Tag Archives: rentner

The Book

I. Something

One evening, a few years ago, four individuals were drinking in a pub. The four were part of a larger group of people, who were all connected in some form, which was partly due to the fact that, by some random coincidence, they all shared their existence at the same time in the same place, and partly due to their sharing of certain, similar kinds of interests, thinking and ambitions. These overlaps of space, time and character traits resulted in a number and variety of shared, or common, activities. In the weeks preceding the evening, which had been a period of particular intensity, an unusually large amount of these activities had occurred.
A few years ago, one evening, four people were drinking. They were sitting around a table, in a pub. The four decided to form a band. Therefore, firstly, and most crucially, they had to come up with a name.
preface to the first edition iii

The Book – 150 pages, © by Rupert Jaeger 2007

The Book’ tells the whole story of Rentner, from its birth to its death, its strange disguises and hybrids, from the band that never happened, over an image retrieval project that spanned across six european cities, a company run by hard-nosed business men, and ultimately to its own total corporate and conceptual deconstruction…

The story starts at an undisclosed location in space and time, which serves as a framework from where the present is always the past, and then jumps to a very specific location in Barcelona, Spain, at precisely 15:17:28 hrs local time on the 22 of September 2001. From here onwards unfolds an experimental narrative in image and word that is at once a fictional account of a group of time travellers from the future , and at the same time a documentation of the real live story of a group of artists who called themselves Rentner.
The group was active from September 2001 until September 2004 with projects and exhibitions in Barcelona, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Frankfurt and London. The Book, which is largely made up of photos, sketches, writings and other documents from that time, was first published in 2007.

The preface (to the first edition) sets the framework of the story by presenting a collage of documents that piece together a fragmented concept of the world experienced by the characters of the narrative. The above document is of particular focus, with its text forming the main context of the overall narrative. A full transcript of this document can be found here.

A photograph of Barcelona, Spain, opening the chapter ‘Old Europe‘, with the precise location marked where a particular moment occurred, which was not only to be the defining moment of the book, but the initiating moment of a process that is still ongoing today.

Double page recalling what happened during the Rentner agents’ stay in Brussels, Belgium, in mid October 2001. It was here that they started to not only question their mission, but to deviate from their original plans, and ultimately disrespect the timetable and route across Old Europe.

Snapshots of a number of ‘durational moments‘ that were retrieved in Amsterdam, Netherlands, late October 2001.
After  Amsterdam, the Rentner agents left a number of traces in Berlin and Frankfurt, Germany, in November 2001. After that,  there was no trace of them…

…for just over one year, when a company by the name of ‘Rentner Collective Ltd’ was incorporated at Companies House, in London, United Kingdom, on the 27th of September 2002. Around the same time, a number of public interventions, events and exhibitions started to occur across London, organised by a group called ‘Rentner Collective‘. Whether the two entities consisted of the same people, and who those people actually were could never be verified.

These photos were taken around Oxford Street, central London, on the 12th of December 2002. No other details are available about the nature of this intervention, the person on the photos or who the photos were taken by.

The same location, a few months later, on the 15th of April 2003. This time, the cardboard has been replaced by a proper sign with a logo, evidently of Rentner Collective, which is accompanied by a web address. The domain, www.rentnercollective.com, is still available online, but has not been updated since September 2004.

The same sign, as one of the centre pieces of ‘This is Rentnercollective‘, an art exhibition that took place at the ‘Islington Arts Factory‘ from Friday the 13th of February to 5th of March 2004. The exhibition was a group show with 7 artists showing work, which were connected via red ropes, continuing a theme running through the work of Rentner Collective at that time, which was the colour red (C:0 M:99 Y:100 K:0), and in particular in the form of a red line.

Double page spread of ‘The Book‘, showing visitors seen from above at ‘This is Rentnercollective?‘, across the red ropes connecting the work.

The Red Line‘ was to find its most extreme prominence as a theme of Rentner Collective in the art exhibition ‘The Vault‘ that took place at ‘The Foundry‘, in London’s Old Street from the 24th of June to the 11th of July 2004. One of the centre pieces of this exhibition was a straight red line, that was painted along all four walls of one of the basement rooms, the vault of this former bank building. The Red Line was painted around every corner or other protrusion of the wall, creating unusual perspectives and distortions of the line.

Double page spread of The Book showing the take down of ‘The Red Line’, which had been painted directly onto the wall, and therefore was only existent for the duration of the exhibition. In order to keep physical objects that can represent the exhibition in retrospect, various techniques were employed to preserve pieces of the wall or of ‘The Red Line’ itself.

From the 11th to the 22nd of September 2004 ‘Credit History‘ took place in the ‘Pavilion‘, a gallery next to the river in the city of Frankfurt, Germany. Before the exhibition, a large number of business cards of some of the members of Rentner Collective were cut into random pieces, from which a selection of 6 pieces was made, which were to feature in the exhibition in Frankfurt.

