Pharaoh's Workshop

Project inspiration and stories

Almost all of our projects have been inspired by music, journeys or observations from what is going on in our world. Some projects were just the output of our love for super weird stuff and absurd storytelling. On this page you will find a bit of documentation what was going on in our mind when doing a project or even a whole series.

Kaboom Encore

Kaboom original story

That was the first idea that came to Randys mind when he thought about a name for his new investment – an old and worn down gas station in the middle of nowhere. The name seemed to be quite fitting for different reasons. Recently the oil price exploded and his former gas station just burnt to the ground after a drunk smashed his car into one of the pumps. Yeah, those were the days…

But today Randy was facing a new challenge. Quite often he thought about getting rid of his stupid wife Ronda, because her voice reminds him on Jimmy Barnes on acid. What he didn´t expect to find today was a rotten, zombie-like guy settling this matter in the car wash for him, while silly poor Ronda tried to clean the brushes nonsensically. Ok, Zombies… Not so brainless at all. In some cases even helpful…

However, where was the old shotgun that was part of the gas station deal…?

Kaboom Encore

2 years later. Much has happened since Ronda had become a victim of this rotten Zombie. After burning down his old „KaBoom“ gas station, Randy has been desperately thinking about new investment strategies. He invested into a “Sunshine 9” supermarket branch and sold weapons in the backroom. But this also went wrong. This damned “Clown 9” robber band just ruined him. He hated them. After all this stress he booked a ticket for the big Wasteland Grand Prix and got his brain seriously damaged at the “Hot Frog” snack shack, drinking too many Benzin shots. But at least all those cars and the sweet smell of petrol over there got him back into working mode! Still slightly drunk and highly over-motivated Randy stole one of those fuel trucks from the garage close to the track, just to disappear in the desert with his new “property”. How lucky he was! All those guys over there seemed to have too many Benzin shots, to really notice the roaring truck and its squeaking tires! This was the best idea he ever had in his life! He will drive it back to his old petrol station, sell the truck and rebuild his first investment with the money! Mhmm, lets say, “somewhat” rebuild it. For a full reconstruction there was not enough money left. Not enough intact construction material. And… well… After all those drinks… …not enough brain. But at least about the last part he would not tell anyone… 

District 4.0

Climate change is in front of our door (no, actually it already kicked it in). And to be honest, we are quite afraid of that and the problems coming with it, which not only future generations will have to suffer from. We read a lot about that and we care a lot about that. And often there comes a frightening question to our mind: „How would tomorrow look like if we further run down that path. If politics does not act quick enough and accordingly? If we still care more about leading wars and else, instead of caring about our future.“ And recently we stumbled over an interesting article from Australia, which is also discussing this issue, trying to construct future scenarios. We would like to directly cite from it. And there are a couple of sentences that made us imagine a colony in such a setting. Welcome to „District 4.0“, welcome to 4 degrees. We should do everything to avoid that scenario, shouldn’t we?

“With the commitments by nations to the 2015 Paris Agreement, the current path of warming is 3°C or more by 2100. But this figure does not include “long-term” carbon-cycle feedbacks, which are materially relevant now and in the near future due to the unprecedented rate at which human activity is perturbing the climate system. Taking these into account, the Paris path would lead to around 5°C of warming by 2100 (i). Scientists warn that warming of 4 degrees is incompatible with an organised global community, is devastating to the majority of ecosystems, and has a high probability of not being stable. The World Bank says it may be “beyond adaptation” (ii). But an existential threat may also exist for many peoples and regions at a significantly lower level of warming. In 2017, 3°C of warming was categorised as “catastrophic” with a warning that, on a path of unchecked emissions, low-probability, high-impact warming could be catastrophic by 2050 (iii). The Emeritus Director of the Potsdam Institute, Prof. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, warns that “climate change is now reaching the end-game, where very soon humanity must choose between taking unprecedented action, or accepting that it has been left too late and bear the consequences.(iv)” He says that if we continue down the present path “there is a very big risk that we will just end our civilisation. The human species will survive somehow but we will destroy almost everything we have built up over the last two thousand years.(v)” ”*

(i)                  Reilly, J., et al. 2015. Energy and Climate Outlook: Perspectives from 2015, Cambridge MA, MIT Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change.

