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Themesicon: navigation pathPhoto/Byteicon: navigation pathDocument and Abstraction
Document and Abstraction
Günther Selichar



1. «We are inverted utopians: while utopians cannot produce what they imagine, we cannot imagine what we produce.»

This sentence [1] paraphrases in an unusual way our relation to the tools which like prostheses are supposed to change and expand our physical possibilities and allow us a more complex treatment of the world’s phenomena. It is not the immediate view of the world that sets off the discourses, rather it is a medial, apparatively oriented view that supplies us with image products which present us not only with qualitative, but also quantitative challenges. The immediacy of information, the result of the delegation of our perception activities into the realm of apparatuses and mass media systems, has not only led us to new discoveries, enabling the sciences to experience a developmental thrust, rather it has also created a meta-universe which poses new problems due to its broad spectrum of possibilities and, above all, its context-related variants.

In my projects, the description of media systems or the strategies of their use takes place on the one hand in analytical and documentary photographic


examinations of aspects of the apparatus, in particular the monitor, and on the other hand in works which use mass media space and also thematicize it in part with the involvement of the public. The focus of my interest are the structural preconditions and peripheral conditions of media images, such as color codes, raster systems, or the interfaces at which they become visible.

One of these tools, photography, is part of and the foundation for today’s image machines, which currently focus our views and have subjected us to another way of seeing things. Before I come to my projects and the multimedia context in which photography is situated in the meantime, I would like to first recapitulate some of the questions regarding the apparative developments and the discussions related to the photographic medium.

In its history, this medium, product and driving force in the industrialization of the nineteenth century was subject to a number of revolutionary changes, which until recently belonged to a so-called ‹analog› translation process. The digitalization of recognition procedures that has been occurring for several years

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