2019

True Depth

Solo Show
25. January – 10. February 2019
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

Interview for SMAC: http://smac-berlin.de/interview-aram-bartholl

Pieces:

“Life is a beach and then you die.”
Installation: chair, 4C flag print, fiberglass rod, oven, aluminum exhaust pipe, cable, tablet, video
Dimensions: 3×4,5×2,2m
The ‘Webaround’ webcam background is a round, chroma key blue screen made of neoprene that fits over the back of an office chair. It blocks out the background behind a seated person during webcam sessions. In Berlin, old, worn-out and broken chairs are often dumped on the street. For “Life is a beach and then you die” Aram Bartholl scanned various Berlin neighbourhoods for these lonely, sad chairs abandoned in public space. In a gesture of compassion, each found chair receives a blue halo to honor the trillions of hours humankind spends in front of screens these days. These office chairs represent the time-consuming and often precarious work at computer desks. Like a parasite, the false background clings to the chair with an unredeemable promise.

“Vegan123”
Material: industrial print on plastic board
Dimensions: 85x60cm
“Digital First, Bedenken Second” (Digital First, Misgivings Second) was the slogan for Germany’s liberal FPD party election campaign in 2016. Obviously, society generally, and particularly politics, are having a hard time keeping up with the rapid changes and digital developments overall and in light of recent events in Germany with politicians and celebrities being ‘doxed’, the FDP motto has aged particularly badly.

“True Depth”
Installation: CCTV surveillance cameras, disco ball, chain, laptop PC, cables
Dimensions: 3x4x2,4m
Two surveillance cameras lie on the floor beneath a disco ball hanging from the center of the ceiling. One camera projects invisible infrared light onto the mirrored ball, the other auto-tracks movements in the room. A laptop on the floor streams real-time night vision video from the second camera. The title True Depth refers to the latest iPhone camera 3D scanning technology, developed to improve face recognition. Invisible infrared patterns are projected onto the face of the phone owner to calculate a precise 3D model of it. Phone and computer users today are subject to a big party of data flow that is only visible to machines and software.

2018

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Solo Show
31. August – 7. November 2018

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Solo show at Emmanuel gallery, Denver University of Colorado
August 31 – November 17, 2018
Opening August 30, 6:00 pm

Ein gemachter Mensch – Künstlerische Fragen an Identitäten

Group Show
26. May – 16. September 2018
Kallmann Museum, Ismaning, Germany

Ein gemachter Mensch – Künstlerische Fragen an Identitäten

26. Mai bis 16. September 2018

With: Selma Alaçam, Aram Bartholl, Martin Brand, James Bridle, Harun Farocki, Sandra Filic, Iwajla Klinke, Alicja Kwade, Sali Muller, Timea Anita Oravecz, Daniela Risch, Nasan Tur, Anna Witt, Veronika Witte, Naneci Yurdagül

Wer bin ich eigentlich? Und warum bin ich so, wie ich bin? Im 21. Jahrhundert scheint die Antwort auf diese Frage zunehmend komplex geworden zu sein. Herkömmliche Identitäten lösen sich auf oder werden neu interpretiert, zugleich gibt es gänzlich neue Möglichkeiten der Herausbildung von Identitäten. Dabei stellt sich die Frage, wie weit die menschliche Identität ›gemacht‹, also durch eigene Entscheidungen und Handlungen bestimmt wird, und wie sehr Aspekte eine Rolle spielen, auf die man als Einzelner keinen Einfluss hat. Die internationale Gruppenausstellung im Kallmann-Museum geht diesen Fragen aus künstlerischer Perspektive nach.

Unterschiedlichste Aspekte spielen bei der Bestimmung der eigenen Identität eine Rolle. Beginnend bei der Feststellung, überhaupt ein Mensch zu sein, der sich seiner selbst gewahr wird, über die Nationalität, den eigenen Körper, über Riten und Traditionen bis hin zur Sprache oder der gewöhnlichen alltäglichen Umgebung. Dabei hat man zahllose Möglichkeiten, Zugehörigkeiten festzulegen oder auch nur vorübergehend eine andere Identität anzunehmen, etwa im Spiel. Gleichzeitig werden einem fortlaufend Merkmale zugeschrieben, die Identität ausdrücken sollen und mit denen man sich auseinandersetzen muss. Identität ist demnach das Ergebnis eines fortlaufenden Prozesses zwischen Selbst- und Fremdbestimmung und immer veränderlich. Dieser Prozess kann nie in seiner Gesamtheit abgebildet werden. Einige zentrale Aspekte aber werden in Ismaning künstlerisch betrachtet und auf ihre identitätsstiftende Bedeutung hin befragt.

Flyer (german): Kallmann-Museum_Flyer_2018_Identitaet.pdf

Is this you in the video?

Solo Show
6. – 26. April 2018
La Chaufferie, H.E.A.R., Strasbourg, France

While Facebook apologizes to the world from high up on its mountain of data, 1.4 billion user passwords party naked on the Internet. Research has shown that the ’123456′ is used for 17% of all passwords. There is so much free WiFi in the air to catch you, it is almost impossible to get online. But there is coffee, so you stay for the deep pocket packet inspection of your traffic.

