Screening Photo Text Data 08.05.2019 | Fotomuseum Winterthur


Anna Ehrenstein, Real Thomas Metzinger, 2019
Jack Wolf/Alexander Schindler, In-Camera Proceedings, 2018
Helen Wiona Röhrig, nevergonnagiveyouup, 2019

For SITUATIONS/Photo Text Data we asked for submissions of short video projects that focus on the interplay of text and images in today’s data-driven culture. The selected projects are:

Hana Yoo, When Will the Earth Be Destroyed?, 2019
Jack Wolf/Alexander Schindler, In-Camera Proceedings, 2018
Helen Wiona Röhrig, nevergonnagiveyouup, 2019
Anna Ehrenstein, Real Thomas Metzinger, 2019

The four selected works approach the broad field from various perspectives, covering research-based investigations as well as artistic explorations of popular internet phenomena. By engaging with different kinds of displays and computer programmes like smartphone apps, Google Earth or the desktop, the works reflect on the multimedia environments in which text-image-constellations appear today. Contentwise, the selected projects deal with social, cultural and political aspects like selfie culture, image consumption and obsession with beauty, internet trolling, meme culture, surveillance, as well as artificial intelligence and the longing for immortality.

The winning projects will receive a 500 CHF award. The works will be showcased during a screening event on Wednesday, 8 May 2019, 19:30 at Fotomuseum Winterthur (Grüzenstrasse 45, in the SITUATION exhibition). The event will be held in English.

Is Artificial Intelligence the superpower with access to all the data of the world, hence able to answer questions that no one ever has before? Does AI offer a solution to human mortality, which releases us from the anxiety of death? Or, on the contrary, do we feel threatened by it? Hanna Yoo’s video collects the historically persistent attempts and desires of humans striving towards immortality at the intersection of myths, religions and sciences.

Korean artist Hana Yoo creates experiential moving-image works that investigate altered mental states amid the spectacles of digital culture, and the nature of artificiality. Exploring the immateriality of moving images through materials of technology, she collects and reorganises experiences, memories and speculations.

Google Earth’s practice of scanning, modelling and storing our world is based on aerial and satellite photographs that are pushed through image analysis and photogrammetry software to reconstruct 3D models of the photographed areas. The images are then stored on Google’s servers, unable to be downloaded, edited or rebuilt. In-Camera Proceedings challenges this restricted agency as mere passive observers by providing a tutorial in how to reclaim this (virtual) space.

In his artistic practice, Jack Wolf re-appropriates old and new technologies to investigate contemporary issues such as migration and data. His main research interest lies in technology as an investigative tool to understand the world differently and to highlight and critique parts of contemporary society.

Alexander W. Schindler is an author, designer and researcher in the fields of media philosophy, media arts and the history of science and technology based in Berlin. His ongoing research revolves around the history of light wave optics and its implications on the electronic image.

Internet culture spawns specific phenomena that only take place within the online world. “Rickrolling” is such a phenomenon: a prank that uses a disguised hyperlink to misdirect the user to the music video of Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up instead of the indicated web page. In her video of the same name, Helen Wiona Röhrig uses text-image-collages to explore the origins of this online phenomenon. She does so with a very ironic approach and within the context in which it occurs – on the computer’s networked desktop.

Helen Wiona Röhrig is a student of photography at the F+F School for Art and Media Design in Zurich.

Popular culture propagates many ways to bring us closer to or further apart from our real self – from aesthetic surgery to DNA testing. In her video work, Anna Ehrenstein enacts those claims, combining her performances with deepfake videos created with smartphone apps. They show celebrities quoting from Thomas Metzinger’s book The Ego Tunnel, which reflects on the ‘self’ from a neuroscientific and philosophical point of view. But what is the ‘self’ if not a construction – as virtual and artificial as the cheap deepfake?

Anna Ehrenstein’s transdisciplinary artistic practice investigates the intersections and divergences of high and low cultures and their socio-economic and political constitutions. Born and raised in Germany with Albanian blood and heritage, migration-related visual culture and diasporic narrations form her main focus.

Cluster: Photo Text Data