Upcoming

Data CTRL Centre

16. October – 15. November 2020
Group Show, National art museum of Ukraine, Kiev

NAMU – National art museum of Ukraine

And online in Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia and Russia

A Brief Inquiry Into Empty Space

3. – 7. October 2020
Group Show, ZhdK, Zurich

The Days Are Just Packed

18. – 20. September 2020
Group Show, THE POOL, Istanbul

THE POOL is a new artist run initiative organized by Ece Cangüden and Marian Luft.
Our aim is to speculate, develop and display new dynamic, collaborative, interdisciplinary
aesthetics and attitudes. THE POOL is meant to function as an independent and
international platform for exhibitions, research and residency.

THE POOL is based in Heybeliada, an island in Istanbul, Turkey. The place itself is an old
villa with a huge abandoned property including an old pool which will function as the main
exhibition space. It has a beautiful view to the asian skyline of Istanbul. Wild horses hanging
out of the property.

The Last Mile – Micro-mobility, Smart Cities and the Privatization of Public Space

10. September 2020
Talk, Akademie der Künste, Berlin

The Last Mile – Micro-mobility, Smart Cities and the Privatization of Public Space

Aram Bartholl (arambartholl.com), Ludwig Engel (ludwigengel.net), Peter Haimerl (urbnet.de/)

in the context of the program
EC(centri)CITY
curated by Nadim Samman
for Berlin Art Week

Stadt der partizipativen Visionen

9. September – 31. December 2020
Group Show, ZKM - Zentrum für Kunst und Medien, Karlsruhe

Seasons of Media Arts. Stadt der partizipativen Visionen
ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien

Better Off Online

9. – 13. September 2020
Group Show, KÖNIG GALERIE / KÖNIG DIGITAL, Online

The Sea Is Glowing

21. August – 1. November 2020
Group Show, Exportdrvo, Rijeka

An international group exhibition which deals with the invisible economics linked to the sea. With their works, world-respected artists deal with unusual and radical phenomena, from strange online shops to the empires of amateur pornography and other golden coasts.

In the geographical sense, Europe is a maritime continent: considering the ratio of the length of the coast to the total land surface, Europe has more contact with the sea than any other continent. For Rijeka, the port, as well as the sea, is not only a place of loading and unloading or the arrivals and departures of boats. The port is the heart of the city and symbolically important for the identity of the city. This is why the sea, i.e. new forms of work and economy which are connected to the sea, is extremely important for both Rijeka and Europe.

The Sea is Glowing exhibition focuses primarily on new invisible economies that are inextricably linked to the sea, such as the exploration of oil and ores in the depths of the sea, the establishment of offshore tax havens on the coasts and the launch of libertarian start-ups in self-sufficient colonies which float in international waters. All of the mentioned activities are part of the new economies which include new forms of work (such as care and welfare) or new forms of capital circulation (such as free ports). Considering the (occasional) specificity of their tax models, port cities such as Rijeka are very important for such types of economies. The exhibition brings together the works of artists who investigate unusual Amazon shops, the increasingly present outsourcing of healthcare, “the black chimneys” and deep-sea mining, the hidden offshore havens, the dark empires of amateur pornography and other golden coasts.

The curator of the exhibition is Inke Arns (DE), famous for her work in media art. She is the artistic director of the Dortmund Hartware MedienKunstVerein (HMKV) organisation and the curator of numerous international exhibitions that have been shown around Europe and the world – from Berlin, Glasgow and Warsaw, from Ljubljana and Nova Sad, all the way to Moscow, Tel Aviv and Hong Kong.

Current

On entering a living being. From Social Sculpture to Platform Capitalism

18. May – 16. August 2020
Group Show, Kunstraum Kreuzberg, Berlin

Eintritt in ein Lebewesen. Von der Sozialen Skulptur zum Plattformkapitalismus
On entering a living being. From Social Sculpture to Platform Capitalism

When Joseph Beuys coined the phrase of the “social sculpture” in the 1970s, he was not aware of the development of the internet at the same time. However, in interviews and lectures he frequently hints at the possibility of a new kind of medium, that would allow the audience to participate and that could serve as a plattform for political debate and action.