(ii)                Spratt, D., and Dunlop, I. 2018. What Lies Beneath: The understatement of existential climate risk, Melbourne, Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration, 14

(iii)               Xu, Y., and Ramanathan, V. 2017. “Well below 2 °C: Mitigation strategies for avoiding dangerous to catastrophic climate changes”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(39), 10315-10323.

(iv)              Schellnhuber, H.J. 2018. “Foreword”, in Spratt, D., and Dunlop, I. 2018, op. cit, 3

(v)                Breeze, N. 2018. “It’s non-linearity, stupid”, The Ecologist, 3 January 2019, accessed 18 March 2019,

 * Spratt, D., and Dunlop, I. 2019. Existential climate-related security risk: A scenario approach, Melbourne, Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration, 6

Endless Dark and Brilliant Highlights

This series covers the projects of Pray, Scenes in Ruins and Skyfire.

The whole series describes a very personal journey through the dark, finding hope again and not only this. Finally finding truth. It is full of metaphors and underlining dark atmosphere ending with the headline of Skyfire as a beacon of light. We would not go into deeper explanation as these projects were part of mentally processing difficult times.

Is the way we live our lives really the one that feels right to us? Are the relationships that we have really what we think they are? Are we following our true dreams that we have in our hearts or do we follow the dreams and expectations of others? Are we honest to ourselves or do we just lie to be protected from the uncomfortable reality? The reality that would look like a horror movie if honestly compared to our inner truth which would suggest us to better bury some of our wrong ideals? Are we afraid of the pain that would come with this kind of „death“, because we are giving up something comfortable or something we got used to for a long while already? 

But a crisis often comes with chance. Sometimes it can even be healing. Sometimes it is time to let go of something wrong and for your real inner self to be reborn.

He was sitting in his living room in his nice three rooms flat in the best quarter of the city and enjoyed a coffee. He followed the ideals of society and he thought those were also his own. He had a very nice and respected job, although he would have actually liked to do something else. But it was ok. His job was very
relaxed, well paid and he could still do that later in his life and work towards his idea while doing his job. He had enough time for that, he thought. He also had his dream girl at his side. An intelligent, beautiful lady with a big heart especially for animals. She was his soulmate and he was sure that fate brought them together. He was also sure, they would never separate.

He was very eager in keeping that perfect and ideal image of his life intact. Sometimes there were very obvious cracks, but he always kept the glue right next to him. Deep in his heart, deep in his unconsciousness he knew that he was praying that this house of cards which he had built up so carefully on a foundation of lies would not collapse. That his wrong ideals and dreams would not collapse.

He did not know yet that a winter-time storm would come and stay for a while to blow it all away. It all would die for good.

His wrong idea of himself would die. He didn’t see it at first, but yes, indeed it would be necessary.

And from decay something new and true would grow. He would not need that house of cards anymore. He would have a solid one that would allow him to make contact to his native world.

A new story would begin.

He would come back to the grave
from time to time, Just to
understand the why.

Seasons come and seasons go,
leaves are falling down below.

It would be forgotten soon.
And no one would come to mourn. Anymore.

In between life was just lying in ruins. Every moment another scene in ruins. But there was hope. A friend came to him and enabled him to find truth and home again. To set the sky on fire.

Alone. Scared. Traumatized of what has happened to him. For almost two month now Harry has been playing this game. Surviving during the day, hiding from those creatures in the night.

For almost 10 years he was working on this small cargo ship, the „Wild Mare“ and he could not have imagined that anything could go wrong with that in the end. 

„Is it so? Or is it just – riding on a dead horse.“ – Fury in the Slaughterhouse

It was during this cold and stormy night in mid February, when the ship rammed something hidden in the sea. Maybe it was one of those many hidden rocks that are out there once you come too close to a reef. Some ships seemed to be magically attracted by obstacles like those as this was happening quite often in general. But this crash was just devastating and when it happened, an inner voice told him that this vessel was likely going to sink. His whole body was shaking from the fear that thought was causing. His life was on threat.

