Max de Esteban loves technology. And Porsche. The Spaniard is a true math crack, has a degree in engineering, a Master of Science from Stanford and a PhD in business philosophy. Instead of becoming an engineer, however, he decided to live out his love of technology artistically. The Bauhaus artist presents his exhibitions all over the world.
Do you think that a Porsche is the perfect Bauhaus car?
I would say that the core essence of the Bauhaus is the dialogue between art and technology. Apart from Leonardo Da Vinci in the Renaissance, Bauhaus was probably the first artistic movement to combine these two themes. The Bauhaus teachers were simply fascinated by machines. And Porsche represents the ultimate machine when it comes to technical perfection combined with minimalist design. So yes, I think such a Porsche represents many Bauhaus values.
They are now driving their eighth Porsche 911. What do you appreciate so much about it?
There are so many things, but one thing is surely the design. He's not as overloaded as other cars. Take a Rolls Royce, for example - it stands for Kitsch through and through. In my opinion, this car has too much of everything. A Porsche, on the other hand, is much clearer and simpler, which simply makes it timeless. And then of course the engine, which is perhaps not the loudest in the world. But I mean, always hearing something like a deep heartbeat in his sound - I just love that sound.
What parallels can be drawn with your own works?
If you look at my pictures, you may see a certain resemblance to the surfaces and aerodynamic elements of a Porsche. All my work revolves around the relationship between technology and people. Everything I have done so far in my life shows how technology influences our thinking and feeling. I'm trying to reflect the spirit of the times. Because nowadays technology is everywhere around us and soon inside us - through genetic changes.
Is technological progress good or bad for us?
Probably both. You know, I believe in progress. I know that technological progress has been strongly criticized in the last 20, 30 years. And yes, we have done a lot wrong and made big mistakes - especially the European population. But all in all, most people would rather live today than a hundred years ago. That means something, doesn't it?
What do you say to people who criticize technical progress?
Let's take the Spinning Jenny. The spinning machine triggered a revolution in the American cotton industry in the 18th century. The change had its downsides, as the number of slaves in the southern states increased from 50,000 to three million within 50 years. Of course, it was dramatic and tragic. But it is wrong to ask whether the spinning machine should have been invented or not.
Would you say the same thing about the nuclear bomb?
Yes. Nuclear power has a terrible dark side that can destroy the world through abuse. But their invention was unavoidable, because there are so many intelligent technology freaks in the world who invent something like this sooner or later. So the technology itself is not the problem, but the way we deal with it. The car industry is currently undergoing an interesting change. Will there still be cars in 50 years?
What do you estimate?
I'd say so, yes. Porsche will certainly still exist later, but probably with a different form of car than we know it today. The challenge for major automakers is to completely rethink the car of the future. The best thing for them would be to put themselves back in Ferdinand Porsche's shoes and consider what he would have done today.
That's what they're probably doing right now. But at the end let's get back to the cars as we know them today. Why do you love them and Porsche in particular?
For me, a car is one of the few places of retreat where I can be free. There I can decide for myself, for example where I want to go and how long I want to go. Of course I'm not allowed to drink alcohol and so on, but apart from that, I can make all the decisions myself in a car. And that's exactly why I like Porsche. You're not overdoing the connectivity. Some criticize them for it and clearly other brands are already further there. But this autonomy, which the driver retains, is for me the spirit of the brand. And I find that so fascinating. The world will change and we are probably one of the last generations to experience this kind of freedom. So let's just enjoy it while we still can.
Note: What Bauhaus means in photography and how we found this out with the help of a Porsche Cayenne Turbo, read in the ramp # 45.