WHAT ARE DIGITAL DREAMS MADE OF?
by Nastassia Winge | 16/02/2019
What are our digital dreams made of?
A question we, ourselves, wonder about quite some time. Ever since founding Beyond Photography, our curiosity about Technology -and its threats and opportunities for Photography in this technological age- has been expanding exponentially. Constantly on the lookout for new artists and new art, pushing the boundaries of ‘reality’ or what may once was (or presented) reality (or even what we may have once perceived as reality yet, was never truly reality) , we were mind-blown when we came across Broersen (Delft, 1974) & Lukács’ (Amsterdam, 1973) first solo exhibition at Foam Amsterdam last week. Their exhibition is part of Next Level, an exhibition series at Foam focusing on artists who make radically new use of the medium of photography.
The artist duo creates video-works, installations and graphic artworks posing the question whether Photography, as we know it, is indeed the ‘truest’ form of representation (as traditional scholarship on photography once proclaimed). In a constellation of works Broersen and Lukács address the role of photography in shaping, or in fact, in constructing, our perceptions of nature. Opening with a video work portraying Europe’s last primeval forest, the Białowieża forest in Poland, for which the duo collected extensive photographic material to then copy and modify these into a constellation of media formats contiguous to Photography.
The penultimate question: is a photograph more ‘real’ than its 3-dimensional digital counterpart even though, it has but 10% the amount of data as its virtual other?
Next to being at the heart of the concepts of evidence or document, concepts that are intimately related to our understanding and reconstruction of the past, photography is a medium with an extraordinary plasticity and with its own history, which now changes very fast. We photograph more and more, and the images shared on screens, permeate and in fact define our experience, our self-images and memory (Alexandrova, 2018). With the advent of Technology into the photography sphere, an image is never necessarily a ‘representation of reality’ any longer. No longer a still that registers a moment in the past. The subject of the image does, indeed, not need to exist within our daily reality.
The constellation of works in Point Cloud, Old Growth explores the potential (and the histories) of media as film, sculpture, photography, landscape painting, animation to address a set of questions with a particular urgency in the present moment. Their work fathomed and exhibited what Beyond Photography, as a platform, investigates day to day.
Persijn Broersen & Margit Lukács are artists living and working in Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin. They work in a wide variety of media—most notably video, animation and graphics—producing a myriad of works that reflect on the ornamental characteristics of today’s society. The work of Broersen and Lukács is characterized by a quest for the sources of contemporary visual culture. With video pieces that incorporate (filmed) footage, digital animation and images appropriated from the media, they demonstrate how reality, (mass) media and fiction are strongly intertwined in contemporary society.
Watch a reportage on Persijn Broersen & Margit Lukács’s Point Cloud, Old Growth here.