With the international proliferation of the internet and the possibility of communication and cooperation that it has delivered, it is timely to compare its promise with the utopian ideas of Joseph Beuys. Has the net enabled new forms of collective creativity? Or does it serve as a means to turn this
“general intellect” (K. Marx) into raw material that companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter et al use to make a profit?

The exhibition with works by approximately 38 artists reflects the methods by which companies such as YouTube, Google, Fiverr or Amazon Mechanical Turk have made the exploitation of the creativity of their users into a business model. About half of the works were created in response to the current
“platform capitalism”. A selection of older works traces the idea of “collective creativity” back to original emancipatory ideas from the early days of the Internet such as “crowd sourcing” and finally to Joseph Beuys’ “social sculpture”.

Over the last decade, a number of companies have made a business model out of offering plattforms for the sale of creative work on the web as online services or “microjobs”. Through providers such as Amazon Mechanical Turk or Fiverr, creative services such as texts, designs, videos or apps can be commissioned for prices that are often far below the fee that a professional designer would charge. In many ways, the artistic works that were once thought of as “crowd sourcing art” – a genre that has its own Wikipedia entry by now – today seem like naive anticipations of these exploitative practices,
which in turn have also been reflected by artists in recent years.

The exhibition brings together works that comment on and criticize the “gig economy” that has emerged, and by juxtaposing them with works from the nineties and noughties, places them in a historical context that ultimately dates back to Joseph Beuys’ “social sculpture” – some of the artists involved even explicitly referenced Beuys and his slogan: “Everyone is an artist.” The exhibition will be accompanied by events that address the model of “platform capitalism” in the cultural sphere in discussions, video presentations and lectures.

Participating artists:
Cory Arcangel, Joseph Beuys, Aram Bartholl, Natalie Bookchin, Irene Chabr, James Coupe, Andy Deck, Constant Dullaart, Mark Flood, John D. Freyer, Aaron Koblin & Daniel Massey, Steffen Köhn, JODI, Miranda July & Harrell Fletcher, Olia Lialina, Jonas Lund, Judy Malloy, Michael Mandiberg, Neozoon, OMSK Social Club, Nam June Paik, Mark Salvatus, Sebastian Schmieg & Silvio Lorusso, Ralph Schulz, Guido Segni, Johannes StÜttgen, Alex Tew, Amalia Ulman, Van Gogh TV

Curated by Tilman Baumgärtel, Hochschule Mainz

Recent

Die kleine Intervention: Weniger Spektakel, mehr Wirkung?

13. February 2020
Performance, Brecht-Haus, Berlin

Die kleine Intervention: Weniger Spektakel, mehr Wirkung?
Mit Aram Bartholl und Helgard Haug (Rimini Protokoll)
Moderation Cornelius Puschke

Veranstaltungsort: Literaturforum im Brecht-Haus
Einlass: ab 18:30 Uhr

Anhand von Aram Bartholls »Dead Drops« (mit Live-Installation!) und Projekten von Rimini Protokoll geht es um die Frage, ob kleine, unauffälligere Aktionsformen letztlich wirksamer sind als skandalöse Groß-Interventionen.

The Supermarket Of Images

11. February – 7. June 2020
Group Show, Jeu de Paume, Paris

We live in a world that is increasingly saturated with images. Their number is growing so exponentially – each day more than three billion images are shared on social networks – that the space of visibility seems to be literally inundated. As if it can no longer contain the images that constitute it. As if there were no more room, no more interstices between the images. This brings us closer to the point that Walter Benjamin imagined, almost a hundred years ago now, as “the one hundred percent image space”. Faced with such an overproduction of images, questions need to be asked, more than ever before, about their storage, management, transportation (even if it is electronic) and the paths they follow, their weight, the fluidity or viscosity of their exchanges, their fluctuating values – in short, questions about their economy.

In the book from which this exhibition is derived1, the economic aspect of the life of images is called iconomy. The works and artists chosen for the exhibition cast a keen and watchful eye over these issues. On the one hand, they reflect the upheavals that currently affect the economy in general, whether in terms of unprecedentedly large storage spaces, the scarcity of raw materials, labour and its mutations into intangible forms, or in terms of value and its new manifestations, such as cryptocurrencies. On the other hand, however, these works also question what happens to visibility in the age of globalized iconomies: caught up in an incessant circulation, the image – any image – appears increasingly like a freeze frame (arrêt sur image), that is as a temporary crystallization, as the provisionally stabilized balance of the speeds that constitute it.