Is this you in the video? Don’t click the link I sent you!

Like the pigeons’ best friend, CCTV cams squat in every high corner of the city protecting us from the future. Will they fall off or be released from their stoical non-presence? A total of 750 info screens have been removed from the still closed / never opened BER airport in Berlin because the technology is outdated. The screens had been running for six years straight without anybody ever having looked at them.

Yes, I saw this already.

Please place all your bags on the left tray. Mirrored self-checkout in an uberficial life without cueing is on autoplay. 24 likes. Thank you for being our customer today.

Aram Bartholl, 2018

Your parcel has been delivered (to your neighbour)

Solo Show
20. – 29. January 2018

‘Your parcel has been delivered (to your neighbour)’ is a performance and ongoing installation that involves rental bikes being retrieved from public space and placed in the private gallery space. Rental bikes in public usually fall over at some point, or get kicked over by pranksters. Nobody cares. All rental bikes collected are laid out—their quasi-natural status—on the floor of the gallery. A PTZ (pan tilt and zoom) CCTV dome camera, typical for surveillance in public, auto-tracks and records the process. Visitors are invited to become a temporary owner of one of the bikes by renting it.

In recent years, Internet startup market logic has reached far beyond classic online markets. More and more ‘IRL’ economies are being affected by the ‘disruptive’ force of the new business model from California. With the efficiency of networked software, low-wage outsourced labor, and data delivering customers the only goal is growth. The startup doesn’t need to be profitable. In fact, one of the golden rules is not to make a profit, not to pay tax, and to be much cheaper and smarter than everyone else until competitors go bankrupt.

In the beginning, this ‘game’ was played solely within data-based information business. Google and Facebook led the way and showed us how to make money from user data while giving away products for free. Today, we are witness to slow changes in the cityscape. Streets have been crowded with delivery vans for years. Delivery businesses boomed in the wake of ever-increasing online shopping. Order anything! They’ll deliver it to your neighbour immediately. Instant rental cars, gamified Pokemon crowds, and bicycle food delivery armies followed. Very recently, Berlin’s public space has become crowded with at least 20 different brands of rental bikes. New startups, local and international. All of them have the same old idea: “Rent a bicycle where ever you are!” All of them burn a lot of VC (venture capital) money and bikes increase to possibly become the monopoly in this field.

Public space is increasingly inhabited by advertising and corporate models. The colorful bikes scattered all over the city are a very visible sign of the uberfication of private life and commercialization of public space.

Aram Bartholl, 2018

2017

Skulptur Projekte Münster 2017

Group Show
10. June – 1. October 2017
LWL, Münster, Germany

3 V
site specific installation · aluminium, acrylic glass, thermoelectric generator, electronics, LEDs, tea candles, steel chain

An otherwise closed pedestrian tunnel leading to Münster Palace is open to the public during Skulptur Projekte. Five candle-powered LED chandeliers light up the dark concrete tunnel. Each chandelier consists of ten LED tea-candle reading lamps mounted on an aluminum ring. With the help of the thermoelectric effect, the heat of the candles is converted directly into 3V electricity to power the LED lamps. The bright and cold LED light contrasts with the warm flicker of classic candlelight. Twice a day (every five hours), a guard replaces the melted candles. 3V is one of three works which were commissioned and produced by Skulptur Projekte Münster. Each of these different site-specific works incorporates thermoelectric technology.

5 V
site specific installation · campfire, wood, steel, thermoelectric generator, cables, electronics

Skulptur Projekte visitors are invited to charge their phones over a campfire at the Pumpenhaus Münster. In the tradition of stick bread making (Germany) and cooking sausages over the flames, custom-made charger sticks produce 5V electricity
with the help of the thermoelectric effect of the heat of the fire—enough to charge the average smartphone. As long as the thermo generator attached to the end of the stick is exposed to the flames, it generates power. Phones can be plugged into the sticks via a multi-plug charging cable. Visitors gather around the warmth of the fire, charge their phones, and have a chat. 5V is one of three works which were commissioned and produced by Skulptur Projekte Münster.

12 V
site specific installation · router, camping stove, thermoelectric generator, cable, electronics, software, database

A standard home router hangs parasitically right next to commercial mobile phone antennas on the Münster TV tower. Vistors are invited to connect to this router with their phones. The router serves no Internet connectinon but offers a large database of PDF tutorials on ‘How to live an offline life’. A thermo generator sitting on a small camping stove nearby provides 12-volt electricity to power the router, which is connected via a 70-meter long orange cable. While Deutsche Telekom maintains one of its three large data centers right next to the TV tower, the site-specific installation 12V is totally independent of power lines or Internet connection. Users can download and also upload files. Connections cannot be traced or monitored by third parties on the Internet. The tower, a retro-looking building for long-range TV broadcasts before the Internet, becomes a historic sculpture in itself.