painting Nullfeld (Zero Field) and the whale filmmaker Daniel Opitz on Maui/Hawaii, something happened that we hadn’t reckoned with. In the course of the Encounter the painting – which had been properly lit for the video recording – gradually slipped under the sway of an illumination factor which makes all the spotlights of this world pale by comparison – the sun.

Following the rotation of the Earth, the sun reached that precise spot in the heavens from where its rays could fall with full force and splendor through the window of the room directly onto OUBEYs painting. And what happened then on and in this painting was spectacular.

The glorious blue of the painting changed to an incandescent violet while the three dimensionality of its deep structure, apparent before, radiated with a new vitality, an unexpected astonishing sense of new possibilities revealed. The reflections of the sunlight coaxed totally new pictures out of this seemingly familiar painting, although the painting itself of course remained objectively the same. We were dumbstruck in astonishment and delight. Neither of us had ever experienced anything like it before when viewing works of art, and we feasted our eyes insatiably on the banquet of glories revealed by the passage of sunlight.

Since that time on Maui I’ve been pondering how such an experience can be made accessible to other people. But who has the time to wait for the moment when the sun’s beams fall at the correct angle on one of OUBEYs paintings? And at precisely such a moment who has the chance to have a painting before them that can respond so intensively to the light of the sun as one of these paintings by OUBEY?

And now an answer has come along. It’s called Digital Discovery. With Digital Discovery you can regulate the play of natural sunlight on one of OUBEYs paintings from any place and with very little effort. This unique technology opens the way to sensational voyages of discovery through OUBEYs works. You can move forwards and backwards across the natural 24 hour progression of light and dark and play and replay any section you wish – across the whole surface of the painting shown on the screen which corresponds to the size of the original and is a 3D reproduction as faithful to the original and as accurate as possible.

This is very much in line with OUBEY for whom “painting with light” was a major pole of attraction from a very early stage, even though sadly enough the technical possibilities available to him during his lifetime were few and far between. And it’s also in line with the approach taken by the OUBEY MINDKISS Project which eschews “expert” ways of seeing and interpreting because it believes that each person brings their own way of seeing to a painting which in turns enriches the way all others see. And here the sun as a factor which shapes our ways of seeing is a most welcome guest! The colors and structures of a painting in the rays of the rising sun are quite different to the same painting seen at midday or sunset or during the night. Everything is the flow of a process, nothing stays the same. Each situation has its own particular charm, its own particular quality.

“Digital Discovery” is another example of the highly unusual approach adopted by the OUBEY MINDKISS Project which shuns the conventional rules of presentation and received ways of perception known in the established art business. Rather than assigning a painting one perfect place under perfect conditions of lighting, the excitement of lively dynamic interaction is created by offering the possibility of viewing it from a multitude of changing perspectives. Over and over again.

The Digital Discovery experience will be premiered at the 5thAnniversary of OUBEY MINDKISS on 5 May at the ZKM | Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe. We’re really curious to see just how the audience will greet it!

27 Cube Memory System

06 May 2015

One day when I asked OUBEY just what “27 Cube Memory System” – the title of the only triptych he ever painted – actually meant, he gave me a very special kind of look and shot back, “You’d better ask Fritz Haller about that”. And that was the end of that until 2005, one year after OUBEYs untimely death, when I drove to Bern with the original triptych packed in the boot of my car to see Fritz Haller and ask him this question.

Fritz Haller and OUBEY met in 1981/82 at the University of Karlsruhe where OUBEY was studying architecture and Haller was head of the department for design and construction of industrial buildings. In the very first night OUBEY and I spent together, talking until sunrise, we swaped stories from our past lives and discussed our visions for the future of planet Earth. OUBEY told me of his professor and the projects like Integral Urban and Prototype Space Colonies which Fritz Haller had introduced him. OUBEYs glowing enthusiasm for science, science fiction and the outstanding range of his visionary thinking impressed me so much that it remained among the freshest most immediate of my memories.

Fritz Haller was one of the very few figures whose authority OUBEY almost unreservedly accepted. A carpenter by trade, this autodidact towered over the university establishment by the strength of his vision and the unconventionality of his teaching methods. This at least was how OUBEY saw him who found in the professor an inspirational role model for just how far you could go if you shook off the weight of convention and forged your own way. And Haller for his part accepted the young OUBEY who was anything but the average conventional student of architecture, dutiful, industrious, ambitious and dull. While others were duly designing a folding chair because designing a folding chair was what the assignment called for, OUBEY drew up a rotational vector which formed the basis of his own idiosyncratic mathematical approach. “Haller accepted this as the outcome of a design process for a folding chair and commented that it was “intriguing”. He told me that this was a direction I should continue to pursue”, OUBEY said in a conversation in 1992. But it was Haller himself who pursued it since by then OUBEY had abandoned the chase.