Like it usually is, the rats were leaving the sinking ship first. He thought they were his colleagues and friends during those many years. Well, they panically took the liferaft and even did not think about looking after him, saving their own skin as quick and reckless as possible. He could not remember fully what happened after that. He was just frightened to death.

He woke up on that black shore. Volcano stone. The area looked dismal, hostile to life. But over there in the distance he spotted an old and somewhat ruined lighthouse. He might find help over there. But nothing. What kind of place was this? At least none to have any good feeling about.

Fishing with the somewhat broken equipment he found in there all day long. Weeds as a side dish. Some canned beans from the pantry. Centuries old. Trying to catch the rain with wooden buckets. It was not more than just getting through the day. The long disappeared lighthouse keeper left some alcohol. At least something to cope with the fear. And a message. „This is the end. There is no future. They are coming at night. No way outta here.“ Harry never met him. Maybe they found him one day.

Hoping for help, but no one would come to save him. It looked like hope was a useless thing to have in this place. The lighthouse was out of function for a long time already. Even if there would be a ship passing, he could do nothing to get any attention. He didn’t know how to help himself.

And now he was sitting in this small room in the attic again. All dark, just the small flickering candle in his hand. Doors closed. Waiting for them to come.

Knock knock on the door. They’re here. Growling in the dark. Every night they would come to visit him, no escape. Afraid they could break through. Shaking hands were loosing the candle, trying to find it in the dark. They were finding it under the old rotten wardrobe. And something else met his hands. A signal gun and a box of flares. A light in the dark. A chance to escape from this hell and to see a new dawn.

And then there was the day where this small ship was coming from 8000 miles away. Such a brilliant highlight in the endless dark. He had no idea why it would pass by this miserable place. Maybe he was just lucky. But he felt like this was the right time to set the sky on fire. And the lighthouse got back its bright light with some extern help.

And the ship answered to bring him home.

He would never forget those dark days and the fear he felt. And the relief in that moment when the tides were turning.


Ich brauche Oel fuer Gasolin
Explosiv wie Kerosin
Mit viel Oktan und frei von Blei
Einen Kraftstoff wie“

Randy is back and extremely overworked. So he just planned a two days holiday trip to the wasteland. But his pockets are long and his arms are short,so he decided to spend only what is really necessary – An old rusty rental car and a low budget accomodation. For his vacation he planned to have some good old hillbilly entertainment. A desert race with the smell of fuel all over the place. The last time he smelt that lovely scent was the time when he burnt his old KaBoom gas station down to the ground. And his ugly ex-wife Ronda which turned into a Zombie directly with it. Those were the days! 

Oh my god, Randy is late for the first race! He rushes to the finish gate, only to see the last few cars passing. Shitting a brick if his first bet worked out fine or not. A quick look on the screen tells him, that he lost his first 100 Dollars. The brick is falling into his shorts. Hard and sticky. He needs a sec to change them. The rusty „Duck“car finished last. Oh god, he was so sure that the driver will make it first! He didn’t make it and died on the spot when crashing into one of those huge rocks, flying through the front window and being impaled by a cactus. So sad. It was hardly earned money. Fine, then lets watch the award ceremony from this race and get down the pulse. Where was the stage? Ah, over there. Ok. Looks weird, somehow Japanese. But the speakers are trash from the 80’s or something. Those guys have ideas… But there is no award ceremony so far. Maybe first they have to collect the pieces from the driver that came in second and staple them on the podest. At the moment there is just a singer shouting the national anthem while playing a badly tuned e-guitar. Whatever anthem that might be.,Maybe the Japanese one? This guy is that bad, he can’t figure it out… . Looks mutated. Ah crap, he doesn’t want to see that freak and his stomach is still empty. Then just get a snack and a Bourbon at the food truck. Hot frogs for such a price. Oh come on. Was that a good idea to spend his first day here? 17 percent inflation this year. This is really ruining him. At least the rattle snake Bourbon is drinkable. While sitting on a smudgy yellow barrel next to the shack and enjoying his Bourbon, he notices that the streets must have seen better days. No wonder that some cars finish the races with broken axle or missing driver. But thanks god they have a small workshop over here. So they can quickly fix the cars.  At least the cars.

