An interesting question… In what way do we view the world that surrounds us today? An aid which might give us the answer is the computerprogram BOOM.

Here you can manufacture a world for its future inhabitants in a couple of hours, since it will not take you any longer to enter BOOM into your computer.In the years to come the program will undoubtely have a great influence, especially upon the thinking and lifestyle of man. The principal reason for this is the fact that the concepts and methods of the program are so tantalizing and accessible. What you do is that you provide a data memory with a set of facts, then you load this memory with mathematical data. There are an infinite number of parametres to set for the user. Everything from the way in which the cholesterol level of a certain president will develop during a certain period of time to the background- radiation of the universe. The mathematics, which is to become the persons’ or places’ “daily habitation”, is not completed but is, almost as if not fully formulated, deferred, latent since it only constitutes certain possible chances and certain routes that are determined in the appropiately programmed subroutines of the program. It is recommendable to work in a scale which you find comfortable, otherwise you might lose your intuition rather quickly, and in a program like this intuition is of a decisive importance.

The creatures that will see the light of day in this computer- and numerical world, vegetate in it, are then to be provided with those chosen and prearranged fates that you insert in an environment characterized by the qualities of infinitude. The environment has but one dimension, which is very close to ours, namely the dimension of time. However this time is not wholly analogous to ours, since the user is able to control the speed of time in an arbitrary manner. Usually you put an upper limit to the pace in the initial phase, letting one minute of our time correspond to an aeon. BOOM experiments with all systems of thought and will gradually allow new cultures to grow and become more established; i.e. the world that surrounds them will become more and more unambiguous in accordance with their actions.

It is also possible to set the program in a way which will depict history, our time and the future through the media of these different ages respectively, stone tablets, oil-paintings and holographic laser. Another choice might be to depict the experiment in the style of a specific age which suits the user (it is important to be aware of the fact that, through his or her taste, the user will influence the result considerably): psychological, metaphysical, impressionistic, lesbian-feministic. It is even possible to order a section of the program’s environs executed in highly peculiar styles and combinations; The battle of Waterloo as a jeans-application, sportreports as  tin-mobiles, or various agricultural machines in diabase. For the layman it is recommendable to choose one of the ready-made socioaesthetic profiles of the program that you find on the demonstration- CD.

In one of the SEGMENT-modes of the program the images appear as interdisciplinary, illustrated in a rough and clumsy manner. Our time’s most significant scenarios are lined up side by side like some kind of interlaced digital rag-rug. Subjects like fashion, achitechture, interior design and technology can be treated in each phase of development.

Through the agency of the program it is possible to make visits in the homes of celebrities, politicians and ordinary people. In this very demo a presentation is made of the house of a chief-ideologist  as an hologram. IT is clearly noticeable that he leads the life of an intellectual bohemian. You notice that it is only at long intervals that he cleans, tidies up and changes the curtains. There is not one single clean or whole piece of furniture, everything is broken and worn-out. In the centre of the living-room there is a big old-fashioned table covered with an oilcloth and on it you find manuscripts, books, newspapers, dictionaries and halogenlamps. One of the walls is covered by a painted slogan; “If you know that there is a hand, we will give you right in everything else.” There are pieces of broken glass everywhere which makes it risky to walk around and to sit down. There is a chair in a display case, a photography of another chair is thrown on the floor, on a third chair the children are pretending that they are cooking.

BOOM  transmits concepts from all fields without trying to attain a determined meaning but rather in order to create a surprise effect, to cause an unexpected collapse right there where everything seemed forseeable and without risks. It happens often that places and objects obtain meanings and appearances which stand out as very peculiar. Residential areas are exposed to slide-projections of different teenage gangs, Cossacks are watering there horses in the holy-water fonts of St:Peters Cathedral. Everything seems familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. Here the everyday, the displaced reality and chock become mixed in a simple way which is both seductive and treacherous. There are no longer any steadfast references behind the scenario, they have evaporated or become transfigured and can no longer be traced and we have come to a point where we ask ourself: From where does all this come?, Whereto are we heading? And how has this become possible?

For everyone with different special interests and hobbies it is possible to focus exclusively on your own. You can for instance study what monuments different nations choose to erect and how this is conducted; i.e. the way in which power chooses to expose itself: a grey villa, an equestrian statue or maybe some abstract motif cut out of some popular material. The KINKY-mode of the program makes it possible to make a study of the most popular sexual fancies. The events of the program are presented as they appear in history, you also get to know if or when they become significant outside their original sphere of meaning.


Setting out from the objects of different ages.

You start BOOM with, for instance, an analysis of “The red studio” by Matisse. You continue by stageing three identical scenarios and then you study how the program slowly generates all the alternative consequences of the painting. At the beginning the three scenarios are all the same, and then all of a sudden you find yourself at some local politician’s place in a mildly perfumed Blomingdale-inspired livingroom from 1968. Let the program run for another couple of hours and you will begin to anticipate differences in these initially identical starting-points. In one of the scenarios you will, for instance, witness how the country lets itself be governed by a sibyl; this sibyl being a blend of May West, Evita Perone and the Virgin  Mary.

In this peaceful place it is possible to together with the program plan all the new forms of existence, systems of thought, cultures and lifestyles or why not the new rhetoric, the new prehistoric times, the new………..

Michael Johansson 1991 From the exhibition catalouge Sydnytt Malmö Konsthall 1991