Global Tactile Pieces 2

Year of production: 2005 – 2006

Dimensions: Various

Materials: Various

Edition: Unique pieces

About: A forty-two-day railway journey from China to Moscow provided the materials for this series of sixteen ‘global tactile pieces’. After two years of work, they were exhibited for the first time in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam in 2006. To capture the mood of alienation that a passenger begins to experience after spending more than a few days in the same rickety railway carriage, the walls of the museum were painted a garish yellow. Against that background, the pieces were exhibited.

Ted Noten had bought objects at every stop along the route without any premeditated plan. He’d also exchanged possessions with other passengers. The sixteen objects form a portrait of the places the train passed and the people he met, like the stations of the cross. For the series Global Tactile Pieces II, this collection of objects was altered in various ways; they were sawn into pieces, coloured, joined together, charged with electricity, or combined with other objects. Noten’s exhibition in Rotterdam also included photographs of the floor coverings in the various hotel rooms where he’d spent the night. And attached to the wall was a panel in which he had drilled exactly 3,369 holes, one for each kilometre of the trip from Irkutsk to Yekaterinburg. No other stretch of the route was as featureless as that one. Nolen later called it a near-death experience.

Photo credits: Atelier Ted Noten

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