Mixed media installation, 2007

The number of databases and statistics that attempt to record and interpret our consumption and living habits is growing, as is the number of surveillance and control mechanisms that record and capture snippets of our lives. In everyday life, we are not only victims being observed in the Benthamic Tower, but at the same time actors: as we are observed, we act as observers of others as well. Cameras, screens and advertising spaces combine to form a comprehensive arrangement of control, with the media and advertising providing the images according to which we are supposed to behave. At the same time, the data collected about us is in turn the basis for advertising and media. Input and output are in permanent interaction. This feedback is simulated in the Input/Output experimental setup.
The installation creates a self-contained circuit that outputs a metaphorical image of the system itself with each run.

This circuit consists of a camera, an embroidery machine and a monitor that visualises the actions of the computing machine behind it in the installation structure. Otherwise fleeting data streams manifest themselves, they are made visible in the „embroidered narratives“ of the embroidery machine.
The work finds an artistic expression for common methods of social surveillance; but it also offers the possibility of subverting this system: The visitor has the possibility to actively intervene in the circuit by placing himself between the machine and the camera. The camera then loses the object to be observed – and less, simultaneously irrelevant information is fed into the database.
The work strikes a balance between its astute commentary on common surveillance practices and the never-ending production of serially produced yet highly individual poetic artefacts.


production: Kunsthochschule für Medien, 2007

programming: Micha Thies

with the kind support of brother