The »Kulturhaus Abraxas« in Augsburg Germany is located in the Reese Barracks, a former officers barracks of the US armed forces. To create »SOAP A AND B« we were inspired by an old record found there. The LP »SOAP« is an album that was pressed by the US Special Services following a US Army band competition, the runner up winner of which was SOAP. The presence of this record here in Augsburg reminds us of a time when the presence of American soldiers was commonplace.
Though the soldiers might be gone from Augsburg, war is still very present in our lives, albeit a little further away from our own doorstep. Still the war machine oozes like an oil slick. It continues not only because world powers want to liberate the oppressed, but above all else to maintain the defense industry.
With our two works we want to encourage contemplation on this issue: that the better the war machine runs in a nation, the greater the prosperity and pleasure on the one hand, and yet the greater the misery and destruction on the other. It would seem that he who goes to war must have an urgent need for the finer things in life. The Beastie Boys were right: »you have to fight for your right to party«.
In the two works we use a repress of the album due to the original being scratched from improper intermediate storage in the attic. Since this was released as a double album, we are now able to also use the album of the first placed act »East of Underground«.
The carousel is a classic symbol of the entertainment and leisure industry. It also evokes the American county fairs that were held each year here in Augsburg where you could find these rides. The festivals were a unique example of shared festivity between occupiers and their liberated. Our Carousel is a modified record player on which the LP “SOAP” plays back unaltered. At second glance, you realize that we have exchanged the usually colorful and cheerful-looking ponies and cars for black 3D printed symbols of warfare.
“RPM” stands for the revolutions of a record per minute, as well as for the number of bullets that can be fired per minute from an automatic firearm (rounds per minute). This play on words inspired us to develop a special interactive timeline: The visitor can navigate through the history of war activity over the past 50 years using the built-in ammunition box slider. The rotational speed of the disk varies depending on the intensity of war, which we derive from the war casualties per day in a given year. With this we evoke the ambivalent relationship between the input and output of wars in general.