*1985 Prague, lives and works in Prague
Pleasure of the Overload
Park at the Faculty of Law, Masaryk University,
on Veveří Street
steel, plexiglas, forex, magazines
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According to French sociologist Gilles Lipovetsky, urgency currently enjoys the status of ideology. Competitiveness and the pursuit of superiority lead to a preference of ideology over the substantial, of immediate action over prudence, of the subsidiary over the fundamental. Science is one of the areas heavily affected by this phenomenon; the escalating pressure for results is reflected in the manner of assessment, with quantity being superior to quality. Pavel Sterec symbolically comments on this situation by installing a gyroscopic overload simulator. Instead of a person, however, he puts on its seat a box full of so-called predatory magazines, i.e. periodicals that have resigned to the usual process of reviewing for the sake of easy financial profit, and in consequence disseminate among the scientific community a lot of unverified, if not distorted or even fake information.
Although the gyroscope has been commonly used primarily in various science parks as an effective means of popularizing science, Sterec’s piece does not offer much in the way of “adrenaline experiences” (the viewer’s participation is limited to setting the machine in motion). However, the more austere it is as an attraction providing first-order pleasure, the more effectively it conveys a metaphor for general acceleration, the alienation of values, the commercialization of science, and the overall loss of orientation.