Note: If you see this text you use a browser which does not support usual Web-standards. Therefore the design of Media Art Net will not display correctly. Contents are nevertheless provided. For greatest possible comfort and full functionality you should use one of the recommended browsers.

Themesicon: navigation pathPhoto/Byteicon: navigation pathDocument and Abstraction

icon: previous page

and abstract, which in the end shows that these kinds of categories may have become obsolete.

2.2. «In the cinema the viewer is attracted by the image, in television the viewer is projected by the image.»


«Screens, cold» (1997/2003), another photographic work I would like to address, deals with monitors, with electronic displays in the broadest sense in the way Jan-Luc Godard manifestly distinguishes them from the cinema screen. There is hardly an area of life free of screens of a whole variety of makes and sizes, from the cell phone to the wide-screen, 16:9 television—the screen has become the ‹window‹ of our society. The visual display is becoming the global substitute for seeing, the favored ‹logical principle› of information. Media filters such as fluorescent screens are at the same time funnels and megaphones.

These machines were photographed in such a way that because they were in a ‹cold› state they were able to reveal their surfaces. The transparent screen surfaces of these windows—interfaces between view and what is being represented—generally disappear


when the equipment is activated. As practiced users of these technologies we have lost the knowledge that all of our movements of this kind are only borrowed movements. Only when there is an interference in the media drumfire does this matter of course collapse like a house of cards, brutally throwing our desires back onto ourselves. The loss of the picture makes us aware of the naked medium, the emptiness, the break which owing to a general state of chattering we are no longer able to endure. Han Magnus Enzensberger said the following about television in the 1960s: «One turns the set on in order to tune out.» [7] In contrast, a switched off screen refers to a vast amount of invisible things not being exposed at that moment. Even in its free time it has a clear presence: in that it shows nothing except itself. The screen becomes a nonactive and projection surface that carries the potentiality of a hot filling. «Screens, cold» are works in which one sees that one sees nothing at that moment. One may see that one sees nothing, but one also sees something one otherwise does not see. On the one hand, the referential readability is made more extreme because due to the digital scanner principle with a long

icon: next page