In the supermarket on display here, images of the economy always involve the economy of the image. And vice versa, as if they were the recto and verso of the same page.

Particiapting artists:
Kevin Abosch, Aram Bartholl, Taysir Batniji, Samuel Bianchini, Robert Bresson, Sophie Calle, Maurizio Cattelan, Emma Charles, Chia Chuyia, Minerva Cuevas, DISNOVATION.ORG, Antje Ehmann, Sergueï Eisenstein, Max de Esteban, Harun Farocki, Sylvie Fleury, Beatrice Gibson, Máximo González, Jeff Guess, Andreas Gursky, Li Hao, Femke Herregraven, Lauren Huret, Geraldine Juárez, William Kentridge, Yves Klein, Martin Le Chevallier, Zoe Leonard, Auguste et Louis, Lumière, Kazimir Malévitch, Elena Modorati, László Moholy-Nagy, Andreï Molodkin, Ana Vitória Mussi, Trevor Paglen, Julien Prévieux, Wilfredo Prieto, Rosângela Rennó, Hans Richter, Martha Rosler, Evan Roth, Thomas Ruff, RYBN.ORG, Richard Serra, Hito Steyerl, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Ben Thorp Brown, Victor Vasarely, Pierre Weiss

Curated by
Peter Szendy, Emmanuel Alloa and Marta Ponsa
Exhibition organised by the Jeu de Paume

Co Talk

11. February 2020
Talk, Co Gallery, Paris

Artist talk at Co Gallery, Paris.

8 pm, Feb 11th 2020

co.galerie
8 rue de Douai
Pigalle
75009 Paris

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Blog

NON A L’#ARTICLE13

March 23, 2019

Today there have been massive demonstrations all around EU against #article13 and other paragraphs in the coming new EU copyright reform directive. The parliament will vote about this in three days. This law will only help big publishers, labels and content dealers but not the artists. It is very annoying to be used as an excuse by lobby controlled politicians that ‘the poor artist’ needs to protected while this will break Internet culture on a large scale. Required uploadfilters will give even more power to Internet tech giants Google, FB etc. Culture is based on imitating, quoting and remixing, especially online! It is very likely that you wont be able to post your own art any more….

#openinternet #article13 #saveyourinternet

pic taken by @mathieutremblin during Strasbourg visit three weeks ago, thx!

SFMOMA: snap+share

March 23, 2019

Beautiful time-laps of the setup of ‘Map’ by Jason Wittig, thx! I arrived in SF and we are doing some the final touches on the show install. “snap+share” will open to the public Saturday, March 30. Looking fwd to meet all the artists for the preview next week!

SFMOMA: snap+share
transmitting photographs from mail art to social networks
March 30–August 4, 2019
https://www.sfmoma.org/exhibition/snap/

curated by Clement Cheroux
with: Thomas Bachler, Ray Johnson, Aram Bartholl, On Kawara, Joseph Beuys, Erik Kessels , Moyra Davey, William Larson, Jan Dibbets, Eva and Franco Mattes, Walker Evans, Peter Miller, Jeff Guess, Ken Ohara, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Stephen Shore, Kate Hollenbach, Endre Tót, David Horvitz, Corinne Vionnet

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Digital Vasari: Interview

March 15, 2019

An interview I gave during my visit at ‘Laboratoria Arte Alameda‘ in Mexico city last summer 2018.

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‘Touch Me’ article – Dominique Moulon

March 11, 2019

An excerpt of the article “Touch Me” about the Biennale de Strasbourg by Dominique Moulon

http://artinthedigitalage.net/blog/2019/02/17/touch-me/

[…]


Aram Bartholl, Are you human?, 2017.

Mais qui pourrait aujourd’hui se passer des services des GAFA ? Quand ce sont des machines qui, régulièrement, nous demandent de prouver que nous n’en sommes pas. Avec cette série Are you human?, Aram Bartholl n’a de cesse de détourner les codes de l’esthétique dominante : c’est-à-dire celle du numérique. Celui-ci s’est d’abord intéressé aux Captchasque l’on doit décrypter sous peine de se voir refuser quelques accès avant de se focaliser sur les systèmes de grilles où il nous faut sélectionner toutes les images de ponts ou de panneaux de signalisation entre autres véhicules. Les tirages grand format de l’artiste berlinois n’offrent toutefois que des vues de paysages où l’on devine parfois des frontières. L’idée étant de nous inciter à reconsidérer les tâches que nous effectuons en cette ère mondialisée. Car souvent, sans même le savoir, nous renseignons des entreprises mieux que ne le feraient des robots. Que les machines ne soient pas encore si intelligentes que cela pourrait être de nature rassurante. Et effectuer très régulièrement de petits travaux sans salaire aucun devrait nous irriter. A moins que l’on ne considère ces travaux comme d’intérêt général.


Bartholl, Point of view, 2015.

Il est admis que les smartphones que Aram Bartholl représente dans son installation sculpturale Point of view, en seulement une dizaine d’années, ont changé notre rapport à l’image. Ce n’est plus le boîtier qui est reflex, mais la photographie elle-même que l’on pratique par réflexe. Puisque l’on documente tout, de ce que l’on adore à ce que l’on déteste, sans omettre les images d’autrui que l’on commente sans retenue aucune sur les réseaux. Le Selfiesymbolisant merveilleusement bien ce désir immodéré que nous avons d’être dans l’image. Au risque parfois de créer des situations incongrues quand, par exemple, tous les fans d’une foule tournent le dos à leur icône pour être au plus près d’elle dans l’image capturée. Il est intéressant de remarquer ici que ce sont essentiellement des jeunes ordinaires qui ont initié cette tendance ô combien narcissique du Selfieavant que les célébrités du monde entier ne les copient. Citons les propos de Charles Baudelaire qui, déjà en 1859, soit vingt ans seulement après l’invention de la photographie, s’exprimait ainsi : « À partir de ce moment, la société immonde se rua, comme un seul Narcisse, pour contempler sa triviale image sur le métal».

[…]

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Let´s talk about 01 // Aram Bartholl

February 21, 2019

InterMedia an der FH Vorarlberg, Published on Jan 7, 2019

“Wir durften mit dem Medienkünstler Aram Bartholl nach seinem open idea Vortrag an der FH Vorarlberg im Oktober 2017 ein hochinteressantes Interview über seine Arbeiten und seine Sicht der Dinge auf unsere Kommunikationswelt führen.”

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NOVO 53

February 15, 2019

Interview by Emma Cozzani
NOVO 53
Published on Feb 8, 2019
53ème numéro de NOVO, le magazine qui se prend pour une revue.
Photo: Henri Vogt

issuu.com/media.pop/docs/novo_53

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Interview – SMAC

February 4, 2019

Interview with Aram Bartholl

With a wry sense of humour and a lightness of touch, German artist Aram Bartholl subverts the symbols and functions of the internet to draw our attention to its darker side. Through his prolific output of installations and performances around the world – from the beaches of Thailand to the Strasbourg Biennale – Bartholl dissects the back end of new media, shedding light on the capitalist imperatives that have come to dominate and track our every click and tap. How can we navigate the current – and future – digital landscape without lapsing into disillusionment, or relinquishing our agency as internet users? Ahead of his upcoming show at SMAC in Berlin, where he lives and works, Bartholl shares his take on surveillance capitalism, selfie culture, and what to expect at his new exhibition [hint: there’s a disco ball.]

Interview: Anna Dorothea Ker

SMAC: Your work acknowledges the vast possibilities presented by the internet while altering us to the pitfalls of its ever more commercialised reality. What should we be most concerned about?
Aram: I would point to questions of privacy or personal data, as well as how platforms work. We need to acknowledge that Google and Facebook are purely advertising companies. There are a lot of concerns. One thing I’m thinking a lot about is how we can escape the current monopolisation of the internet. The web of the ‘90s was very vibrant and diverse. It started as a user-driven, non-commercial space. Over time, many companies and start-ups employed it to achieve their commercial goals, and today we have five or six huge companies, with whom no-one can compete. They probably need to be broken up at some point – this is likely to come from the US.