The six selected pieces were then enlarged and painted on the main wall of the gallery space, which created an abstract combination of seemingly random shapes of red colour on the wall.
Credit History‘ was the last time that Rentner Collective ever presented an exhibition and since then there has been no trace of any of its members.

450 St Ann’s Road‘ in the North London Borough of Haringey, where some of the members of Rentner Collective purportedly lived from 2002 until they disappeared in September 2004. The property was bought in early 2005 by an unknown property developer, who demolished the building a few months after it was acquired. No development plans have since been presented to the local authorities and the plot remains derelict.

© by Rupert Jaeger 2007

The first edition of ‘The Book’ was a limited edition of 200 copies, which has since its publication sold out. Edition 2, a slightly updated version, is currently being produced. If you would like a copy or an electronic version, please contact:

Rupert Jaeger
+44 (0)751 233 1561

Transglobal-Rentner Audio & Visual Information Library

In the future there has been established a giant global network system, greater in power than any data system ever built before; quite beyond the comprehension of a contemporary computer programmer. This network is known as TRAVIL or Transglobal-Rentner Audio & Visual Information Library. The library is vast. Huge areas of Old Australia have been converted into giant stainless steel vaults. In these vaults you will find sounds and images of every possible source – snapshots from the oldest family albums, the screeches and whines of extinct creatures and most importantly the proof of time itself, for the library is not for reference, in this new society the future is dictated by how the immediate past came into being. As well as being a machine of awesome technological power it also symbolizes the power of the corporation responsible for its manifestation: Rentner.
Although a well-oiled organisation, deadly efficient, uncompromising, Rentner has found that TRAVIL has flaws. There are gaps in the time data, this is unacceptable for a system whose function is to store every moment of the past. Furthermore, it has become apparent that merely having the images and sounds from the past does not guarantee a coherent view of the past – for every action has a reaction, every cause has an effect, every moment in time is a product of chance, an accident. As the past is established, it follows that if the correct methodology is used it would be possible to ascertain how an event came to happen. How it was conceived from a causal event and how eventually it becomes a causal event itself.
As well as being the superpower of time and information management, Rentner also governs a science administration. In the past companies such as NASA concentrated their efforts and resources on the dream of deep space travel and exploration, somehow continuing on with the stupid notion that humanity would benefit from, for example, a select crew of humans collecting dust from a moon of Jupiter. From an early stage in its development as a global power Rentner could see the potential in concentrating such resources on the exploration of time, knowing space was irrelevant to a rational debate on the future of society, in particular the control of society. Hence, when the Rentner Science Administration managed to control government funding, they pushed the space race into the shadows and perfected the Art of chronovelocital travel.
The sounds and images contained in TRAVIL are all primary sources, that is to say, every recording is an original, taken at the exact time of the event. These recordings are made by chronovelocital teams. They are sent back to the time frame containing the events selected for capture, the Rentner bosses refer to this process as the Pixel Harvest, as if they were reaping the crops sown by the hands of chance.
The selection process for chronovelocital teams, individually known as Chrononauts, is relatively simple. The applicants must demonstrate a sound knowledge of old world geography and culture, they must be competent in the use of old world imaging tools: film cameras, digital cameras, etc. and must declare their undying loyalty to Rentner. Upon selection, every chrononauts must swear the seven rulings of Rentner before a priest of the Holy Order of the Rentner. This ceremony closes with an orgy with the Rentner nuns and free cider.
Our story begins with a group of three graduates from the Rentner Filmproduktion Institute. They apply for a chronovelocital mission. They become Rentner #36-24-34.
The image retrieval work required of the team has been given Boss-Eye-Only status, that is to say the team is in complete ignorance of which time frame and geographical region chosen for their mission. The reason for this is that the time frame they are to be sent back is early 21st century western Europe. Hundreds of teams are sent back to this time frame every month and the information given is in so much detail, considering every cause and effect situation that the bosses have decided it would be easier to send back teams at random without properly planning the missions, for they have come to the conclusion that it is virtually impossible to give one moment in time precedence over another. Before being sent back the team is handed a brief, which contains their orders. It states that in the field they will be given signals left from other agents on other missions, these will mostly consist of time deadlines and geographical position. Under no circumstances are these deadlines to be missed and under no circumstances is the nature of their work or the fact that they come from the future ever to be disclosed: this could jeopardize the future of Rentner as a global mega power and could result in the chrononauts being stuck in the past.
During selection, each candidate was given the aforementioned testing. Two aspects of temperament, which were not considered by the selection committee to be important was that of the artist and that of the sex maniac. The team goes through the complex, dangerous process of chronovelocital flight and finds itself in a place with absolutely no idea where they are or what they should be doing. It was mentioned in their brief that their mission might coincide with past missions and that the tools they are to use may be retrieved hence. Their first objective is to find the materials they needed to continue their mission.

The above text is taken from a document, which was found in an abandoned house in a small English town along the river Medway on 22 December 2001.
Below is a scan of the first page of the document. More information about this can be found in this article.

© by Rupert Jaeger, all rights reserved