The Complementarity Principle

When the three of us (Bobby, Arno and Sam) first met, one was against planning, one was for planning and the third was in between.

We were united in connecting Zurich with C.G. Jung and the Austrian Nobel laureate Wolfgang Pauli and their search to reunite the psyche and physics. Their thinking portended a theory of everything based on complementarity as in Heisenberg’s famous principle: at the atomic level there is always a correlation between two physical entities. If one measures a thing very closely the complementary disappears, a law of nature. The sharper you illuminate an object, the deeper the shadows fall.

On the first day of our course we went to the restaurant “Krokodil” to get an impression of our host’s founding legend. The Spanish place was closed for holidays and we made a group photo in front of a huge paella image there. On the second day we walked from the Pauli ETH institute on the hill down to the Jung institute by the lake. We mostly talked about the possible complementary opposites of planning. It was not de-construction; it was not the void, or even observation. More likely it had to do with games, stages, performance, celebration, or the possibility of doing nothing, politely. (We still miss these discussions very much)

The great philosopher of our time Jamie Oliver said he would never have expected to mix fish and meat in one dish. Here we were back to paella. We cooked some different versions in black and red, an Indian one and finally one that we shared with the whole summer academy. Redefining the space with a camera, a beamer, a skype connection (to Brandlhuber and Carson Chan cooking in Berlin) and the idea of celebration and performance.

Jung and Pauli made quaternios––plans for synthesizing the conjunctio, as they called it.  Each was a cross, with for example, the complementarities of space and time on the vertical axis and causality and synchronicity on the horizontal. Or, we considered The Prime Tower ad Jung’s Turm as another.

Looking at quaternio, in the second week everybody worked on her or his own, which became personal statements attempting to define multiple truths in one point of view. We made one-shot films––starting with ten-minute, then five minute, three and finally one and a half. It was a presentation of a theses based on the idea of complementarity and the four.

In collaboration with: Christopher Roth and Arno Brandlhuber