Technocratic Fables

Tales of nature and technology, 2014

Marcel Helmer (DE)

07.08.15 – 01.11.15

Technocratic Fables

Technocratic Fables is a collection of narratives that tell stories of technology depending on, cooperating with, or being defeated by animals. These fables are represented by a library of objects and images based on true events taking place within the last hundred years of top secret animal warfare and espionage tactics. The nature of these fables is almost unbelievable, but because they are rooted in fact, anything seems possible.

While the presented possibilities remain just that — possibilities — they open up an alternative realm which might help visitors to discover different angles and perspectives on today’s world. The combined theme of nature and technology is designed to question the status quo.

The world of secrecy and espionage is an enigmatic one, a world which has nurtured our fantasies and imagination for decades. In Technocratic Fables, the borders between historic fact and designed fiction vanish, and are supposed to remain unclear. It is up to the visitor whether to leave the mystery within the gallery or investigate further to separate truth from fiction.


As a technology enthusiast and dedicated storyteller, Marcel looks into the social status of technology, both in the past and present. He investigates and creates narratives that include machines and devices as characters, in order to research their relationship to nature and each other. Currently based in London, Marcel is working on new projects within his own practice and in collaboration with design studio, proto/meta.

Q and A

What are the geographic coordinates of your favourite secret place?

37°14'06"N 115°48'40"W

Everyone has a secret. What's yours?

Your genetic heritage, probably — to have a full analysis of your ancestors, which genes were given to you, risk factors, your potential, and so on. All to plan ahead for the future and the greater good, of course!

Tell us two truths about yourself, and one lie.

I'm apparently a natural talent in knotting balloon animals, never tried it until a friend had some balloons around. I was able to knot several different animals and flowers without ever trying it before.

I hid from the Chinese police for several hours at 4am in a poorly lit alley in Beijing.

When Christo & Jeanne-Claude wrapped the Reichstag in Berlin in 1995 I visited the city with my parents and ripped off a patch of the fabric the building was covered with.