During his time at Ateliers 63 in Haarlem, the Netherlands (1989-1991), Alan Murray devised instructions using four simple photographs to show how to open a lock. He attached copies to the doors of all the studios. There was little reaction from his colleagues. Since then Murray has been taking his material from the instruction booklets with which manufacturers of domestic appliances imagine they are rendering their customers a service. He examines them for mistakes and shortcomings, and confronts the manufacturers with his findings. In this way he attempts to expose the opportunism which determines their attitude towards consumers.
If Murray’s territory can be classified as minimal, that of Peter Fend is surely boundless. Since the company Ocean Earth Construction and Development – in which Fend is the driving force – was founded in 1980, he has attracted international publicity on account of political and international skirmishes, the point at issue being the satellite photos of the earth’s surface which the company distributes. In his essay for the Documenta IX catalogue (1992), Fend sets forth his blueprint for a radical rearrangement of the economy which would avert the approaching ecological catastrophe. A central item in his plans is the cultivation of algae in coastal waters. Fend refers to the technological applicability of concepts which were developed by Land Art in the sixties and seventies.