Randy slowly begins to enjoy his excursion. Must be the Bourbon. He decides to go back to the racing track to place some bets. Wow, over there he spots his big chance! Car jumping! He is absolutely sure,- This time the „Duck“ will make it! Get over to the jumping ramp quickly, before the action starts. Where is his wallet? 100 again to win the money back? Mhmm, he already spent 220 on the Bourbon. Not that much left. Come on then. 80 on this 80’s car! What’s that? Two of them? Must be the Bourbon, seeing double. Is it 160$then? Oh god, can’t think. 160 is too much money. Can’t afford wasting it again. Then better only 10 for another drink. He will get sixteen for that amount. Much more value for money.

Willst du dich von etwas trennen
Dann musst du es verbrennen
Willst du es nie wieder sehen
Lass es schwimmen in Benzin
– Rammstein

They had Benzin shots at the hot frog shack. Go for it!
Argh,it tastes toxic. The smell burns his nose. Its draining from his mouth.
Turning the muddy puddle next to his feed into the colour of the rainbow.
This stuff can‘t be good for health and environment.

His stomach is aching so much.,this stuff is burning it away!
His body shows an overreaction.
Time to get rid of that fossil drink for now and forever.
Hopefully he did not learn that too late!

Artists inspire artists. We both love to listen to Rammstein because we admire their deep lyrics and incomparable aesthetic style. The band’s song „Benzin“ highly influenced our creative thinking on this project and therefore we would like to give a lot of dedication back to their work ( 

The word „Benzin“ is the classic German word for „fuel“ and like the synonym „Kraftstoff“ it has a very powerful and aesthetic sounding in German pronounciation. The word „Kraft“ even means „power“. As powerful is it’s destructive character in terms of explosiveness or pollution when burned or spilled, like this also applies to other fossils. Also powerful is the acting and influence of mankind.

Climate change is strongly progressing, which causes frightening thoughts for us when thinking about the future. Personally we experience hotter and dryer summers and more natural catastrophies in our area. Its not getting better, but worse. Elsewhere in the world people have much bigger problems than we have over here. Fossil energies are a major problem for a future that is worth living for our children and in the end „not good“ for us. The song suggests that if one would like to destroy something, one should use „Benzin“ for doing that. Randy notices that when he is drinking his „Benzin“-shot. His stomach, an essential organ for life and survival, is seriously damaged by consuming it. So Randy’s stomach can also symbolise our natural environment. Hopefully it is not to late for us to learn that, as it is for Randy. 

The song „Benzin“ is not only about the destructive power of that fossil. Also it is about human behaviour in our interpretation. The official music video shows the band disguised as firemen which are actually causing more trouble than being helpful. It is a seriously provocative piece of art, because firemen are very honorable people that risk their lives to help others in need. But provocation is Rammstein’s style. Ignoring the profession here and just describing the people in the video as human beings, you can begin to derive some truth from that metaphor. Mankind is caring about their own needs first, but mostly ignoring everything else while creating arguments or excuses for that behaviour to be able to go on acting this way. We have long reached a point where we should maybe apply this thought also to fossil energies. 

Actually it is a serious topic to think about. But we still use a lot of sarcasm and irony in our work, which is intended. Many people enjoy the touch and feel of fossils and related machines and what they might be able to do. Staying at this project here: racing for fun, spinning monster trucks around their own axis for example. I personally (Sebastian) love the sound of a classic oldschool Aston Martin motor (however, of course I do not own one 😉 ). Which is ironic as they are actually causing more trouble than benefit compared to all the new technologies we have. I don’t know how much „Benzin“ is burnt for creating that sound for a few seconds. But I guess it is not that little. 

This still seems to be the way we human beings think and act in many situations. Should we not work on that?