The enormously important role that Haller played for the young OUBEY hesitating at the crossroads where architecture and art part company becomes apparent when we consider that OUBEY dedicated a triptych to him, named 27 Cube Memory System after the “multi-celled basic structure of orthogonal systems” Haller had developed:. Apart from Fritz Haller, there are only two other people to whom OUBEY ever dedicated a painting: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz with the painting “Die Reise der Monaden” (The Journey of the Monads) and Albert Einstein with the painting “Einsteins Tränen” (Einstein’s Tears) which is also a play on the title of a Perry Rhodan sci-fi novel.

The 27 Cube Memory System explains the fundamental structure of a cube composed of a total of 27 cubes consisting of four different types. The whole structure can only function when the cubes –which are differentiated by various numbers of open sides – are placed in correct order . It’s an intelligent building system, fascinating, seemingly obvious, but far from trivial.

The triptych of the same name, however, is less concerned with the actual cube system, even though the middle panel contains a number of delicate allusions to it along with the name “Fritz Haller” carved in the outer crust of the thick layer of paint. The name can only be found if the viewer stands very close to the painting and consciously looks for it. Astonishingly enough, Haller immediately recognized it, even though when I brought the painting to him in 2005, he was suffering the advanced stages of Parkinson’s. I gave him a large photographic reproduction of the triptych with a dedication as a memento of this extraordinary and even somehow extraterrestrial reunion between Haller and OUBEY in Bern, and he presented me with the voluminous catalog to his one man show in the Martin Gropius Bau in Berlin which OUBEY and I unfortunately had been unable to attend. Since I met Fritz Haller and his wife first in 2005, I visited them every year and over the course of seven years until Hallers´s death in 2012, we became true friends.

For OUBEY this three part painting – so he once said to me when we were talking about it at greater length – is the expression in art of the existentially vital dilemma he was facing in 1983: studying architecture yet carrying the flame of art inside him = the meeting with Haller, the brilliant architect, encouraged him to follow the promptings of his heart and go his own way = leaving architecture behind him and forging ahead to live and work as a free artist. Such currents of feeling can be easily deciphered if you delve deep enough into the painting. Yet without knowing anything of the personal background to the work perhaps you might just simply see it as representing our way through life – being aware that living inherently means dying – that leads from living through death to the after death freedom of the spirit and the soul. Death is not an end but a center. Death is the bridge, door and key out of the spirit’s body-bound mode of existence in this world into another immaterial form of energy. OUBEY himself talked about this way of viewing the painting in this conversation in 1992, which I already mentioned before. It‘s a way of viewing that I also embraced when I returned from my visit to Fritz Haller in 2005 and expressed my own thoughts about the painting in a poem. Whether or not I shall publish the poem and if so when, I don’t as yet know.

The right wing of the triptych, by the way, has already been in two Encounters – one of them is online and shows the Encounter with the Maori violinist Elena. Needless to say she hadn’t the slightest idea about anything talked about in this blog post when she first saw the painting – which makes the associations it awakened in her and the discoveries she made that more interesting.”This impassioned red is yearning for the freedom of the infinite blue” was one of the thoughts expressed in the other Encounter which is not online.

After ten years of project work and five years of OUBEY MINDKISS in the public arena one important phase of the project has now come to an end and the next phase is beginning. So many people have talked about this triptych and what they have said shows such fascinating points of divergence and such astonishing points of similarity that any danger of one restricted received view of the painting can be safely discounted. Furthermore, the series of personal Encounters with OUBEYs paintings is now over and done with – always with the notable exception of an Encounter with an astronaut, a wish that thus far has not been realized. So the triptych certainly won’t be travelling to another Encounter – which enables me now to publish a blog like this one for the first time and perhaps by doing so makes you feel a little better acquainted with OUBEY. I am delighted that this is possible now and I believe OUBEY would be, too.


  • Read more about OUBEY and Fritz Haller in previous articles at the OUBEY Blog here and here.
  • If you would like to get very close to the center part of OUBEYs triptych, to see the scratches and Fritz Haller´s name in it, you can do a “360 Degree Virtual Visit” at OUBEYs studio.

An Amazing Development: From a One-Woman-Enterprise to the Community of a Worldwide Joint Venture

06 May 2015

In 2005 Dagmar Woyde-Koehler set up the OUBEY MINDKISS Project – on her own and against all the rules of the art business. In 2010 she first put OUBEYs art in the public spotlight – treading unconventional ways and supported by outstanding partners. In 2015 a global Community is now celebrating the 5th anniversary and all that’s been achieved so far – in eager anticipation of what’s to come.

We wish to thank everybody who’s supported OUBEY MINDKISS and brought it on its amazing way!

And we’re looking forward to continuing this creative fruitful collaboration with all those who join and contribute to the project in future.

5th Anniversary of OUBEY MINDKISS – Dagmar Woyde-Koehler in conversation

03 May 2015

On the occasion of the 5th Anniversary of the OUBEY MINDKISS Project, the internet journalist Ulrike Reinhard did an interview with Dagmar Woyde-Koehler, initiator and curator of this project – via Skype from Hong Kong to Karlsruhe. It´s about processes of development and change, special experiences but also on some first ideas for the future, of course.

