Felix/ToM

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Text on Method



unfinished, work in progress, subject to change


need to make connections between the parts I only copied

Introduction

My work explores the apparatus of how contemporary media systematics and implications of technology influence human perception of the world and consequentially feed back in the shaping of this world. Within that I am focusing on areas like mass culture, consumerism, architecture, advertising, and importantly, internet media. My practice consists of two strands of methods that are distinct but overlapping occasionally: 1) image curating and 2) image making. Both are supported by theoretical and contemporary readings that sharpen the practices.

[two examples]

What

In curating I am developing collections of, first, works made, that relate to the discourse of the above mentioned fields of interest. And second, images, that are appropriated from the world as a fragment communicating a specific aspect of the human-made abstraction of reality. The collection is a virtual one that serves a future purpose of making use of it.

I am collecting imprinted images that mediate a specific reception of the world to their recipients. Also, I am collecting human-made environments that include a sign of abstraction. I do this by taking photographs of them (in case of physical imprints or environments) or digitally capturing them (in case of digital imprints). These images, I understand as symptoms of the artificially and commercially creation of the contemporary media surround that feeds back to the formation of reality, but by that abstracts the perceived reality. I am in search of reoccurring processes and mechanisms that feed back to the systematic. This is to be able to understand current and future developments in media as well as their effects on the development of the artificial construct of society and finally to explore works countering the systematic (that are from the art world mostly). The collection shall in the future be brought in new pieces of work or further curated to expose the systematic interplaying with artistic work tackling the apparatus.

I am using theoretical readings of Baudrillard and Flusser as well as contemporary texts on media history of Turner as a basis for understanding the observations and communicating the explorations as being part of the ground-lying systems of Simulation, Apparatus and media surround.

In image making I am creating photographic images that abstract the discourse more specifically focusing on a more distinct fragment.

Exemplarily, the observation of semi-public/private spaces, that I realised in the photographic series New New Home and made into a photo book “Wohnen”. These photographs inhere a passive appearance of human-beings, visible through the corollary of their actions like the placement of objects or architectural elements that communicate something about the human needs and wishes. By framing I create photographs of visual sobriety with a subtle reference to a human naivety. This is leading to a quirky humorist image that is representing the contemporary. The form of presentation is aiming to add to this by abstracting the series in a catalogue-style making the encrypted human wishes available to choose from. The familiarity in the depicted in turn points back to the viewers own inner thoughts and resulting outer behaviour, subconsciously approaching the viewer.

The untitled cinematic intervention that I produced for the screening at the Eye Research labs was confusing the audience about the medium with the main method of breaking the cinematic image stream and displacing found footage and simulated interfaces.

Relation to earlier projects

The practice undertaken build up on earlier projects I have realised, as for example the exhibition of images from the “New New Home” series and the installation “Beyond”.

New New Home II is the second installation of an ongoing series of architectural photography. Two images, one showing a new, modern brick-wall with a door-sized, full-height window that is fully covered by a paravon with the print of a historic door on it on the inside, the other one showing the end of a new built, semi-private garden with a wall as a closing, and small garden gates to the private lawns that are also divided through small hedges. Both photographs are printed in 1:1 size, 2,80 meters long and 2,20 meters high.

The photographs are made at shady daylight with a normal lens on a medium format camera. The lines of the architecture are kept straight. Technically this creates a neutral and seemingly objective aesthetics and for that is intended to look as realistic as possible. Contrary to that the captured scenes appeal surrealistic and quirky, because of, in the first picture, the style and the positioning in front of the windows by the resident, and in the second, the layout of the gardens that seem to mainly exist of different divisions of the space. The large formats that make the recipient nearly stand in the scene exaggerate the appeal even more.

By showing explicitly new built residential spaces, the series of two is giving two contemporary documents of the exact time they were built in and photographed without the aspect of ageing. The quirkiness of the scenes is referring to the infantile humanity and a zeitgeist that existed at that moment. The display of the images took place within the same time period the photographs were taken and the buildings were designed and built. With that, the given stylisation of humanity and zeitgeist are thrown back to the recipient, who can see himself in the images.

Thinking Beyond is a digital software incorporated in a spatial, audio-visual installation depicting a sacral environment. Therefore it is made from an altar, a tryptichon from backlit prints displaying renderings of a moebius strip and six plates with commandments. It is interactive and provides the recipient with a tool to liberate himself from being a physical extension of an algorithmic controlled virtual society he is connected through his iPhone’s internet connection and make him a human being of free will. The emotionalising movie-soundtrack „Chariots of Fire“ is playing during the interaction of the recipient.

The intended „liberation“, as it is staged by the created fictive institution, is executed through a software, accessible through the altar, that is used as an iPhone dock. It uses generic Apple software to restrict the smartphones ability to use any kind of third party apps, as well as to connect to the internet. The 2x2 meter large altar is built of grey MDF and has a monumental appeal. The tryptichon displays the fictive Beyond-Society’s symbol, a moebius strip, stylised as minimalist productimages, referring to the design language of tech companies, especially such as Apple. The sacral appeal is continued on the audible level through playing the music by Vangelis that strengthens the emotional binding to the created institution.

With the sacral appeal and strong references to the commonly known aesthetics to Apple Inc.’s design language, that are exaggerated through its further minimisation, connected to the dystopic but though realistic idea of the recipient being an unfree personality but controlled through his smartphones software, the science-fictional installation becomes reality and through that criticises the current praxis of data-capitalism and people farming, arises awareness and provides, in a satiric manner, a method to overcome this practices. This is intended to process the personal observations and experiences of the author/artist/creator.

During the undertaken research I have directed the practical interest in a more precise area already and especially used it to contextualise material I collected as well as images I have made.

What next

My aim for future work is to sharpen the explorations and mediate the abstract systematic in a spatial image surround that is in form of an exhibition presenting a view on the world that explains its level of abstraction and puts existing artworks in context of the exploration. The work on and with texts in reading and writing is used to be able to create a bedding for the artistic research undertaken.

Why?

With my work I am aiming at grasping the feedback system that is making people act in a specific way and forming the public. I want to explore how actions and decisions are triggered and what technological structures are supporting the ability to do so. Furthermore, I want to mediate this exploration within a spatial existence, that itself acts as a challenge of the encountered construct.

Context

The definite context can only be established as soon as the project developed into a final (or nearly final) form. But the method is shared by the concept of critical design, the subject probably in media theory / internet culture worked on by the referenced. But I am not sure if the work itself is fitting there or if only the interest is shared but the outcome differs, so I have to further work on this…

References

the correct format will be applied later in the process :-)

Texts/Books

Baudrillard, Jean, Simulation Simulacra

Eco, Umberto

Flusser, Vilem, Towards a Philosophy of Photogarphy

Turner, Fred, The Democratic Surround

Turner, Fred, From Counterculture to Cyberculture

Curtis, Adam, All surrounded by Machines of Loving Grace, and others

Kramer, Florian, Critical making


Works/ Exhibitions

Lund, Jonas, Operation Earnest Voice

Paglen, Trevor, Autonomy Cube

Staal, Jonas, Steve Bannon A Propagande Retrospective

Systrom, Kevin, Krieger, Mike, Instagram

Zuckerberg, Marc, The Facebook

Harris, Josh, We live in Public, and others

Steichen, Edward, Family of Man

Bayer, Herbert, Road to Victory