“Fehlerdiagnose/Fault Diagnosis” is a five-night multimedia installation and event that follows the story of a stranded car and its passenger. Over the course of the five nights it becomes increasingly unclear where or when this passenger and his car have come from. What does become clear however is that “normal” attempts to repair and fix the car will not suffice.

The word “Fehlerdiagnose” is German for “fault diagnosis,” the self-servicing diagnostic sections of most car-owner manuals that present allegedly “simple” repair operations. These sections provide logical approaches to trouble-shooting malfunctions and presuppose a certain infallibility of instructional language. “Fehlerdiagnose,” on the other hand, is as much about “un-fixing” as it is fixing. Consisting of video projections, an audio tour guide, and a 1985 Nissan Pulsar NX among other things “Fehlerdiagnose” considers what happens when instructions and guides fail us and what becomes of us in those moments. It asks how we interpret events and information to which we arrive too early or too late and what is lost and gained in translation.  

Each night viewers experience the car in a different state, in a different set of circumstances at a slightly different location. Nightly audio guides describe objects and events visible and invisible, things happening before our eyes and things that may or may not have happened. Characters enter and exit the stage as the car and passenger pass through various phases of repair and disrepair. Some of these personae appear in the flesh while others inhabit the car or parts of it via ghostly projections. During the final night, the car as such disappears. Much of the exhibition is bathed in a red and green light that also runs throughout the video narrative, representing the liminal space between stopping and starting, between action and instruction.