UNIQUE PORCELAIN VESSELS SINCE DECEMBER 2014
I started to craft porcelain vessels by myself. The vessels are chronologically numbered from 1 to 1,000,000. In each piece, shaped by my hands on the wheel, the serial numbers are engraved in the still soft porcelain. The transparent glaze shows the delicate color of the dense porcelain fired at 1,300 degrees Celsius. My aim to produce one million vessels creates the greatest possible space to work in peace. The idea that the project will end when my life does bring the hope for longevity and all that entails in relation to it.
My craftsmanship will grow and become refined. The development will be visible when you visit the website www.eine-million.com. Each vessel is displayed along a horizontal photo strand in chronological order. The ups and downs of the development of the forms can be seen here. The location of each vessel is given. Location information is linked to our digital world map. The website shows the distribution, the paths and the location of each vessel. Through these elements the relationship between production, object and the world is verified. An analogue progressive cell division that can happen very rapidly or very slowly.
'THE SHAPE OF TIME' *
Pottery is highly concentrated matter. The certainty of being able to make a commodity out of a piece of damp earth that anyone may need anywhere in the world, at any time, connects us with the entire history of human development. The vessels cover the entire range of a household’s eating utensils: mugs, cups, bowls, jugs, plates and accessories such as egg cups, strainers, teaspoons, etc. The numbering is consistent, chronological, continuous. Should a vessel break in the making, it is not replaced. The broken vessel retains its number and its place in the ongoing series. Each piece is unique, as evidenced by the engraved number. This number is also the guarantor of the strict chronological production of the individual vessels. The sale of individual porcelains and entire services also allows donations or exchange of vessels. The porcelain vessels, which are spread around the world, give a common ground to a wide variety of people and places. My aim is to involve people and places from all over the world. From a Five-star hotel to a Romanian orphanage, from the longhouse in Borneo to the cultural center in Inuvik. Through purchase by one group, a gift to a different group is made possible.
What does it mean to produce "something" and where does what we produce go? Art production versus production of consumer goods? What forms of payment are there today? Who pays whom for what? What is value, who defines it and who pays how much for one and the same thing? What exactly is paid? Ideal values or values in use, material values? What is worth more where and why? Through my project One Million, and by documenting the spread of the vessels, a visible track is laid across the global presence. The relationships and affinities between diverse sectors of society, places and people are evident.
Uli Aigner, Berlin, June 2015
* "The Shape of Time" by George Kubler, 1962, Yale University