On The Water

Photo-sculpture, 2018  

The work On The Water explores how we deal with the endless stream of news about human tragedies in the digital age. We encounter an image of a tragedy – a refugee boat in the Mediterranean, for example – and after a short moment of affectedness, we swipe away the image to make way for new inputs. The piece takes such images collected online and recreates the gestures of conscious disregard – the gesture of swiping the image to continue the flow of information: one image is substituted by the next one in a constant stream that transforms attention into disaffection. This process allows us to create a distance between ourselves and the pain of others, by turning the reality of suffering into a constant smudge of images that robs them of any meaning or emotional weight. This work fits into the broader framework I have been exploring in my recent projects, which focuses on the relationship between gestures we make on our personal devices and the perception we form of the world around us.

Digital smudge on found footage images, print on PVC / 577x90cm

Installation view / Kunstraum Nestroyhof / VERRAT DER FOTOGRAFIE, 2018 
program partner of FOTO WIEN / photo by Philipp Pess

projectcell with David Osthoff, 2018 | photo:Susanne Reiterer

Artist Residency Oslip, Cselleymühle 2018 | photo: Imre Tolnay


Michaela Putz (c) Bildrecht, 2023