Thoughts & Insights

Because Art is a Daughter of Freedom (Friedrich Schiller) – OUBEY MINDKISS Celebrates its 5th Anniversary

On 5 May 2015 the OUBEY MINDKISS Project will be celebrating its fifth birthday with a happening held at the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe –the very same place it first saw light of day on 23 March 2010.


Individualistic, radical and consistent – The Project takes all kind of liberties. Including the liberty to turn its back on the established art market

Even after five years of successful work with the OUBEY MINDKISS Project built on the rich and multi-facetted legacy left by the Karlsruhe artist OUBEY following his untimely death, Dagmar Woyde-Koehler, the initiator and driving force behind the project, remains as fiercely independent and radical as ever and still refuses any attempt to classify OUBEY in the established canons of the art market. Shunning the art world’s established institutions and adept critical assimilation, and turning its back on the razzamatazz of show biz masked as art, over the past five years the MINDKISS project has resolutely followed its own paths and become a highly unusual work of art in its own right with a key role played by consistent leverage of the internet.

“I don’t hang the paintings in some place or other and then wait for people to come and view them. I bring the paintings to where people are – in their homes, in their offices, in a quantum laboratory, a recording studio or radio station, and I bring the paintings to people in places where they don’t expect them”, says Dagmar Woyde-Koehler. Such places of encounter can be an international management conference, a scientific symposium or the annual festival of a Maori school. She travels with the paintings to places as far apart as San Francisco, Vienna and New Zealand. “In this way I can reach different kinds of people from what you generally would and I reach them in a manner that’s very direct and personal – and free of all connotations of the museum world. I want to see what happens, whether the paintings begin to work and if they do how they unfold their effects and how they’re experienced, what kinds of thoughts and associations are released when the museum context and above all commercial considerations are left far behind. There’s no correct interpretation and there’s no price tag either, she says. The paintings are not for sale.

In a recent interview Dagmar Woyde-Koehler answers questions from the internet journalist Ulrike Reinhard:

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OUBEY MINDKISS – an Expanding Universe

The individual encounters between OUBEYs paintings and a highly diversified range of people are filmed by Dagmar Woyde-Koehler and published as Encounters on the internet. There are now over 20 such videos online including some with famous and even world famous scientists from a wide range of disciplines. They have all placed their spontaneous thoughts and associations sparked by OUBEYs paintings on video, thus sharing them with a worldwide audience. They have shown that such a venture can be done and they show how it can be done, and that it can also be tremendous fun on the way and that you don’t need to be afraid of saying something ”wrong“ because there is no “right“ and “wrong“ in this project. And now more and more people are finding the confidence to make such an encounter themselves.” I think this is really fantastic. It’s a very positive effect that the project is creating here and I’m really curious to seeing what point we’ll arrive at in the next five years”, comments Dagmar Woyde-Koehler, the producer and director behind it all.


“OUBEYs works of art are the substantive core of the MINDKISS Project. What I am now doing after his death with MINDKISS is creating the space to allow people to follow their curiosity and make their own voyages of discovery. This is a source of great pleasure, great satisfaction – including for me”, says Dagmar Woyde-Koehler taking about what motivates her. A process has been set in motion in which growing numbers of people across the world are participating. It’s their responses, their feedback, their ideas and their suggestions and proposals, the excitement they find in an interdisciplinary approach to OUBEYs art, to art itself in its broadest sense, to science, philosophy and science fiction that has turned MINDKISS into a living breathing work of art in a continual process of change and development. This has only been made possible by consistent leverage of the internet which has been the project’s key channel for public outreach over the past five years. The only notable exception here is the five volume OUBEY MINDKISS Book, in its stunning design by New York graphic artist Stefan Sagmeister, a winner of numerous international awards.

This spirit of pleasurable discovery will be very much in the air on 5 May at the ZKM | Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe.