Jan Vahl, Walhertz. Room view of the installation with the public key sculpture in the foreground and the notch work in the background. Jan Vahl, Walhertz. Room view of the installation with the toe painting in front of the Stimmband video.

Walhertz shows excerpts from a speculative world scenario in which a biosemiotically motivated reformation of language systems has already taken place. All forms of life have begun to be realized and understood as part of 1 metabolism which, as a being, determines planet earth. The human species has overcome intra-species power problems through the collective dedication to symbiotic future contracts.

Jan Vahl, Haltung. Steel frame wrapped with rubber and a neck strap for cows. Haltung (Posture), 3 × 35 × 60 CM
PES neck strap for cows, Rubber, Steel

Jan Vahl, Stimmband. Two adjoining screens of the vocal cord work, on which still images of the oscillograms can be seen. Jan Vahl, Stimmband. Central view of the vocal cord work showing a still image of the oscillogram. Jan Vahl, Stimmband. Central view of the vocal cord work showing a still image of the oscillogram.

Stimmband (Vocal Cord), 3 Channel (asynchronous)
1920 × 1080 PX, Videoloops à 14:48 min w/ Sound, Tightrope, Snaffle-Bit

Jan Vahl, Kerbe. One hand scratches a line with a coin on the backs of two hands that are holding coins. Jan Vahl, Kerbe. The translucent vertical red and green striped back lining of the textile work makes the bright elements of the picture appear yellow due to an LED backlight. Jan Vahl, Kerbe. The reflection of the back lining, seen in an artificially created puddle.
Kerbe (Tally), 92 × 130 PX
LED, Silk, Viscose, Yarn
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Jan Vahl, Solar Cargo. A satellite image of the Ouarzazate solar power plant in combination with a cargo ship
Solar Cargo, 1920 × 1080 PX
.PNG file, Sound

Solar Cargo shows a satellite image of the Ouarzazate solar power plant in combination with a cargo ship and serves to visualize the infinite resource of the sun as a possible source of energy for creating an unconditional basic income in the form of a cryptocurrency. The consideration here is that floating solar fields could counteract the possible territorial claims to property, provided that international sea areas are preserved. The picture appears in combination with the sound work ‘Gedaerm‘ (guts), which aims to underline the problem of the transmission and the storage of energy, as well as to refer to strings as the representative objects coming with new currency models.
For the piece, metal strings were made to vibrate with an electromagnet and the resulting frequencies were superimposed. The sound body used for this was that of a zither, based on the κιθάρα, which was invented by Hermes by stretching the intestines of a cow over the shell of a turtle and was traditionally played in honor of Apollo, the god of light.

Gedaerm (Vibrating Strings),
48 kHz .mp3 file, stereo, 06:48 Min


People finance their everyday life with a UB1 coin, which is obtained using solar energy. The solar power plants required for this swim in international waters and - if possible - are towed to the areas where the sun's rays hit the planet. The coordination of these processes has been taken over by the global whale society. In return, the human species has agreed to forego the further production of sonic matter.
This symbiotic future contract with the whale society has also led to a mixture of cultural practices on the part of the human species. A form of language has developed that metaphorically takes up the format of the wave package (soliton) from the original communication of the whales and interweaves it with relics of the digital age. As a result, person to person communicates via so-called Crafts, which as a data volume – similar to the wave package of whales – find an equivalent (data density) that carries the potential for discussion and collaboration (in the terms of possible time spend as a combination). Like a paradox meeting a paradox. The encryption of this temporary zone works in a similar way to a cryptographic key exchange, in which both or more Crafts become a key pair and thus create the basis for secure trade and communication in the middle of the permanent public.

