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Leo Peschta - Maschinoid

Category: Portrait 23. April 2008

Ian Fleming, the inventor of the character James Bond, published a book in 1964 which he dedicated to his son, Caspar. The story is about a poor inventor called Karaktakus Pott, who buys an old vehicle for his twin children, which—with a little imagination and inventive skill—he transforms into a marvelous device that can transport them on magical journeys. As the Pott family thereupon embarks on many adventures, the vehicle earns an onomatopoeic name, inspired by the inventor’s constant vacillation between failure and success: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

When one asks the young Viennese artist, Leo Peschta, for influences on his artistic work from his childhood, he mentions Karaktakus Pott. Innovation, fascination with technology, the defunct compilation of components originally designed to function, the readiness to fail, joy in the undefined—these elements connect the artist with the character from Fleming’s novel.

The opposition between the perception and the production of space, the design of machine interfaces between media, in addition, the bulkiness and the unique aesthetic of machines and machine parts, inform the artistic agenda which defines his work. Peschta cites George Rickey and Theo Jansen, as the sources of his further influence by kinetic art.

Leo Peschta arrived upon the art world through a detour. He started out as a commercial artist in advertising. After the experience of monotonous production conditions, he decided to focus on being more artistically oriented. Peschta attended classes in digital art at the University for Applied Art in Vienna and the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. Instead of mechanics, he dedicated himself then to the design of machine-like objects and began to grapple with physical computation.

Like Fleming’s inventor, Peschta turns to industrially manufactured, functional spare parts for his artworks. In their artistic reassembly, he relieves these practical objects of their original function, creating at the same time a possibility for new ways to experience them. Surprising, altered aesthetic outlooks on everyday things: a playful invitation. Peschta’s work is like a vehicle that is embarking on a magical journey. (wh/jn)

Till the end of August Leo Peschta's artwork "Der Zermesser" will be shown at the Lentos Museum of Modern Art Linz, afterwords it is exhibited from 19th-21st of September at the ArtBots in Dublin.

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