'The_World_seen_through_ the_algorithmic_Eyes_ of_Google_Earth' feat. REMOTEWORDS , 2023
For his third solo exhibition 'The_World_seen_through_the_algorithmic_Eyes_of Google_Earth' at Galerie Judith Andreae, media artist Achim Mohné transforms the gallery's real as well as virtual space into a physically experienceable 3D artwork.
Since 2018, Mohné has been working with three-dimensional models of urban structures based on data from virtual globes such as Google Earth. A specially developed, analogue-digital
process in which the artist creates images of the selected location from all sides using virtual "camera drones" in the Google Earth app rather than in real space, and processes them further via photogrammetry, serves as the basis for a site-specific wall work that "mirrors" the direct surroundings of the outdoor space into the gallery spaces. The virtual model of the building, realised as a wall and video work and visualised from all sides, appears distorted, the forms simplified, glitches and disturbances create alienation, caused by the algorithms as well as the artistic intervention in the software. The juxtaposition of the real place with its virtual counterpart reveals an ambivalent relationship between the recorded space and its image.
In these projects, the artist addresses the new three-dimensional media as a continuation of landscape painting and architectural photography. Just as these have influenced our perception of nature up to now, the new virtual three-dimensional simulations as a new form of documentary images will also shape our relationship to the world.
Achim Mohné is also showing his first digital outdoor sculpture: Low_Poly_Tree is the virtual likeness of a young tree as it stands on the Rhine island of Grafenwerth. The sculpture was transformed from digital simulation into a real object on a scale of 1:1 in a complex process and then cast from recycled aluminium.
Virtuality Goes Reality.
Parallel to the exhibition, Uta Kopp & Achim Mohné present their joint long-term project REMOTEWORDS, which plans to label the opera in Bonn within the context of "RW.40". REMOTEWORDS is an interdisciplinary artistic project founded in 2007 by Uta Kopp and Achim Mohné. At the interface of art, literature, design, internet culture and navigation technology, REMOTEWORDS has been installing messages on the roofs of cultural institutions since 2010. In the form of permanently attached capital letters, each collaboratively developed message establishes a semantic unity with its respective location and surroundings. The messages are disseminated through virtual globes such as Google Earth or Bing Maps. In this way, REMOTEWORDS borrows from the classical LANDART tradition, but expands it into the media through digital dissemination. The art-on-a-building project on the roof of the Bonn Opera House is planned as the 40th action of REMOTEWORDS.
Building on "observation of observation" developed in the subject-oriented video installations of the 1970s by artists such as Dan Graham and Peter Weibel, artists have been turning their attention to surveillance system technologies since the 1990s. While the dialogue between the human observer and the video camera and monitor was previously at the centre of the artistic debate, the focus is now primarily on the subjectless view of the human being through an apparatus (automated photography). REMOTEWORDS do not only use the medium of the satellite image to criticise the increasing global control.
They participate in a technical system that they view with both enthusiasm and scepticism. In doing so, they make use of the mapping and close-ups of Google Earth and at the same time use the image provider as a dissemination medium and source for editing functions that are not available in any software. What happens here is the creative inversion of an existing, dominant system in the manner of "hacking" - an activity that has its origins in the context of computer technology.
In the exhibition space of Judith Andreae Gallery, REMOTEWORDS presents the planned realisation of a yet unknown message for the roof of the Bonn Opera House as a work-in-progress. Likewise, documentations of earlier, already realised RW projects will be shown, explained and illustrated in detail, such as: Edith Russ Haus für Medienkunst, Oldenburg 2008; NAK, Aachen 2009; Akademie der Künste, Berlin 2009; Arts on Main, Johannesburg 2009; Universität der Künste, Berlin 2011; Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn 2011; Haus der elektronischen Künste, Basel 2014; ZKM, Karlsruhe 2015; Kunsthalle Düsseldorf 2016; Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich 2017 or further stations in Auckland, Sao Paulo, Port-au-Prince, Taiwan, Taipei and Shenzhen Guangdong.
The REMOTEWORDS project group, consisting of Uta Kopp and Achim Mohné, lives and works in Cologne.
11.02.2023 - 06.04.2023