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Beta Tank

A Solo Exhibition
Date: June 2, 2011–July 3, 2011
Time: 10:00–20:00

What’s the difference between design and art? What if objects could memorize their history? And how can you see with your skin?

Gestalten is proud to present a solo show by Berlin-based conceptual product design practice Beta Tank.

Beta Tank creates design objects based upon cross-disciplinary research that insightfully explores new technologies and social phenomena—inspiring debate beyond aesthetics or function.

This solo show features objects from Beta Tank's "Taxing Art" and "Sensory Substitution” series. The Galila Chair with its flexible identity embodies legal definitions for both art and design objects depending on how its pyramids are positioned. When the chair is in the art configuration, it can be sold at a lower VAT tariff and enjoy lower or no customs duties. The pyramids affect the functionality of the chair and challenge the legal boundaries of what constitutes art.

The Mind Chair changes your perception by "placing images in your mind through your back," using a bank of 400 solenoids as the backrest reacting to video input. The limited edition series Memory Stücks includes memory objects bonding the tangible physical with the ephemeral digital. Each object is equipped with USB sticks that carry its digital memories in words, images, film, and animation.

This show coincides with the release of the book Taxing Art: When Objects Travel, an ironic, clever documentation and analysis of the effect traditional, bureaucratic procedures have on innovative work. The revealing illustrated essay spotlights the largely underestimated effect tax laws have on where design ends and art begins. The book features all five objects that were made in response to these stringent laws, as well as the narrative of the objects' unique 12,000-kilometer journey to test tax laws around the world.

Eyal Burstein was born in Israel in 1977 and grew up in London, England. After studying Design Interactions at the Royal College of Art, he founded Beta Tank. This conceptual product design practice uses design objects for social commentary. For the past 3 years Eyal has been living in Berlin, where he continues to make and exhibit Beta Tank objects.

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