Category Archives: Vienna

Prototype II (after US patent no 6545444 B2) or the quest for free energy

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Nick Laessing Prototype II (after US patent no 6545444 B2 by John Bedini), Talk Radio with John Bedini (excerpts from 1980s radio show Open Mind), 2009

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Nick Laessing Prototype II (after US patent no 6545444 B2 by John Bedini), Talk Radio with John Bedini (excerpts from 1980s radio show Open Mind), 2009

A few years ago, artist Nick Laessing stumbled upon a book in a second-hand bookshop. Titled The Search of Free Energy, the publication introduced him to the world of people who are searching for alternatives to fossil fuel as a source of energy.

The artist went on to meet and interview some of the scientists, inventors, self-taught engineers and amateurs who are looking for ways to produce free energy. What fascinates Laessing are the utopian ideals that inspire these ‘fringe’ scientists but also the subculture surrounding overlooked inventions and the intrinsic sculptural qualities of some of the prototypes developed by these communities of inventors.

To explore with more depths the work of these enthusiasts, the artist started making his own copies of the machines. He is showing one of these devices at the moment in the exhibition The Promise of Total Automation at Kunsthalle Wien. It’s a brilliant, thrilling show and i’ll get back with a more detailed review of it in the coming days.

The ‘free energy’ generator exhibited in Vienna was modeled on a patent filed by an American inventor called John Bedini for a motor that is supposed to be able to recharge its own batteries and run continuously. The batteries also supply energy to an old reel to reel player that plays an interview that Bedini gave to the US talk radio show Open Mind in the 1980s.

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Nick Laessing, Prototype II (after US patent no 6545444 B2 by John Bedini), Talk Radio with John Bedini (excerpts from 1980s radio show Open Mind), 2009

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Nick Laessing, Prototype II (after US patent no 6545444 B2 by John Bedini), Talk Radio with John Bedini (excerpts from 1980s radio show Open Mind), 2009

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Nick Laessing, Prototype II (after US patent no 6545444 B2 by John Bedini), Talk Radio with John Bedini (excerpts from 1980s radio show Open Mind), 2009

Bedini believes that anyone can make the machine at home, all you need is a magnet, some copper coils and an old nail, Laessing explained in an interview with Cluster. But, while it may appear a simple, old-fashioned apparatus you can assemble in the backyard, the truth is that the physics behind the machine is very complex and not conventional at all. I’ve spoken to electrical engineers at various shows who are unable to grasp it; it is created from a completely different view on electricity, different to how we understand it.

Ultimately, i think that what Prototype II (after US patent no 6545444 B2 by John Bedini) demonstrates best is that art is a space where it is possible to expand and explore fringe science, all its idealistic promises and equivocal achievements in a way that would not be regarded as valid in a conventional science context.

The Promise of Total Automation remains open at Kunsthalle Wien until 29 May 2016.