|Karl Hans Janke, untitled, mixed media on paper 29,7 x 42 cm, Courtesy Delmes & Zander / Galerie Susanne Zander|
KARL HANS JANKE
- the wonderful life of a dream engineer
Read more about the imaginary engineer in Cabinet Magazine
"During a slide lecture in 1970, Karl Hans Janke laid out for the audience his radical vision for producing infinite quantities of energy. Janke’s method, which did not require any fuel, relied on a new conception of the atom that could be used to harness the magnetic energy of the universe: “My atom, on the other hand, could be called a space-electron atom. … Since countless space-electrons are turned into energy in my power plant, it would be correct to call this a nuclear power plant. In contrast to the Soviet atom, I refer to my atom as the ‘German atom.’” As the lecture continued, Janke found occasion to lament the neglect from which his revolutionary scientific work had suffered: “It’s both strange and unfortunate that, over the twenty years in which I’ve lived in Hubertusburg, no government official has ever noticed or even shown interest in my work.” Janke’s very next sentence suggests a cause for this official neglect. “In sum, I would like to state that a spiral nebula, bar magnet, tree or bush, a swallow, animals, and human beings with head and motor organs, as well as clouds, stones, atomic systems, transmitters—even manifestations such as war and peace—should all be measured using a single form!” Janke was in fact delivering his lecture not to a learned society but to a group of hospital staff and fellow inmates at the Hubertusburg Federal Psychiatric Institution, located in the village of Wermsdorf in the Saxony region of East Germany. The lecturer had been a patient at the converted baroque castle since 11 August 1950, and he was to remain there for the rest of his life"