In the exhibition project at Kunstraum Niederösterreich puzzled the artistic practice of Austrian artist Susanna Flock pairs up with that of Montréal-based Swiss artist Xénia Laffely. While Flock is active, above all, in the medium of video installation, Laffely focuses on digital imagery, which she translates into textiles. Even though the works by both artists suggest that there is no clear dividing line between the analogue and digital world, the two artists make the transition zones between the analogue and the digital tangible in this exhibition.
The essayistic video work I don’t exist yet (2020) by Susanna Flock, for instance, investigates placeholder objects used in the production of computer generated imagery (CGI). When a dragon is synthesised with actually filmed (digital video) images in a science fiction series, a placeholder object must be used in the scene in place of the dragon. Flock stages the untidy seams of this image synthesis, which appears to be flawless to the end consumers. In her new video installation, which will be shown for the first time in this exhibition, Flock focuses on the predetermined breaking points of digital technologies and speculates on the Frankenstein monster of our time: a synthetic copy & paste creature.
Xénia Laffely’s textile art practice links up with Susanna Flock’s explorations of the digital in different ways. For example, by making digital drawings in Photoshop and printing the individual image layers on fabrics to arrive, in turn, at an “analogue” composition of visual layers, she refers to the “digital” history of the weaving loom, which was already under attack by the machine-breaking forces of the 18th century, while also depicting visual syntheses between previously separated individual entities – she creates duo portraits.
In other words, one could interpret the strategies of the two artists as a reflection on the fundamental momentums of digital cultures: They poetically address the apparent contradiction between the continuous (analogue) and the discretely separate (digital) and, time and again, they both demonstrate the copy & paste principle.