The Mercedes is a calculation machine that helped human computers in computing all kinds of applied mathematics before electronic computers. It was used for instance by the Mathematics Division of the Bell Telephone Laboratory, New York during the 1920s under Clara Froelich for research applications. On the other side of the world, the Keldysh Institute (Academy of Sciences), Moscow, used it during the 1950s to calculate trajectories for Sputnik, the world's first satellite under Alexandr K. Platonov and Raisa K. Kazakova. The Mercedes such spans the continuum between the East and the West during the era of industrial, manual calculation.
Francis Hunger (*1976, Dessau) lives and works in Leipzig. In his practice he combines artistic research with the capabilities of narration through installations, radio plays and performances. His works realize a critical examination of the historiography of technology as ideologically charged knowledge and power constellations. Installations and performances: The Setun Conspiracy (2005-2008) about the world wide singular ternary –non binary– computer Setun, developed at the Moscow State University in 1958; History Exhaustion (2009) about the errantry of the individual in the 20th centuries’ ideological debris. The Woman who never went into Space (2012) is an installation and radio play about Valentina Ponomaryeva, who in 1963 was the backup for the first woman in space. The video installation Tolpa (2012) deals with the depiction of masses in Dziga Vertovs’ movies. In Deep Love Algorithm (2013) Hunger researches the database as cultural form through a road movie that consists mainly of text.