Luka Knežević Strika

Camera Screen, 2014
Instаllаtiоn, digitаl photography on screen, 12 x 6 cm each
Courtesy of the artist

 

We often look at images on very small screens, quickly browsing, searching for the one picture we need or just seeing what is out there. We do it with phones and similar gadgets, but it is especially interesting when we look at images we take ourselves with our camera in miniaturized slideshows. This habit of looking becomes second nature, and we start to notice and identify smaller and smaller clues. We are even able to “read” the pictures while we walk – or at least it seems so.
In Camera Screen a camera’s back screen is presented while a button is pressed continuously, so that it browses through all the images stored on the camera’s card. It goes back to the start after it has shown all of them. The images are those that were taken with the very same camera some time ago.

 

Images-Words, 2014
Instаllаtiоn, digitаl prints
Courtesy of the artist

 

A generation growing up in a world mediated by photography, where instant visual representations of everything are available and can be shared, will most likely develop modes of communication that are visual. It seems to me that we can already discern the contours of this development. (Whether we will understand the language is still to be determined.)

 

The current creative visual impact, where each image has its digital form, seems the precursor to a new vocabulary. Images, regardless of their complexity and their use in different communication situations, take on a similar role as words in a language. This has a huge impact on the question of authorship, on both the legal level and the level of meaning and interpretation. Authorship simply ceases to be a question.
I am interested in the phenomenon of the microblogging platform Tumblr, where numerous authors / bloggers have access to images, can use them as integrated units of content and implement them into their own popular blogs. Tumblr’s communication model allows re-blogging, i.e. the publishing of given content on your own blog. As a rule, this content remains stored in the system from which it has been taken, but when you use an image the way you would use a word in your blog and integrate it into a text, you become the image’s author yourself. “Liking” functions in a similar way, except that the name of the person who likes an image is listed below the image and the image itself is just copied, not transferred to another blog. Re-blogging also allows comments. Occasionally a short text is added in order to clarify the author’s intention or his or her relation to an image or text.
The author or the platform where an image has been found is sometimes indicated, although the mentioned source is often just the previous direct source, literally the place where the image has been spotted.
In most cases, the source is not credited at all, except in re-blogging where the original blog is always mentioned because of the platform’s programming. The communication, developed by using appropriated images/words, does not take this issue into account.

 

In Image-Words I am searching for photographs that I have taken – images/words I published on various internet platforms that became images/words by being used by other authors on Tumblr.
The photographs on display derive from these sources. They are presented as printed screenshots of the blogs where I found them. Below each photo, the corresponding re-blogs/comments/likes are listed. They present a personal archaeology, but also a snapshot of an area where the images, having ceased to be my own works, became words in the evolving vocabulary of a new language.
Swap, 2014
Installation, 160 x 90 x 70 cm
Courtesy the artist

Most photographs are never looked at after they have been taken. Most are looked at only while the screen is on. The printed picture is mainly a marketing tool.
Swap is a project about exploring the value people assign to printed photographs. It is an ongoing project, set up in different countries and aimed at the general and unexpected public, i.e. passers-by. A selection of small (5 x 7 cm) photographs are arranged on a table in a busy public space. I add an instruction in English and the local language stating that anyone is welcome to take a photo if they like, but they should leave another item to replace it on the table. Ideally, I try to withdraw from the situation and leave it to the public. This produces a small bartering economy. Here, the objects received at a swap in Belgrade in September 2014 are displayed.

 

Great Filter, 2014
Installation
Courtesy the artist

A huge amount of photographic material recorded and published every day is a primordial soup of visual stimuli. The number of photos is so large that even if we wished, we would not be able to look at all of them. The mere speed of appearance and vanishing of the images we see while browsing makes the chance of noticing any of them infinitesimally small.
If we go back to the individual practice of producing photographs, the chance that a photo is actually published is quite small. Its probability to be seen is even smaller, and even then, it must find a way to attract viewers’ attention in order to survive. The chance that it may become part of a discourse is almost zero.
The Great Filter is an experiment where a large number of my photographs will be displayed on a computer screen by random choice. Each visitor will have the opportunity, by pressing either the “+” or “-” button, to make a choice while switching to the following photo, which will affect the chances of each of the photos appearing on the screen again. In this way, a collaborative “great filter” is created that will reduce the number of photographs during the exhibition to a very small number or even none.

 

 

Luka Knežević Strika (Belgrade, Serbia), cofounder of the Belgrade Raw photo-collective (belgraderaw.com). Cofounder of the MultiMadeira Artist in Residency Program on the island of Madeira, Portugal. He explores ways to change the value and position of analogue photography. As a documentary photographer, he examines the unintended consequences of manipulating the visual identity of the urban environment. Selected exhibitions: 2014, Serbi.arte Montartfon, Schruns, Austria (Belgrade Raw); 2013, at.las, SWDZ, Wien, Austria; 2013, Bor XX (project coauthor), Artget Galery, Belgrade, Serbia; 2012, Fotodocuments, Salon ofMSUB, Belgrade, Serbia (Belgrade Raw); Photographs, MAP Kellergalerie, Schruns, Austria; Donumenta 2011, Regensburg, Germany (Belgrade Raw); Norwegian Wood 2011, Grad Cultural Centre, Belgrade, Serbia.
www.cargocollective.com/lukastrika

 

  • Darko Aleksovski
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