Friend Of The Magic Torch

13 April–17 May 1997 / Casco HQ

In 1996 David Miles made a series of works which he called Devices. They were precisely made cardboard instruments. The concrete presence of these soft gray devices are a blatant contradiction to the suffering and uncertainty their instructions claim to remedy. Miles has made a tool that neutralizes negative thoughts (he often takes it to friends) and a device that registers happy times (Device 4). It is tempting to believe they work; the devices are made to be as convincing as possible with ingenious configurations of radars and knobs, each with its own function. Miles is “a friend of the magic torch.” Concealed behind this title, despair lies transformed into absurd humor. His work presents a sober, but merciless summary of life’s inadequacies. Unsolvable problems become visible for a moment when confronted with his Devices. 

In Casco, David Miles has made one of his designs full size. The visitors can walk onto a stage via a small ladder. In the middle of the stage is a human-size hole which one can disappear into, never to reappear. Miles offers a way out of situations we don’t want to be part of anymore – an exit to an unknown destination. 


Translation: Annabel Howland

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