“We need to acknowledge that Google and Facebook are purely advertising companies

How would you characterise your own internet use?
Aram: I try to avoid the big players by using an Android phone without Google on it, for example, having my own NextCloud servers at home, by avoiding Dropbox, and not ordering on Amazon any more. I try to be conscious of where I leave my data. At the same time, I use Twitter and Instagram. Most of my online input comes via Twitter. I depend on it, though it frustrates me. There’s a recipe for each – on Twitter you have to be negative to attract attention, and on Instagram you have to be positive, and post beautiful pictures. It’s very convenient to use all these platforms, but to be conscious about things is more complicated. I feel as though there’s a certain sense of fatigue with social media at the moment. Many people I know feel caught in between – it’s hard to leave these platforms, but people don’t want to be on them any more.

“ I feel as though there’s a certain sense of fatigue with social media at the moment. Many people I know feel caught in between – it’s hard to leave these platforms, but people don’t want to be on them any more.

Your work often employs tools of surveillance, such as surveillance cameras, in subversion of their purpose. Can the master’s tools dismantle the master’s house in this regard?
Aram: A surveillance camera is a valuable symbol because it’s a tool everyone understands. It’s an eye, it takes a pictures, it sends that picture somewhere else. Today it’s usually algorithms that scan them to look for, say, unusual movements. But then there’s what happens in your browser – tracking with cookies, for example, which no-one really understands.

Most people have a sense of what’s going on, but don’t feel like they can do anything about it. So I like to take these tools and use them in other ways – to have people re-think, question them. In my installation [“Pan, Tilt and Zoom”] last year [2018] I placed the cameras on the floor of the gallery. They were motorised, equipped with a tracking system they roll over the floor and seem helpless. People had other kinds of interactions with them, and hopefully questioned their purpose.

Does the right to privacy exist anymore? Have we eroded it through our collective obsession with self-surveillance – take selfie culture, and oversharing on social media?
Aram: There are two things at play here. Yes, a lot of people willingly share information on where they are and what they’re doing, but at the same time there’s this mass-scale surveillance – not in terms of the kind of government surveillance that [Edward] Snowden revealed, but rather commercial surveillance. When you walk around with your phone with the wifi on, it projects all the wifi connections to wherever you’re going. Even supermarkets have wifi tracking systems to see how you pass through the market or and when you return. We are already aware of this on a certain level – for example, when you go into a mattress store and get served advertising from them the next day. But it’s very hard to understand how this works. That happens on a very technical level, which seems very abstract to us. This is something we should be concerned about, as it’s a wild west out there right now. Companies can basically do whatever they want. Of course, since May [2018] there’s the [European Union] General Data Protection Regulation which is a first step towards regulation, but much more regulation still needs to occur.

“… it’s a wild west out there right now. Companies can basically do whatever they want. Of course, since May [2018] there’s the [European Union] General Data Protection Regulation which is a first step towards regulation, but much more regulation still needs to occur.

What can visitors to SMAC expect to encounter your upcoming exhibition?
Aram: “True Depth” refers to Apple’s technology for the iPhone X, which has infrared cameras implemented within the front camera. Whenever you look at the phone, there’s a infrared light dot pattern projected onto your face. Through measuring the distribution of these dots on your face, the software can build an actual 3D model of it. This is how facial recognition works. It’s convenient – you can unlock your phone just by looking at it – but its inner workings are invisible. For the show I have this disco ball, which represents disco – this fun, pop-culture, “let’s party” attitude, freedom. Then I have these two cameras. One projects infrared light onto the disco ball in a typical way, so dots of light are dispersed over the room, but the viewer can’t see them. The disco’s happening, but we can’t take part. The work is related to this phone technology, but it also relates to the commercial party that’s going on around us, tracking us, extracting information. All without any of it being visible to our eyes. Elsewhere in the gallery there will be the infrared view of the CCTV camera being streamed on a screen, so you can see the dot patter and get the view from the other side.

Then we have the webcam privacy screen. I saw it online and liked it very much as a sculpture – this round screen which attaches to the back of a chair. These screens are made for being on a webcam in front of a neutral background. They’re advertised as being good for business, with a blue or green background allowing you to look more professional – and you can also key out the colour and replace it. I’m interested in the simultaneous acts of looking at a screen and filming yourself while hiding what’s behind you. The process is similar when it comes to selfie culture. You see this often in the street – young kids taking ten or twenty just to get the right one. It’s very deliberate. It all ties in to the presentation of the self in a digital space, and how we cut out the noise and the background of our lives in the way we film ourselves.

