Technology & Media
A flood of images, media hype and technical progress: What role do technology and media play in our society? Can we keep up with the rapid pace of change or are we at its mercy? What are the possibilities for us in general, but also for artistic production? How do different artists deal with technical developments? What do they use, reproduce, and what do they hack?
What does reproduction do to images?
Do you know how analog photographs are developed? There is a negative from which you can make any number of prints. Mass media, copies, prints, stencils—these are all duplications that have taken on a life of their own over time. Nowadays—with digital media—it has become even easier. What do you see as the qualities of prints or images that circulate in the mass media and are seen by millions of people? That no longer have one specific place, but are everywhere?
Is the original still something special?
Can you try to say in one sentence what it means to you that something is an original? What distinguishes it from a copy? For example, if two identical pictures of Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe were hanging in front of you, could you tell which was made by Warhol himself and which was not? What would you look for? Would the quality and experience of the two works change for you?
Is that art or theft?
Appropriation art is the artistic practice of incorporating or transforming found objects or images into one’s own work without altering the original. Material can be many things: images from mass media as well as works by other artists. The existing images are used in a different context, resulting in a different artistic idea. In your opinion, is borrowing or appropriating such motifs quotation, theft, or something else entirely? What do you find exciting about it? In the following examples you can see how other artists work with it. What is new about their idea, even if they use existing images?
What is the effect of a digital brushstroke?
In our daily lives we constantly switch between analog and digital processing: we photograph or scan something, send it, and somewhere else it is printed out again. Space sometimes also serves as the basis for “augmented” or “virtual reality”—an extension of the limited material world. Media hype, whether digital, analog or hybrid, has been a major theme in art for years. In sculpture, painting, photography and printmaking, pixels and codes have greatly influenced genres and expanded possibilities. Can we still distinguish what was created by hand from what was printed? What are the qualities of printed colors, programs that paint with pixels, or 3D-printed sculptures? Can we still speak of brushstrokes or material sensation, or is that something else entirely?