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Chaos is a fertile breeding ground for the emergence of new things. Most people, however, are suspicious of it because it threatens their own habits, a self-created set of rules. But chaos is not just chaos: it always requires the point of view of the observer, but above all openness and curiosity. Because chaos carries within itself the forces for new orders and is also – freely described – a universe of undeciphered order(s). Applied mathematics and mathematical physics approach exactly this fact – and have not yet reached an all-encompassing formula for understanding.

When Dave Grossmann, born in 1989, deals intensively with the material of the OSB board, which has so far not been particularly conspicuous in art, one of the reasons for this is that chaos and order are apparently very close together here, a fact that fascinates him as a curious artist. Apart from the beauty of wood as a material with its brittle, but also very difficult grains and haptic qualities, as a representative of the world around us, of fauna and flora, the work product OSB is a man-made thing, a cultural artefact.

The manufacture of this product itself is an exciting undertaking, developed only in 1963 by Armin Elmendorf in the USA: OSB means Oriented Strand Board (i.e. oriented strand board). Compared to chipboard, which was developed in the 1930s by the German Max Himmelheber, OSB is characterised by the recognisability of the individual chips, which are between 1 and 2 mm thick and approx. 10-20 cm long. And this is also where Dave Grossmann sees the exciting things happening in the production process, which materialises in the appearance of OSB: In three layers, the coarse glue-impregnated chips are shaken and blown in different directions onto the oversized conveyor belt before being pressed into the board. The chips are directed in their ‘flow’. However, individual chips are positioned crosswise and change their direction, e.g. because they tilt in the dynamic process, and become a (random?) structural and optical disturbance factor.

Contrary to the production process, in which the theoretically infinitely long panel is cut into transportable sizes of over 3 m in length while still on the conveyor belt, Dave Grossmann restricts himself to the maximum dimension of 125 cm edge length, as otherwise, in the current series of works, the ratio of the chips to the size of the picture becomes disproportionate.


  • Semjon Contemporary's Exhibitions 29
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