In THE ARTEFACT I transform an idea that came up in my mind when reading "DER BLAUE ELEFANT", written in 1987 by Prof. Herbert W. Franke. It was first published in 1997 by Heise Verlag in Telepolis. As the rights on the story are still with the author I asked him about to translate the short story into English and copy it into "my Artefact" and he agreed.

So here it comes in full length. As I am not a native English speaker there may be other ways to do the job. Also to use the Google translator on the original text brings a readable result.

As I published the first part of THE ARTEFACT in 2013 in Heise Verlag Herbert W. Franke told me to use Sergius Both as this pseudonym by referencing him as the maker of the ultimate art machine MONDRIAN. So I kept it this way in further chapters ...

The Blue Elephant
Sergius Both (1987, first published as ´Der Blaue Elefant´ in 1997)
A jury meets, it awards a computer graphics prize, but then there are still objections.

Ladies and Gentlemen. What you see now is the prize winning work. Carry Eisfeldt was stunned. This concoction should be the best picture. For this purpose, a panel of experts had met three days, experts of international standing, and now this! Carry knew some of the artists who participated, and there were some great ones among them – of course not to forget himself. But suddenly someone approaches him and pats him on the back and shakes his hand. "So, you're the lucky one! A great piece of art." A group of people applauds. In the middle of it all, Carry Eisfeldt didn’t know what hit him.

.. the following passages are not finally done. I wait for the reply of my editor ...- see it as a DRAFT ...

Professor Kurt Drontheim, chairman of the jury, closed his notebook with a snap. "This was a difficult birth, but at least we agree -  the winner is a certain ... ", he leafed through a pile of paper, "Carry Eisfeldt. I will find a way to communicate the reasons for this decision. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. "

On the front of the conference room, on the large screen, the award-winning work was to be seen: above a pastel-colored gray-brown background stretched a tracery of yellow and black lines.

"Just a moment," cried Dr. Czylinsky, chief editor of a major media Art Journal . "That we agree, you really cannot say. Finally, there is a very narrow majority decision. "

Markus Holtermans pushed his pipe from the left to the right corner of his mouth and said: "Czylinsky is right " Professor Drontheim, who wanted to go away already let himself fall into his cushioned seat again. "What´s the matter with it? "

"The picture has flaws," cried Czylinsky . "Even the contrasts do not fit, you can hardly separate the foreground from the background. "
"Well, if there is nothing else." Drontheim leaned over the keyboard, typed in a few numbers. "Is that better ?"
"It is better," muttered Holtermans .
"It's better, but still not good," so Czylinsky, who seemed to have no desire to end the session. "What bothers me is this background, this drab colors ... How would it be if we change it a little?"
"Green", Holtermann said, pulling on his pipe .

Now, Virginia Miller-Stark, who was switched on via a telephone line reported. "But, gentlemen, we can´t do that!"
The professor ignored her, he shook his head and reached for the mouse. He activated the color palette and set the background to green.

Now Tagore Rajman lifted hand: "This brings another error in the image to the scene: the basic structure is too arbitrary. Could´nt we put some emphasis in?"
Drontheim shook his head wearily, Rajman looked over his glasses. Then he sighed and typed a few numbers, clicked multiple times on the mouse - and the mesh had turned into a brownish-yellow mass, which looked quite unappetizing.
"That's horrible," came Virginia's voice through the speaker. "I have to decide ..." Drontheim grabbed the knob as casually as possible and turned the knob gently to 'quiet'.

"You can´t let the picture be this way!" shouted Czylinsky. He thought intensely. "This structure in the middle is not meaningful. We should do something striking there, something symbolic ."

Rajman went to the console and worked with nimble fingers on keyboard and mouse. The brown mass transformed into several clearly defined forms, until Holtermans suddenly shouted: "Stop!"

They all stared at the picture: the figure had become a little clumsy: an oval with several foothills .
"There you have your icon", Drontheim said, and also Rajman was visibly pleased with the results of his experiments. "An amoeba."

"An elephant," objected Holtermans. In fact - now all could clearly recognize: an elephant.

On the screen you saw Virginia Miller-Stark who gesticulated violently, but you heard nothing of what she spoke.

"The colors do not match", Czylinsky said, tapping nervously with a ballpoint pen on the table .
"Make him grey" demanded Drontheim, but Rajman seemed unsure.
"Blue", Holtermans said and drew on his pipe.
"Why not blue ?" Rajman pushed the mouse back and forth - and the elephant was blue.

"Now everything is right," he said.
"Looks good," confirmed Drontheim, " the picture is worthy of the price. I have seen at first glance what power is in it."
"That's it then," Holtermans said and slapped ((cleaned, cleared, flushed???)) his pipe contentedly at the ashtray. On the screen was still visible Virginia Miller-Stark, in her involuntary silent protest.

"Then we have agreed", Drontheim said, and now there was no contradiction.


The largest swirl ((whirl, eddy???)) had died down. Carry Eisfeldt was still standing in front of his picture. 'The Blue Elephant' - he could not put up with it. From his artwork worst kitsch ((hokum, trash??)) had become.
// I know this is not a good sentence, but this way you get the meaning … Out of his artwork kitsch was made?? //

Urgh! ((Tut! by the devil???)) He would make a protest, he would not accept the prize, the jury ...

The price was associated with 5000 Euro and that made Carry a little thoughtful. 5000 Euro are a considerable sum for a starving artist.

He looked at the picture again. This green background, well placed in the middle the massive animal form ... strictly speaking, it finally came out of him. Maybe that was not so bad.

Actually ... a highly competent jury had selected this picture - oneself has finally also to recognize the opinion of others . One could still think about it.

He placed himself under the 'Blue Elephant' and took the congratulations with a happy smile.


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