Ohne Titel (Cuscuta epilinum), Ohne Titel (Coleanthus Subtilis),Ohne Titel (Cuscuta epilinum), Ohne Titel (Bud Entanglement)
each 26 x 18 cm, 2023  (c) Theresa Wey


Series of collages from C-Prints (Fujicolor photo paper matte), 2023, Herbarium paper sheets from archives of the Natural History Museum Vienna, 2023

“For her series begun in 2022, Michaela Putz explored the idea of archiving, image and reproduction. Starting from a „red list of ferns and flowering plants, which includes „vulnerable“ and „lost“ plants, she scoured the Internet for digital images of these endangered oreven extinct plant species and created a digital image archive, onthe one hand, and on the other, she inspected the herbarium of the botanical department in the Natural History Museum Vienna onsite and sifted through stacks of herbarium specimens. The two approaches could hardly be more different. For her contribution to the exhibition, she uses both sources, materializes immaterial things (image data are exposed) and shows quasi dematerialized things from the museum. In the course of restoration work at the Museumof Natural History, underground papers that are considered too damaged are repeatedly exchanged, or storage sheets in which plants were waiting to be processed into herbarium specimens are discarded. For this purpose, the plants are carefully detached fromtheir paper substrates and removed so that only their imprints remain - such as those left by woody stems in the handmade papers, stored for decades in folders and stacked on top of each other - as if transferred to the soft paper with an embossing stamp.” -  Ruth Horak, translated by Paula Marschalek

Exhibition view “Between Light & Shadow” with Hessam Samavatian (c) Theresa Wey

“Exhibits are therefore also such „empty“ sheets of paper, on which, however, traces of the original plants are still clearly visible. In a figurative sense, the invisible, which is listed as lost throughout Austria, is made visible again: Michaela Putz‘s archive includes photographs of endangered plant species collected on the web, including the often detailed descriptions of their various stages of life - for example, the Artemis Alba with buds, its feathery foliage, blossoms, seed stand, but also its amazing scent of cola is described by the user:inside. Image data are exposed as C-prints and these (always) rectangular photographs are cropped in a next step, some follow the outlines of flowers, others take on new organic forms. Different stages of life are combined and composed into collages. Even the otherwise invisible screen on which Michaela scrolls along her search results becomes visible when the artist photographs some of the plants from the screenand a keyboard partially burned into the Retina display of the Macbook after years of use becomes visible as a bright outline, just like dust, scratches or fingerprints. Even tools of image processing, such as the magnifying glass, become part of the composition. But especially with the decision to compose blurred parts in an intertwined way, Michaela Putz takes back the pragmatics of the fact-based research work and gives the plants back their sensuality.” - Ruth Horak, translated by Paula Marschalek

Photo from the research in the Natural History Museum Vienna, 2023, (c) Michaela Putz, Bildrecht

Ohne Titel (Linaria arvensis), 100 x 70 cm, 2023  (c) Theresa Wey

Ohne Titel (Artemis alba), 100 x 70 cm, 2023  (c) Theresa Wey

Exhibition view “Between Light & Shadow” with Hessam Samavatian (c) Theresa Wey

Ohne Titel (Orchis coriophora),  26 x 18 cm, 2023  (c) Theresa Wey

Untitled (Paper Archaeology) 56,8 x 47,8 cm, handmade paper, empty herbarium sheet with traces of plants, from the archive of the Natural History Museum Vienna, 2023

Ohne Titel (Linaria arvensis),  26 x 18 cm, 2023  (c) Theresa Wey

Untitled (Paper Archaeology) ca. 40 x 30 cm, handmade paper, empty herbarium sheet with traces of plants, from the archive of the Natural History Museum Vienna, 2023

Untitled (Paper Archaeology), handmade paper, empty herbarium sheet with traces of plants, from the archive of the Natural History Museum Vienna, 2023

Untitled (Paper Archaeology) ca. 40 x 30 cm, handmade paper, empty herbarium sheet with traces of plants, from the archive of the Natural History Museum Vienna, 2023

Salzamt Linz (with Simon Lehner and Flavia Mazzanti, 2021 | Bildrecht, Ars Electronica Festival, Salzamt)
photo: Anna-Katharina Nickel, 2021

Extinction Ballads

Series of digitally processed found footage images of recently extinct/critically endangered plant species 
Fine art prints on Hahnemühle Photo Rag Ultra Smooth, dimensions from 75x45 cm to 125 x 75 cm (Ed. 2+2)
2021 - 2023

