Generic Discovery

The concept of multiple discovery is the hypothesis that most scientific discoveries and inventions are made independently and more or less simultaneously by multiple scientists, artists and inventors. The concept of multiple discovery opposes a traditional view—the “heroic theory” of invention and discovery. When Nobel laureates are announced annually—especially in physics, chemistry, physiology-or-medicine, and economics—increasingly, in the given field, rather than just a single laureate, there are two, or the maximally-permissible three, who often have independently made the same discovery.

Historians and sociologists have remarked on the occurrence, in science, of “multiple independent discovery”. Robert K. Merton defined such “multiples” as instances in which similar discoveries are made by scientists working independently of each other. “Sometimes the discoveries are simultaneous or almost so; sometimes a scientist will make a new discovery which, unknown to him, somebody else has made years before.”

The work alludes to exactly that phenomenon but reversing the process: Instead of discovering similarities the artist creates an installation using Brâncu?i Bird in Space as a multiple. In place of using the original artwork the installation tries to set Brâncu?i in the time of the late 1960s, trying to imagine how history would have influenced him.

The installation is made out of Anthracite coal, referring to the origins of land art as well as the potential power of Brâncu?i‘s long-lasting influence in art history.