If you would like to meet Dagmar Woyde-Koehler in person and talk to her, you can do so if you join the 5th Anniversary Happening of OUBEY MINDKISS at ZKM Karlsruhe between 2 and 10 pm.

POW 1991

By the way: Every guest will have the chance to win the large sized high glossy version of OUBEYs PhotonPainting “POW” – which is the artistic counterpart of the map of “The Expanding Universe of OUBEY MINDKISS”. It´s a symbol for the explosive power of OUBEYs artwork and the expanding impact of the OUBEY MINDKISS project, spreading curiosity and interest in OUBEYs art all over the world.

The OUBEY MINDKISS 5th Anniversary „Share&Win“ Lottery ended last night See the Prize Drawing and know who “The Winners are …”

27 March 2015

Last night was “Game Over” for our Share&Win lottery on occasion of the 5th Anniversary of the OUBEY MINDKISS project launch. MANY THANKS to all of you, who shared or retweetet our posts on Twitter, Facebook and G+ the last three weeks. It was great fun to do the prize drawing in OUBEYs studio just a few hours ago. If you want to know who “The winners are … ” – just view this short video. Congrats to the winners!!!

Because Art is a Daughter of Freedom (Friedrich Schiller) - OUBEY MINDKISS Celebrates its 5th Anniversary

26 March 2015

On 5 May 2015 the OUBEY MINDKISS Project will be celebrating its fifth birthday with a happening held at the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe –the very same place it first saw light of day on 23 March 2010.

Individualistic, radical and consistent – The Project takes all kind of liberties. Including the liberty to turn its back on the established art market

Even after five years of successful work with the OUBEY MINDKISS Project built on the rich and multi-facetted legacy left by the Karlsruhe artist OUBEY following his untimely death, Dagmar Woyde-Koehler, the initiator and driving force behind the project, remains as fiercely independent and radical as ever and still refuses any attempt to classify OUBEY in the established canons of the art market. Shunning the art world’s established institutions and adept critical assimilation, and turning its back on the razzamatazz of show biz masked as art, over the past five years the MINDKISS project has resolutely followed its own paths and become a highly unusual work of art in its own right with a key role played by consistent leverage of the internet.

“I don’t hang the paintings in some place or other and then wait for people to come and view them. I bring the paintings to where people are – in their homes, in their offices, in a quantum laboratory, a recording studio or radio station, and I bring the paintings to people in places where they don’t expect them”, says Dagmar Woyde-Koehler. Such places of encounter can be an international management conference, a scientific symposium or the annual festival of a Maori school. She travels with the paintings to places as far apart as San Francisco, Vienna and New Zealand. “In this way I can reach different kinds of people from what you generally would and I reach them in a manner that’s very direct and personal – and free of all connotations of the museum world. I want to see what happens, whether the paintings begin to work and if they do how they unfold their effects and how they’re experienced, what kinds of thoughts and associations are released when the museum context and above all commercial considerations are left far behind. There’s no correct interpretation and there’s no price tag either, she says. The paintings are not for sale.

In a recent interview Dagmar Woyde-Koehler answers questions from the internet journalist Ulrike Reinhard:

OUBEY MINDKISS – an Expanding Universe

The individual encounters between OUBEYs paintings and a highly diversified range of people are filmed by Dagmar Woyde-Koehler and published as Encounters on the internet. There are now over 20 such videos online including some with famous and even world famous scientists from a wide range of disciplines. They have all placed their spontaneous thoughts and associations sparked by OUBEYs paintings on video, thus sharing them with a worldwide audience. They have shown that such a venture can be done and they show how it can be done, and that it can also be tremendous fun on the way and that you don’t need to be afraid of saying something ”wrong“ because there is no “right“ and “wrong“ in this project. And now more and more people are finding the confidence to make such an encounter themselves.” I think this is really fantastic. It’s a very positive effect that the project is creating here and I’m really curious to seeing what point we’ll arrive at in the next five years”, comments Dagmar Woyde-Koehler, the producer and director behind it all.

“OUBEYs works of art are the substantive core of the MINDKISS Project. What I am now doing after his death with MINDKISS is creating the space to allow people to follow their curiosity and make their own voyages of discovery. This is a source of great pleasure, great satisfaction – including for me”, says Dagmar Woyde-Koehler taking about what motivates her. A process has been set in motion in which growing numbers of people across the world are participating. It’s their responses, their feedback, their ideas and their suggestions and proposals, the excitement they find in an interdisciplinary approach to OUBEYs art, to art itself in its broadest sense, to science, philosophy and science fiction that has turned MINDKISS into a living breathing work of art in a continual process of change and development. This has only been made possible by consistent leverage of the internet which has been the project’s key channel for public outreach over the past five years. The only notable exception here is the five volume OUBEY MINDKISS Book, in its stunning design by New York graphic artist Stefan Sagmeister, a winner of numerous international awards.

This spirit of pleasurable discovery will be very much in the air on 5 May at the ZKM | Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe.