Mads Max Ibenfeldt

Interferens VI - Max Pain in Daisyworld

Visual works ’Atlas’ - Mads Max Ibenfeldt, maps 1-9, 2022-2023
Textbased work ’Max Pain in Daisyworld’ - Sofie Højgaard, 2023

‘Interferens’ (Interference) consist of a series of online exhibitions focusing on the exchange between two architectural media: A text-based piece and a visual piece.
In each exhibition, the two pieces will deal with the same architectural field and will, on the basis of this, interfere and explore new perspectives across the media.
The point of ‘Interferens’ is first and foremost to investigate concrete problem areas through artistic creations within architecture. The aim is also to investigate how two practices can inform each other and what arises in their mutual overlap as well as fractures.

‍Great thanks to Statens Kunstfond for supporting the project.

Max Pain in Daisyworld

Currently, there is Max pain in Daisyworld. The daisy's self-regulating system is out of balance and the temperature rises. Daisyworld is a simulated computer model - but in this text also a metaphor, where the world's changing states oscillate out of balance through a positive feedback mechanism.
Different worldviews are mapped through three historical 'lovelocks.' The three lovelocks are investigated as narratives and map different attitudes and strategies.

Architecture is an artform that visualizes existing spaces and space to come through forms of representation such as maps, models, forecasts and renderings. The architecture is formed in a shift between organizing and speculating: Forces, material and spaces are organized and alternative ways of inhabiting are speculated upon, whereby the architecture reflects and forms worldviews in a given time. How we understand our world is decisive for how we settle in it, and therefore mapping it is a powerful act.

Mapping, in itself, is the interpretation of data and a visualization of situated perspectives in the world, in a time. Mapping is an abstract act, with the aim of scaling huge stretches of landscape, conveying three-dimensional buildings to be read two-dimensionally and visualizing non-material conditions such as trends.

A trend is a form of collective behavior in which a group of people follow an impulse for a short period - a trend can also be called a behavioral pattern. Trend forecasting is a reading and mapping of these patterns, which forms the basis for a prediction of the pattern's further development within the near future.

The creative studio, Nemesis, recently published the memo ‘Max pain (a recent history)’ mapping the contemporary and forecasting the forthcoming moods, attitudes and trends of the cultural economy laying forward the urban legend/ theory from the options Market - max pain. ‘In this metaphor, “Pain” means both losing money and not knowing what to do, even though you had a reasonable assessment of the future when you started.’

Looking further into the future is a more speculative discipline and within the field of ‘futurology’. Futurology or future studies use a wide range of methods. H. G. Wells, as an example, foresaw WW2, the world wide web and space travel, through science fiction as a field for speculation and investigation.

Fiction, as in stories, builds narratives and so do maps. Narratives hold the power to change cultures and give voice and images to amplify or articulate the subtile, to distort, point at dissonans and make clear what is only visible from certain perspectives. Last, cultures define how we inhabit the planet and how we live together.

Mapping Lovelocks

Daisyworld is a model of a simplified globe - a hypothetical world created by James Lovelock, who formed a new understanding of the world as a living and self-regulating system. In Daisyworld there are two kinds of daisy, one black and one white, a stable planet and a sun that gets warmer. The black daisy absorbs and retains heat and the white daisy reflects and cools. Through the Daisies' feedback mechanism, the amount of black and white daisies is adjusted and the temperature is regulated on the fictional planet.

The 'Lovelock' braid is a fashion phenomenon in the European court in the 18th century, which arose in the wake of the European colonization of North and South America. The Lovelock braid is appropriated from the Algonquian, Powhatan people. The Lovelock can be seen in depictions of the Danish Christian 4 and other powerful figures, which in itself can be read as a mapping of the spread of cultural appropriation, at a time when the Europeans' worldview was changing, when realized that neither the sea route to India nor the end of the world lay on the horizon in West.

‘Lovelocks’ is also the name of the padlocks that loving couples engrave their initials into and hang on bridges, guardrails and other places especially in Paris. The large quantities of locks unfortunately have a destructive effect on the city's architecture, and must be removed so that their constructive structure does not collapse under their enormous weight of proven love.

The lovelocks are a physical manifestation of unbreakable love, an urban interaction and a point of fixity in a changing world.

In the following text, the lovelocks each constitute a narrative in an improbable story, where historical events, people and science-fiction meet in superimposed states (parallel worlds). The three 'Lovelocks' form a kind of historical dissonance that evokes a possible behavioral atlas for humanity in Max Pain.

The Daisyworld Complex

‍A new housing project has opened its many doors to its many dwellers. Daisyworld Complex is a gated garden, though offering a vast 360 view of the horizon. The complex is organized around a shared bathhouse with a large sauna. There is a front garden which forms a large checkered carpet of black and white daisies and the ‘Daily Daisy’ reports of new species added to the black and white reality every day. The garden is self-regulating and stabilizes the temperature around the complex over the years, so that a microclimate forms a protection from increasing global temperatures.

Christian IV’s deadlock

‍The new residents of Daisyworld found a long braided lock of hair among the daisies, similar to the one King Christian IV had decorating his left shoulder to show his devotion to someone he was in love with.

Christian IV was known to nervously caress his lock while he continuously ordered new iconic buildings erected in Copenhagen. An investment of resources in times of dwindle, that caused an economical deadlock.

The long coarse dark hair of the braid had grown together with the daisy's network of roots and a hairy connection had grown from the checkerboard in front of the complex to the dried out corpse of Christian, bringing him back to life.

Lovelock and the dream about mother

The other Lovelock, James lies in his cryosarcophagus and dreams of Daisyworld's perfect dynamic alternation between black and white daisies. The dream of endless sunny days and humid rainy nights that, like Lovelock's cryosleep, nourishes and sustains every atom and cell of the old globe. It is a dream of relationships in a binary system that is two - the depths of the world and the heights of the world.

Lovelock is a little boy again, and he dreams of a big mother. He has tortured and reshaped her lush body, and he has discovered in his socialization how her omnipotence has no power in the patriarchy and now he keeps his sins hidden, because in his imagination she will collapse when she discovers the betrayal of her children.

He talks in his sleep about her disappearing face. but she is still there and she is not his mother. He is the one who disappears, because she finds new connections. She is a system, not a lap and that system is not binary. but a spectre of blips and blops, molluscs, slimes, parasites, divisions, mutations and echoes.

Lovelocks loving couples

‍Sacks of cut lovelocks lie in piles and bags in Post-Daisy-Daisyworld.

The love padlocks that thousands of loving couples have set up on the Ponte des Art's flimsy rail and the weight of the same thousand couples' unconditional love suffocated the constructive structure and let it, like a melting glacier, slowly crack open and slide into the water with a creaking and plaintive sound, an almost crisp  blast.

The sticky romantic worldview makes the residents of Daisyworld overlook the fact that the thousand bride-waltzing lovelock couples have trampled all the daisies down while they attached the lovelocks. The couples clasp each other's arms and hands in a perfect bow, with their kissing mouths forming the centerknot of the bow. They dance in a swirling cybernetic loop, caught in a love-filled feedback, in a frenzy system that continues till all daisies in the beautiful wedding meadow are trampled into a gray juice.

Max Pain - World Sauna Championship

In the Daisyworld complex's newly built sauna, Christian 4., James Lovelock and thousands of lovers sit and scratch their locks. They all thought they had it figured out and that the sauna in the bathhouse was the right place to go during the energy crisis to get some heat before the end of the day in an unheated apartment.
After entrancing, you stand for a while and look when a person in sports official clothes comes walking and closes the door and starts the time on a large clock. It dawns on you that the scene is reminiscent of the WC in a sauna. You begin to feel a little nervous from looking around the overcrowded sauna.

Christian IV sits while caressing his lovelock. James, takes out a small sprout tray where he sprinkles some daisy seeds and waits for the sweat to start dripping from his forehead to moisten the seeds.
At the same time, some of the first couples begin to lock themselves inside the sauna. You get a little worried but think that they probably have their lovelocks completely under control.

Christian IV sits and talks about large charts and splashes water on the stove as if to show how the oars are swung on a warship or how soil is shoveled up for his new building. The temperature rises with his compulsive splashing and he doesn't hear one of the couples say they are thirsty, and if he can spare some water. James Lovelock replies that maps don't really interest him, but models and systems do. He tries to explain to Christian that God does not exist and that the earth is instead a globe that is a self-regulating system, while he alternately shows the black daisy and the white daisy. In between his arguments, he has to stop to make sure that the sweat from his forehead gets properly into the cress tray and water the daisy seeds.

As the heat rises, everyone has their own strategy. Christian are to survive by surviving others by using the last water, even though it begins to be alarmingly hot and there is no water left in the room with a thousand thirsty lovelock people. James' strategy is clear, he calls on the great mother and bets again on the daisies, which of course will be able to regulate the temperature around him. The many couples are not at all aware that the temperature is rising, they sit and hold each other in large clumps because there is only one guard in the sauna that they can lock onto.

You are all together in max heat, it's hard to think and the official who locked the door that opens inwards has passed out in front of it, so no one can get out and no one can come in.
You now realize that Daisyworld really is in Max pain and so are you and that Max Pain really feels like the sauna competition that played out before your inner gaze.

But Lovelock told you this would happen and sadly you didn't freeze down your genes, eggs or sperm, and you didn't buy your prepper stuff because you laughed instead, and also you didn't become a part of the one percent, who Bjarke Ingels designed a camp on Mars for, and now Lovelock cryocuffins are all sold out.

So not knowing what to do, you wander around the Post-Daisy-Daisyworld estranged from the concrete capsules and the gray sauce garden, realizing that the end of the world might really be in the horizon of the west.

Text - Sofie Højgaard

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