This theme was explored in your recent work for the 2018 Thai Biennale, “Perfect Beach”. What sparked the idea for this work?
Aram: People fly to Thailand to find the perfect tropical beach, ones which are advertised all around us but also embody our collective idea of paradise. The empty beach has always been a symbol for freedom. The performance at the Biennale involved two performers carrying a big screen featuring an image of an idyllic beach across an already perfect beach. I was interested in confronting tourists with the question of why they went there. Because, of course, it’s never empty when you get there. Many people wanted to stand in front of the beach screen and take a picture – we’re so programmed to do that. I was hoping that would happen, but was amazed by how well it worked. But of course there were also people who were annoyed by it [laughs].

“I’m interested in the simultaneous acts of looking at a screen and filming yourself while hiding what’s behind you. The process is similar when it comes to selfie culture.

You’re currently presenting three works at the first Strasbourg Biennale, the theme of which is “being a citizen in the digital age”. What can visitors expect to experience when viewing your art there?
Aram: One work is part of the series “Are You Human?”, which is all about captcha codes. These used to be a string of characters we had to type in to prove that we’re human, but today all this has been replaced by the Google reCAPTCHA test. It has the same function, but we have to select these images, like ‘select all the cars’ you can see in the picture. On one hand, the purpose of this is to train Google’s self-driving cars, and on the other, to prove we’re human. The installation consists of this big code on the floor with twisted characters made from steel, and the reCAPTCHA prints on the wall. I’ve swapped in pictures of European borders and spam advertising text to remix this whole idea of reCAPTCHA, while drawing attention to the issue of borders, access to space and digital services.

2018 saw a slow – and far overdue – global public awakening to the risks and dangers of social media, largely due to a series of hacks and privacy scandals. What will this lead to in 2019?
Aram: Next step would be to get out of our current situation of a monopolised internet, and to take back control over our own lives. To decide what we want to do with our data. On one hand, there are policy questions, then there’s public awareness, but there’s a lot more that needs to happen on that front. The recent [January 2019] data leak that affected German politicians and celebrities invoked a paranoid press reaction. Which is perhaps good – for people to realise that we’re vulnerable. Once your information is out there, you can’t get it back. What we’re seeing now, with the links between populism and social media, makes it very easy to feel dystopian about these questions. But let’s try and stay positive. We need smart people to sit down and craft new plans that will allow us to use technology in ways that will help us, not just make a lot of money for a few.

“What we’re seeing now, with the links between populism and social media, makes it very easy to feel dystopian about these questions. But let’s try and stay positive.

Interview: Anna Dorothea Ker
Photos: Pamina Aichhorn

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True Depth

January 15, 2019

True Depth — Aram Bartholl
Solo show at SMAC Berlin

Opening event: 24.01.2019 | 19h
Duration: 25.01 – 10.03.2019
Opening Hours: Friday – Sunday, 13h – 19h

For his upcoming solo show True Depth at SMAC Aram Bartholl creates a new set of works discussing the changing circumstances of personal space in today’s screen based, app connected world. While the smartphone introduced new ways of very intimate communication, Internet advertising companies monetize in large scale on these interactions. Traveling alone in public space became the perfect situation for personal interaction on small screens. “Don’t sit next to me on the bus. I am watching gay porn.” (quote Twitter). While out with friends the restaurant bathroom turns into a place to check the phone instead of actually going there to relieve one self. Post social spaces.
The title True Depth refers to the latest iPhone camera 3D scanning technology to improve face recognition. Invisible infrared patterns questions the personal space between eyes and screen. “Where are you?”

Security Personal Information Protection High Strength Spring Anchor Collapsible

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‘Pan, Tilt & Zoom’ and a new friend!

November 29, 2018

Thanks to the Dokfest Kassel team!

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Top25 at “Die Informale”

November 26, 2018

Top25 at

“A night at the pool”, Colmegna Spa, Oct 20
part of Die Informale,  Buenos Aires
Videoramas, Sep/Oct 2018

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