Scrap Cemetery

Joey. As far as he could access his memory, they called him Joey. He could see this big sign sticking in one of those huge junk piles. It was pointing out that this here was Sodom. Gomorrha was 500 meters to the right. He did not know if it was this toxic steaming pit far over there that was mainly made out of electronical trash. As an outsorted android he actually belonged to this pile. No idea why he was lying around in between those cars. Maybe he was a driver made for those human beings once? Next to him there was a broken jukebox playing this new punk song over and over again. „I don’t want to be buried in a scrap cemetery. I just want to live my life again…“. Well…, would that not be a good idea? Instead men just consumed and consumed and consumed. Throwing everything away without a thought in no time. Getting the new model. Following the trend. Following the crowd. And most of it ended up in deponias like this one here. Toxic, deadly. For people and environment. Left behind for the glass root people to live with and from it. Somewhere out of sight. Far away from the point of consumption. But when they began to throw away self aware beings like him, this was a new level of perversion. There was just one hope left for him: That one of those half naked kids will steal his head to use it as a football and finally bring him to an end.

Sadly this art project is inspired by a place that really exists in the world. One of the biggest eletronic waste junkyards of the world can be found in Accra – Ghana. The people living over there talk about their home in the following way

 »Sodom is like a beast. Sometimes you kill the beast. Sometimes the beast kills you.« (cite from the documentation „Welcome to Sodom“)

We chose to use a dark cemetery setting with death present all over the place to establish a link to what is actually happening over there every day. In our story we placed an android in one of those junk piles to show how people live and die over there and why. 

This place is horrible. However you will still find a lot of sarcasm in our work. Partly it is quite macabre, which is intended. The world undelightfully seems to be this way and big parts of that are invented by men. Reflecting this fact is part of our approach of doing art.

This place left us shocked and reflecting. This project was part of this process.

Phone Home

Len stared into his coffee. He hadn’t slept the whole night. Again. Again he couldn’t get those scream out of his head. Otherwordly screams. He had no idea for what kind of purpose they were doing those things to this weird grey colored guy and his family that have crashed here in the desert and that are now being „examined“ in Vault 51. Once this was just a small and worn down radio station with attached observatory for research, where they taught students stuff about classic astronomy, as well as radioastronomy. That was before the war had left its impact on the area. Now they were using the remainings of it to make contact to other villages. But there was something else underground that not many people knew about. 

He was just the poor cleaning guy that had to care about the mess from time to time, when the experiments became to rough. And yesterday was such a day again. He had to wipe up subject 2 or how they called it: „Dave“. It happened towards the end of his shift when Haley entered the lab. She was one of the worst. Electronic shocks, brain wave scans that somehow seemed to hurt this creature mentally, weird liquid injections, metal tools. There was a palette of options for her and she made use of all of them during her session. And towards the end of her „treatment“, there was a moment when he heard this voice in his head. It seemed to cover the whole facility. But not audible. It was mentally touching him. He could somehow „feel“ it. Entreatingly this creature sent out the words „Mercy. Phone home! Let us. Please“. At first, Haley looked very surprised and shocked. Like being stroke by lightning suddently. This creature did not do something like this before. But she bucked up quickly and her face turned towards being curious and sadistic at the same time. „Missing words still, but you are learning quickly. I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that! But lets see if we can get more of this out of you and what it takes“. For Len it took 2 hours to clean up this desaster afterwards. Potentially only two more of those shifts to go. Only two more grey creatures left. But now that there is not much more „material“ for examination left, she will probably become more careful from now on. Probably…

Observing what is going on in the world, we often think about human nature. In our personal opinion this in most cases seems to be much more destructive and careless than benevolent and sustainable. So lets spin this thought out. What could human nature be like in case of accidentally attracting something/someone else? When talking about aliens and a huge chance that there is intelligent life out there, many people are super scared of that. Would they be peaceful? Would they be a big threat for mankind? Our idea about that is different. We personally think mankind is so destructive by nature, that there is a much higher chance that we would be a threat to them – at least if they were not technically overpowered and left us a chance to fully live out our potential. For example in case of poor Dave and his family that were on the way back from their space holidays on planet „Sunshine 9“ when their „car“ broke and they actually needed help. But what they found in Haley was a quite unfriendly mechanic.

