THE ISLAND. SYNCHRONIZATION is a floating platform, which holds nine pieces of training equipment placed around a small trough with purified water flowing from cisterns with filters placed above it. The water is pumped straight into the Vistula river by kinetic pumps fuelled by the muscle power of persons using the equipment. The platform is connected with land by a wheelchair-accessible gang-plank that is closed at night. The platform is lit by LED lights, thanks to which it serves as a sign even after dark, when it is closed.
A book consisting of texts that problematize the project summarizes the work of Kuba Szczęsny and his group of co-workers invited to participate in this enterprise.
By transmitting the energy from fitness machines to a system of filters, not only does he associate physical effort with an ultimate objective, rendering it labour-like, but he also makes it possible to experience the fruits of our labour (to see, touch, sense and taste). One of the most acute consequences of labour alienation is the decrease in the sense of agency. By enabling the experience of the direct transposition of one’s effort (and common effort) into the rectification of an ostensibly hopeless situation, Szczęsny’s ‘island’ sustains political competencies and gives us practice in thinking in utopian terms.
Kuba Mikurda, Miracle on the Vistula, Island.Synchronization,
Foundation Bęc Zmiana 2009
Texts: Kuba Mikurda, Lidia Klein, Levente Polyák, Valérie Hammerbacher, Katarzyna Bittner, Shelly Federman and Zhe Architectura, Tomasz Budzyń