Traces of Seemingly Insignificant Gestures

Photograms, Steel Tables, LEDs, Projection on painted Acrylic Plate, Smartphone

Diploma Project to reach the Master’s degree in Art & Science at the University of Applied Arts Vienna

2017

 

Not only did the use of technology like our smartphones change the way we communicate with each other; it also produced a whole series of new gestures, the gesture of writing, for example. Sending text messages means to move our fingers around on our screens. A process that leaves traces as stains of fat on these shiny and sleek surfaces. These traces can be seen, when we turn off our phones and the light shines onto the black screen.

But there are also algorithms that can identify us by the way we write. Our typing dynamics can be seen like our personal handwriting, our fingerprint. In a process of recreating those movements of writing, a series of photograms have been produced to make traces usually volatile traces visible and permanent. They show a new way of writing, a new kind of script – brought forward by technology. But also do they question the mechanisms of power related to the constant monitoring and analysing of our actions. Therefore, what is being written is a quote by Hannah Arendt which questions the predictability of human beings, since we can always decide to start over new.

A looped video of a writing hand – without a smartphone – is projected on a black screen and adds a layer of how these gestures already went into our bodily memory. A smartphone, writing a text on its own, is also part of the installation.

 

 

(c) Photos: Virgil Widrich and Peter Kainz

 

 

 

Traces of Seemingly Insignificant Gestures, Michaela Putz 2017, Photo by Peter Kainz
Traces of Seemingly Insignificant Gestures, Michaela Putz 2017, Photo by Peter Kainz
Traces of Seemingly Insignificant Gestures, Michaela Putz 2017, Photo by Peter Kainz; Smartphone
Traces of Seemingly Insignificant Gestures, Michaela Putz 2017, Photo by Peter Kainz; Video Loop
Traces of Seemingly Insignificant Gestures, Michaela Putz 2017, Photo by Peter Kainz; Video Projection on Screen