“The digital works include found-footage footage of recently extinct or endangered plants. Michaela Putz translates the evidence of former diversity into a transfiguring baroque aesthetic, interrupted only by the smudgy traces of the often inconsequential scrolling we find on our tablets and smartphones. In the work, the artist refers to a conspicuously invasive-destructive element of human action as well as to the increasingly evident futility of fleeting ‘gestures’.” - translated from a text by Esther Mlenek

The series “Extinction Ballads” is a visual investigating of found footage digital image archives of lost and threatened plants species that Michaela Putz started in 2021. She finds these images online, photographs them directly from the screen and hence making digital artifacts and the material qualities of the screes like dirt and dust and fingerprints part of the image world as a representation of today’s image culture where the screen is always part of what we look at. The extinct and threatened species - taken from the up to date list of Austrian Red List, where the artist is located - roam the image worlds as fragments only. Fragments that could be caused by endless scrolling, the flash light of the camera (since the images are being photographed from the screen, their final resting place), and the careless cut-outs of the plants in their now emptied environments with image editing tools. Putz digitally processes these images, integrating fragments of search histories, 3D models, open browser tabs, and texts. The images are built in layers, taking into account methods that the artist took from her research in the herbarium collection of Austria’s Natural History Museum. The resulting collages go beyond representation, encompassing pixellized realities that mirror our interconnected digital world and question the role of digital image archives as an act of preservation and caring in the time of mass extinction.

Exhibition View ABIES ALBA
Karlsplatz Vienna
C-Prints on Alu Dibond, Lacqueur, 125x75cm each
Cutout Fabric

See more exhibition views︎︎︎


Fine art pigmentprints on Hahnemühle Ultra Smooth 
100x60 cm
Ed.2+1 AP

Realised with the kind support of:

Video for the 2nd art pop single of upcoming album La Soledad es mi palacio (JULY 2021) via Numavi Records + Snap Clap Club Composición y producción: Matte/Glossy (Violeta Gil Martínez) Video edition: Violeta Gil Martínez

Photos: (c) Marko Risovi, 2021


Interactive Installation in public space for Mikrogalerija CPN in Belgrade/Serbi with Mato Lagator
December 2021 - February 2022

The interactive installation for the Mikrogalerija CPN in Belgrade took upon the issues of the digitalization of our everyday lives and the consequences that such everyday life creates – rare metal mining, energy consumption, planned obsolescence of technology, electronic waste, social ignorance of the implications of the comfort that digital technologies provide. It questionned the knowledge of the components that our computers are made of, what minerals are in the batteries of our phones and where these raw materials have been excavated before they ended up in the devices.

A temperature sensitive layer on the front window revelaed more information about these questions and the hidden digital traces of the “hypercene”.

Panel Discussion about “the digital and the anthropocene” at the center for the promotion of science on December 2nd.

Photos: (c) Marko Risovi, 2021

Photo: (c) Marko Risovi, 2021

Photos: (c) xyz books, 2021


Artist Book, 2021

Palinopsia is a visual disorder in which images are present in the visual field that were seen seconds or minutes before. Artist Michaela Putz's first artist book is titled PALINOPSIA and is an exploration of the afterimages of our digital age: the visual feeds from our smartphones that superimpose reality in front of us. The works in the book are taken from the "Screen Romance" series: For these, motifs from the artist's mobile image archive were photographed from the smartphone screen.

“What we see, however, are not the remembered moments; rather, we are looking at the process of remembering itself. In Putz’s pictures the transparent screen is rendered an almost opaque surface that—carved out by the camera flash and the extreme magnification—reveals a choreography composed by the use of these images: the traces of the interaction with the touchscreen, fingerprints, sebum residue, the smears from swiping across the display. (...) In their abstraction, the pictures in the series seem like Tachist compositions whose gestural brushstrokes offer reflections of the artist herself. They form a cartography of archival use and bear witness to the intensity with which these images are approached here.” - Fabian Knierim, translated by Georg Bauer

Les Nouveaux Riches Magazine: Interview & Artist Talk about the artist book with Paula Marschalek︎︎︎

Author: Michaela Putz
Editing and Sequencing: Michaela Putz, Tiago Casanova, Pedro Guimarães
Design: Tiago Casanova
Text: Fabian Knierim
Translation & Proofreading: Georg Bauer
Prepress: Pedro Guimarãe
Printing: Gráfica Maiadouro

XYZ Books
64 pages
24 x 16 cm
Holographic Cover
Offset Print
First edition
ISBN: 978-989-53182-1-6

Price: € 30,-
Request order, e-mail me!︎

Realized with the kind support of: 
BMKÖS, Land Burgenland, Österreichische Botschaft Lissabon


Michaela Putz (c) Bildrecht, 2023