About the artist
Inspired by their location of origin such as abandoned buildings, old industrial areas and brownfields, the artist Plotbot KEN’s subjects revolve around a world of science fiction and dark-age-scenarios. Plotbot KEN is one of Germany’s most noteworthy young urban artists.
Since when have you been creatively active?
For as long as I can remember. Ever since I was little, I have been fascinated by music, graphic design, photography and graffiti.
Was it art that found you, or you who found art?
It was probably a mix of both.
Your works always seem to be in perfect harmony with its surroundings of abandoned places, old industrial areas and brownfields. Explain your attraction to such locations.
It all started with the “Teufelsberg” in Berlin. As one of the premier listening posts during the cold war the giant radar unit was used by the western occupying forces. No longer used for interception it now serves as a host for cultural activities. During the summer of 2012 we were colouring external surfaces for the creative event “Artbase”. Aside from the five meters high facade, the guardhouse by the entrance gate we worked with a totally burnt out building, hidden and remote from the actual festival ground. Walls were covered by graffiti only here and there, the back part being totally untouched. Total destruction. Walls out of metal were totally rusty creating exceptional textures. For not being part of the festival, not many people saw it. However, luckily, photographers captured the aesthetic of the moment.
Until today I have been predominantly drawing in abandoned places and preferring locations that are rather hard to access. The right background is very important and crucial – especially for choice of subject. In an abandoned slaughterhouse, for example, I created a wall drawing of five meters in height depicting a Victorian doctor for plagues. Vultures just waiting for their part of the arrangement surround him. The presence of the doctor reaches as far as into the single cells of the arcades. This hall was the last part of the slaughterhouse, which was known as Europe’s largest one. A building consistent of a long corridor with various arcades was used to dry the guts for further processing. The building next to it was a leather factory. Hence, in this very place, following “nothing goes to waste” they slaughtered and processed the industrial mass production’s output over a century.
Your works depict a world of dark-age-scenarios and resemble disaster movies. How do your subjects arise?
They mirror present times. Our constant demand for energy, the global industrialisation and the resulting conflict of power and resources. Scenes from countries where war has long became mundane. The continuous pollution of the environment and the already appearing effects on human and animal. Phenomenons such as the modification of seeds and plants, factory farming and the manipulation of the climate result in a gloomy picture of the future. Instead of investing time and money in attempts of reducing hunger and poverty, it seems as if research for nuclear weapons and other funding for war equipment is much more likely to be supported. The global race seems like a war between neighbours, which now shows collateral damage. Only in one area of the Antarctica there are three atomic submarines, 17.000 containers of nuclear waste, 19 vessels for nuclear waste and 14 reactors of the Russian North Sea Fleet lying on the floor of the ocean. Similar to the case in Chernobyl and Fukushima the possible explosion of the reactor imposes a terrible threat. As the recovery of the “K-141 Kurs” has proved, it is technically possible to move those submarines. However, the main motive seems to have been accusation and not so much to do nature a favour.
My art wants to become an emblem. I use it as a form of creative reaction to our current condition.