I did so much writing and researching while at the Bibliothek Andreas Züst that I actually still don’t know where to begin when reflecting on the process. My project sought to explore and contrast aliens with astronomy in such a way that utilized the Bibliothek’s extensive archive on those two subjects, while also incorporating the uniquely spectacular landscape of Appenzell into the production, while also exploring contemporary mass delusions of xenophobia, conspiracy theories and “fake-news”. The process itself unfolded in a variety of ways, the primary being that of an online performance on the project’s blog, Twitter and Instagram where Matvei Petrovich Bronstein posted excerpts from the archive and wrote about his own complicated search for the truth. The reference materials from the the Bibliothek Andreas Züst were moved downstairs into the building’s basement and became the archive of The Z Files Archive and Observatory which was in itself something between an actual as well as an imitation of an archive and observatory. From there the work developed into light installations photographed in the local landscape, temporary constructions from natural materials, a one night performance and even a short children’s book. Even though the residency was only for a month, the production which occurred in the relative isolation of the Bibliothek Andreas Züst resulted in a multifaceted and relatively prolific generation of work.
Is the truth still out there?
Text: Justin Tyler Tate