Daniel Pflumm. “Untitled (Türkisch Petroleum)” 2010. Light box 70 x 55 x 15 cm.
“Everything in advertising,” Daniel Pflumm explains, “from planning to production via all the conceivable middlemen, is a compro – mise and an absolutely incomprehensible set of working stages.” 1
It is this realization vis-à-vis the growing complexity of human work that serves as the basis for Daniel Pflumm’s activity as an artist of many parts, producer, musician, videomaker, creator of technological and advertising objects and graphic designer. Although he situates his work on the fringes of professional circles by linking his pieces to precise skills, Pflumm defines himself outside of any relationship to any one client or social demand. Karl Marx imagined a world without the division of labor, where everyone could be by turns a fisherman, art critic or cabinet maker. What would happen if employment were left to the free will of the individual beyond any rigid economic distri – bution? Redefined in this way, work would
be little different from leisure. Is carrying out a task without being asked a good definition of free time? In a series of photographs enti- tled Posters, Pierre Huyghe represents three acts normally performed by the highway department (filling up a hole in the roadway, for example) carried out by an individual with neither uniform nor badge in this case. If we speak of public space, why not, say, take care of it ourselves instead of entrust- ing specialized services with the task? Pflumm in effect occupies these interstices while provoking the greatest number of dis- ruptions possible in that zone.
By “recuperating” existing logos that come from our daily environment or fromcompany or advertising films, Pflumm seems to imi- tate work done by an agency specialized in communications or graphic design, just as one might duplicate a computer program, but he does so by “setting free the forms” turned out by the world of marketing. Pflumm creates objects whose chief charac – teristic is to appear to be cut outs in an unbound space that hints at art, design and marketing. The captured logos are allowed a half-freedom and, once removed from the brand they usually support, stand in con- trast to the memory of modernity. In Pflumm’s work, advertising and marketing become freewares that users can improve on their own, mirroring in its way the Linux operating system in computer technology.