Jan Vahl, Public Key. A handle covered with light blue terrycloth, overhanging with a clutch made of cardboard-colored packaging material, from which a bag filled with hay falls, which is secured by a chain. Jan Vahl, Public Key. A cut-open travel bag from which a clothed torso falls, the upper end of which is marked by an olive-green neck support. Jan Vahl, Public Key. lavender-colored lower body, which is partially covered with torn light blue jeans. Jan Vahl, Public Key. View of the legs, together with the intestinal element, which connects the lower body with the upper body.
Public Key, ca 20 × 80 × 200 CM
Aluminium, Card board, Hay, Laserscrim, Leather, PES, Rubber, Silver, Various textile, Wood

Jan Vahl, Moravec's Paradox. Blue deformed chessboard with five applied pearls and embroidery of Moravec's Paradox lettering in red and blue thread. Jan Vahl, Moravec's Paradox. Car with cobweb wheels made of natural colored sisal with reflective fabric in the background.
Moravec's Paradox, 62 × 162 CM
Cotton, Leather, Linen, Pearls, PES, Silver, Sisal, Wool, Yarn.
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In addition to economic aspects, people have also taken up spiritual aspects of whale society by recognizing the god of whales - Tardigrade. Belief in Tardigrade is accompanied by belief in cryptobiosis, which in whales was originally born out of necessity rather than romance, as they have to shut down their metabolism sharply for their sleep units. Hence, the study of Tardigrada's performance in the deep sea has become a relevant source of information for the whale community to proceed.

Jan Vahl, Currency. Adenosine triphosphate atomic structure projected into a corner. Jan Vahl, Currency. General view of the projected atomic structure of the adenosine triphosphate.
Währung (Currency), Size variable
Projection, Sound.

Jan Vahl, UB1 COIN. Pink-colored, wide-meshed top with a green UB1 Coin lettering, lying on a mattress that is reinforced with checker plate. Jan Vahl, Traum (dream). UB1 Coin top in combination with the toe painting. Jan Vahl, Toe. Toe painting, mounted on steel feet protruding from a gray mattress.
Traum (Dream), ca 90 × 60 × 200 cm
Aluminium, Bodyguard™ Mattress, Steel, Tension Belt

Kryptobiose (cryptobiosis), 3840 × 2160 PX
Video, Sound.
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© 2021 Jan Vahl

The work was shown as part of the group exhibition Call Me, Catharsis. by the Dirty Art Department 2019 – 2021
2021.06.23 — 27, De School, Amsterdam.
Exhibition text by Clara Balaguer:
Emerging from a historical crisis of a collective, planetary convalescence, the works in answerless question approach catharsis—transformational release of what is pent—through rituals of process, through drama(tization)s and their mise en scènography. In medicine, spiritualism, and theater, cathartic moments signify a purging of what has been accumulated in a given body, often to the point of poison. Catharsis summons this dark mass outwards for purification and renewal by ritual or controlled repetition. The cathartic instant is the release of accumulated and thus entropic bodies of affect, manifesting clarity in the wake of compulsive forms and movements. An inpatient in a psycho-ethnographic study describes this feeling of involuntary physical expulsion as “being shaken from the neck by a giant.” For catharsis to produce the desired metamorphosis, a distancing is required that allows the subject to both observe from without and understand from within. This remove is needed to stage a space of safety, allowing the subject (or object) to observe in calm what it has retched upwards from shadow. In the spotty-eyed moment of catching one’s breath after ritualistic exertions, entrails are examined as they drip past fingers and catch light. Entropy in atmospheres of collectivity. Shudderings of female daemonic agency. Utterances of revolutionary refusal. Shame liquidized to produce an intimacy of resistance. Fetishistic beings/ comings of desire. Migrant labor and its desolate, calloused hope. Alternative languages for measuring time and other commodities. Chewing on death for a lighter digestion. These are the innards of these bodies, of work produced in multiple scales of haptic obstruction. Call me catharsis and let’s call it a day, we are all pretty much exhausted from the contractions of this rebirth.
Photo credits:
{Kerbe, 3rd Image; Public Key, 1st Image;} Kyle Tryhorn