Taco Hell

Sweet dear green degenerated children. Did you know that we mutants have our own Santa? Mean people say that he looks like an ork since he burned his face when washing it in the big acid lake. But don’t listen to them and better be nice. Then he will bring you rotten candy! Except this one year when he had an accident with his trash metal slide. A few years back poor Santa crashed because one of his flying Brahmins lost a wing when flying through an anomaly caused by radiation. And he crashed from 50 meters high into the area where the hills have eyes. After being bashed by the „people“ living there, poor Santa could escape. His Brahmins they kept for dinner. Santa had to spend some month in the clinic of this doctor they call Frankenstein. But now he is back stronger than ever. And this is just because he loves to eat Tacos! Being in the clinic, Santa lost a lot of weight because he couldn’t eat properly. And he was so hungry! And then he heard about this new branch of „Taco Hell“ that opened recently. So Santa decided to have a bunch of tacos in the extra hot version! And he enjoyed them so much. He loved that nice feeling of pins and needles when the red sauce began to cauterize his guts while moving to the exit slowly. And when it arrived over there, there was such a pain that Santas eyes popped out for a moment! He did not make it to the outdoor toilet in time before the meltdown. Instead he was flying over seven sand dunes pushed and carryied by the warm and stinky airstream coming from his back. Looking like a green F-22 raptor in supersonic mode. And after all his flying Brahmins died, this is the way he comes to your rusty chimneys nowadays.

This project actually does not have much background. We simply love to eat Tacos and we would die if we didn’t do that at least once per week. Especially during advent and christmas time, where we do not much else than lying around, watching fairytales and eating stuff. The project also reflect our love for weird, absurd and sarcastic stories and characters.

Sunshine 9

After burning down his old „KaBoom“ gas station, Randy has been desperately thinking about new investment strategies. Stock market? Mhmm, no. His heart can’t take the stock market stress. Always having to look into his ugly ex wife Ronda’s face, his heart became very weak after a while. It is not easy for the body to have Halloween every day. Was that before or after she became a Zombie in the car wash? No idea, he forgot. And in the end it does not even matter. Bitcoin? Nah, at the moment graphic cards are too expensive. And he does not even know how to use a modern OS. Windows 3.1 is still his best buddy. Buying a Premier League soccer team from a rich oil sheik? Actually a quite good idea, but his bank account might be screaming for weeks, maybe even months. He does not know how much is still left on it and how much such a team could cost.

Daydreams… Yeah okay, let’s get back to where he is still good at. Selling stuff at a counter. Recently there is this new mini mart franchise popping up everywhere. But there is none in the outback where he is living, yet. What a chance! And usually those shops come with a pharmacy. Great to have his heart pills around! And if he threatens his employed pharmacist with layoff, he even does not have to blackmail his doctor anymore to get a prescription for those sweet and tasty pink super strong painkillers. He just loves to snack them time to time!  

How was it called? „Rain or Shine“, „9 Lives“… „Sunshine 9“ maybe. 

But it is still risky. Recently there have been a lot of news about a couple of bandits that go for super market heists in his area, calling themselves „Clown 9“. Hopefully he is not running into them with his new idea. And then there is still this Zombie experience with Ronda. Do those diseases not spread out? Maybe he should sell illegal weapons in the back room this time. Just to feel safer with a bit of the right equipment around. He still has his hillbilly contacts. Good idea to give them a call…

We live in Southern Asia partly and Sunshine 9 is more or less an hommage to those mini marts that you can find at every corner. You can get cookies, drinks and suncream over there plus having a nice chat on top. Simple but amazing.

Trashville Rising

In our living area we notice that more and more people are using shipping containers to build tiny houses and we are really fascinated about them. So we thought about playing around with those forms and shapes, bringing them to the future and back. The Trashville Rising series covers 3 container house projects and the story is about a small container house village slowly seting up and growing somewhere in the dark future. We tried to imagine how our „bright“ future could look like in terms of living and this series was the result. We are very interested in exploring this topic and it is likely that we will come back to this setting in the future.

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