Olympus Recommended exhibition / Triennale der Fotografie 2018Freie Akademie der Künste, Hamburg
How to Get in TouchParis studio
How to Get in TouchImpressed by Natures Hand/Talbot
How to Get in Touch Paris studio
How to Get in Touch Turn the Digital into Something Palpable
Our Writing Tools Take Part in the Forming of Our Thoughts, E
Our Writing Tools Take Part in the Forming of Our Thoughts B,G,D,E
detail A: collage from icons (telephone call, glasses, ID, brush, dollar note...)
Our Writing Tools Take Part in The Forming of Our Thoughts, A
Digital Dust #Paris2017
Our Writing Tools Take Part in the Forming of Our Thoughts / Digital Dust / How to Get in Touch
Olympus Recommended exhibition, Freie Akademie der Künste, Triennale der Fotografie Hamburg 2018
"Our Writing Tools Take Part in the Forming of Our Thoughts" is a series of laser cut outs on photo paper. It is a reflection on how the smartphone frames our interactions and on the overload of information it confronts us with. Photographs from the apartment of my 74 years old friend C., who had just received her first smartphone and struggled with all the new symbols she had to learn, are cut into a filigree net. What appears as a confusing, ornamental network structure at first glance in fact is a classic image description. Just instead of using words, I employ Icons and thus translate the contents of her private space into a dense collage of symbols from the digital world. Using a laser, to cut the collage out of the paper print, only those parts which had been translated into the sign system of digital communication, remain visible. Working with this technique of cut out was a means to transform a flat visual surface into a palpable object but also a means to talk about the fact that by using our smartphones we make ourselves transparent. Not only because we upload private images on public social networks but above all because all our locations and online activities are tracked. With the smartphone in our pocket we share bits of personal information that describe our online and offline existence and thus create a digital fingerprint or a new form of data portrait of ourselves.
„Digital Dust“shows a piece of my personal data portrait. It is a collage printed on double sided fabric for which I use the contents and layouts of my google photo account. A cloud service and online image bank in which all photographs that my smartphone produces or receives are automatically uploaded, organized and stored. When I had to change my phone last year I was confronted with the question what to do with all the snapshots and most often only temporarily relevant images that I had produced. As I did not wanted to spam my computer nor my new phone I opted for Google Photo. As so often the case for free applications I pay this service with my personal data. Algorithms analyze my images and in exchange Google helps me to find the images related to a certain place, time, person or content. „Digital Dust #Paris2017“ shows all images that I have taken while being in Paris September 2017- it is a visual diary of that time- a fragmentary self portrait. Still it does not show the images as a whole, but cut out bubbles and fragments, outlines and shadows of the photographed objects. Referring to the logic of the algorithms active in Google Photo I use outlines of objects or color combinations - like blue on top + green on the bottom - to indicate a landscape. „Digital Dust“ talks about the masses of images and other personal contents that we produce and spread online, but also about the gentle systems of surveillance companies apply when providing us with free services.
The installation „How to Get in Touch“ can be seen as analogue counterpart of „Digital Dust #Paris2017“. Here we have an analogue system of storage - metal shelves - inside which one finds different objects produced during that stay in Paris. All objects are an interplay between the actual place I found myself in and the smartphone as a tool to interact with that surrounding. For example I became aware that whenever I wanted to contact a friend or get information about an event I used Facebook. Here, just like on Instagram, Air Bnb, eg. users are represented in the form of a circle. Interestingly this round format can also be found on French gravestones, where portraits printed on porcelain are used in a similar way: they give the physically absent person a face. In a series of 6 such porcelain plaques I document on analogue meetings with friends in Paris and represent the participants via their Facebook profile picture. Referring to Facebooks algorithms, which measure interactions between users, analyze common locations, shared interests eg. the composition of my plaques illustrate the duration and intensity of my relation to these friends. In doing so I set my personal valuation of friends relations against an automated information processing. In the metal shelves one also finds pixelated and crumpled paper prints, black and white clay-moldings and straight photographs printed on semitransparent or soft velvet fabrics. All in all objects which trigger the lust to approach, to look behind visual surfaces and to get in touch with what is present not only via the eye but with the body as a whole. With my installation I want to invite the beholder to reflect on the smartphone as a tool of everyday communication which in a subtle but incisive way shapes our perception of the world and (trans)formes our social relations.
The works had been realized thanks to the Olympus recommended fellowship a collaboration between Olympus, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Foam Amsterdam and Fotografie Forum Frankfurt