Anyone who wants to illuminate Hervé Graumann’s lamp with its four switches in series must first solve a problem of Boolean algebra, as it applies to digital circuits. Each switch has two positions, 1 or 0, on or off. From the position of the switch – up or down (u/d) – you cannot tell with Graumann’s lamp whether the switch in question is allowing the current to flow or not. To produce light, every possible variation of switch combinations must therefore be worked through in a systematic way, to avoid unnecessary repetitions: d-u-u-u, d-d-u-u, d-u-d-u, d-u-u-d, d-d-d-u, d-u-d-d, d-d-u-d, u-d-u-u, etc. It may take a while. George Boole established his logical calculus in 1847.
Hervé Graumann (1963*) lives and works in Geneva. Since the middle of the 1990s he has been exploring aspects of digital aesthetics and culture in his work. In 1997 he participated in documenta X in Kassel with some of his early online works.