Cornelia Sollfrank
Fragments of a biographical reconstruction as text generation with particular consideration to the question: Are artists automatically ingenious or are automats ingenious artists?

The fact of my birth would otherwise be completely insignificant for my further work had I not seen the light of day for the first time in Feilershammer. Ingeniousness announces itself on occasion under app r o - priate auspices—and so this constellation was foreshadowed long in advance. As if to the manner born, I was very automatically given file and hammer, two instruments that would take on great significance in my later work.
Even today, one of my most painful memories is how sports cars belonging to day-trippers lined up to the left and right of the country road, around which the circle of siblings elatedly closed ranks. There, where my brothers’ fingers pointed accompanied by ecstatic calls, I only saw the locks on the door, steering wheel and ignition that separated me for the time being from automotive mobility. The keys were in the possession of others who even uncomprehendingly snarled at me before driving away saying that I should keep my fingers to myself. Anyway, women and technology, I am somewhat mixed-up in this regard. That was difficult for the little girl that I was, but she learned. She learned that the correct key is required to make things run. And with time she came up to par in matter concerning automotive mobility. From then on it was my most ardent wish to show how things work.
But my childhood also knew joy, and speaking of them means reporting on a further influence. My mother loved to be surrounded by flowers. Not only by flowers in the garden or flowers in vases. Colorful floral prints adorned the tiling and the kitchen towels, the pots and pitchers, dresses and aprons. Here, in these sculptures, my world view was most deeply influenced— and my other pictures are unimaginable without them.
I particularly owe much to the floral prints; on the one hand they inspired the iconographical studies that would play an increasingly significant role in my later work (of which we will speak more of later), but it was especially one blossom in particular, on the other hand, that my mother had a special love for and which she therefore surrounded herself and us with more than any other; one that would deeply ingrain itself into the minds of the impressionable adolescents: the hibiscus blossom.
The hibiscus blossom—its visualized form—it seemed to me to unite something, was a symbol for—I do not know what. Only much later was the deep secret that lay in the fateful encounter with the blossom revealed to me. I would encounter it again in a standard work on modern art. In triplicate, in quadruplicate, soon even by the dozens, by the hundreds, by the thousands. Printed on canvas, printed on paper, reproduced, multiplied, digitalized on the Web. An ideal trademark—quite automatically ingenious!
Everything in me called out to it. But alas, I was as yet unable to program the allurement. Not yet. Because I had learned long ago: Woman and technology? Not a contradiction, but programmatic instead! In order to learn more about how to generate such way-out, automatically very ingenious pictures, I attended an art academy— which, however, did not prove very useful. One learned to paint there and one also spoke about ingeniousness. There was also the one or other computer there. But there was mainly the Old Boys Network there that told me I should keep my fingers to myself. Anyway, women and art, I am somewhat going for the wrong thing.
My crucial experience with the key entered into play here. It became immediately clear that I didn’t have to paint the flower picture or any other picture myself because they already existed in abundance. Secondly, the lessons of automation: The smart artist makes the machine do the work. As my work proves, I have been repeatedly successful in this. Hammer and file have, to put it rather floridly, shown themselves to be extremely reliable instruments.
And at this point it can be said that, thanks to my tireless research efforts, to which my work elegantly testifies, daylight has again penetrated this metacausal relationship between the images in which the real meaning and the true order of the pictures can first be found—free of any and all causalities or consecutions, in which nothing else is proven other than the deep ornamental desires of otherwise disoriented writers on art.
Although I would gladly provide further examples documenting my research—the individual investigations and their subjects (emale Extension, Women Hackers, Warhol Flowers, Museumshop, This is not by me) this would of necessity be so delicate that an adequate representation would go beyond the scope of this text.
In conclusion, I would briefly like to address their methodological foundations. This seems very necessary to me because the general assessment of my work is exceedingly unimaginative and lacking in original ideas (“That is not by her at all—everything comes out of the computer!”), revealing a complete blindness for methodological problems totally unsuited to its strict but also subtle methods. Because this is precisely what it is all about: That which does not look like I made it is by me. That which I didn’t make is by me. And everything that I made is not by me. This strict law of complementary functions between authorship and reproduction that mutually produces each other as well as negating it, forms the foundation of automatic ingeniousness in addition to, as a methodological problem that is simultaneously its own solution, the foundation of all my works, raising them above all the odd pseudologies of the writers on art who still operate with such antiquated terms as fantasy, originality, and creativity etc.
I herewith wish to end my comments on my life and work; not all questions could be dealt with—particularly those concerning the authorship of this text.
But I hope that my comments serve to stir some of the old iconodulism in our times that have been prejudiced by narrow-minded iconoclasts. The autobiographical material used above was made with the assistance of a reprographer (1) and a text generator,(2) the programming of which I am very grateful to Prof. Dr. Kuni.

Translation: Michael Wolfson

(1) A device used to produce photocopies.

(2) A program to destupidify instincts and their vicissitudes of one-handed reading material about art marketed for example under the trademark of “authorship” and “originality”.