[spectre] Banz&Bowinkel: Featured Artists - Archive of Digital Art (ADA)
Oliver.Grau at donau-uni.ac.at
Wed Apr 29 09:37:47 CEST 2020
New Artist Feature on the Archive of Digital Art (ADA)
BANZ & BOWINKEL
A visionary world of the (virtual) mind
"Ideally by using these technologies, art should see through them and
unveil this imperative role in our society. When it is aesthetically
pleasing, the truth doesn’t hurt so much.
Banz&Bowinkel’s artworks were exhibited in galleries, museums and
festivals around the world (HeK Basel, KM – Halle für Kunst &
Graz, Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen), and they received residencies
Tong Xian Art Center, Beijing, and Artist Residency Herzliya, Israel
among others. In 2017, they received the Digital Sculpture Award from
the Institute of digital art, HfK+G Ulm.
Since 2017, the artist duo lives in Berlin as free-lancing artists.
There is a deep ambivalence in the work of Banz&Bowinkel. The
commonalities/differences of real and virtual spaces lie at the heart
their artworks, and the opportunities/challenges of human societies in
the digital age are questioned.
The German artist duo investigates the unknown parameters of digital
technologies that define our lives through communication, consumerism,
and simulated realities. They analyse the performativity in digital
imagery, and the human traces in the mathematical logic of the digital
In their work, the virtual world is not understood as a simulated
reality, but as a computational counterpart to our perception thereof.
The computer re-structures seemingly hidden the order of physical
reality. Their artworks represent semi-virtual environments in which
almost everything is pre-calculated and executed by computers.
reality and virtual space merge unconsciously: How does this change
understanding of embodiment, nature and our social surroundings?
In their VR work “Palo Alto” (2017), the very own virtual landscape
avatars represent their computational origin. The fear of the unknown
meets the fascination of a 3D-environment waiting to be explored.
MEDIAARTHISTORIES: Virtual Reality, Avantgarde, and the perception of
Banz&Bowinkel studied painting at the fine-arts academy in Düsseldorf,
renowned art school where artists such as Gerhard Richter, Joseph
and Sigmar Polke graduated. They re-conceptualize ideas and issues in
modern art for contemporary digital art, such as self-reflection,
materiality, and media. The clean, geographic aesthetics of their work
responds to its virtuality, and is reminiscent of Minimal Art as well
the photographic realism in surrealist paintings. In their first
art series "body paintings" (2016-2019), the tradition of gestural
abstraction was connected to action painting. Recordings of body
movements in space are coupled with fluid simulations. With an
Reality App, viewers can scan the paintings in the exhibition to
the virtual layers behind it.
Reminiscent of the geographic and sculptural shapes in the
(pre)surrealist paintings of Chirico, Banz&Bowinkel’s imagery is as
disquieting as visionary when it portrays the virtual worlds behind
physical reality. In their work ”Mercury”(2016), elements of
culture or technology intertwine into a surreal terrain in which known
physical laws are overridden. The animation follows the parameters of
its material, its software and hardware. The virtual landscapes
us with the strangeness of known objects in new, virtual environments.
In their work, the artists focus on the human fascination with
development, permeation and visualization of so-called reality.
Curatorial statement, House of electronic Arts, Basel
Giulia Bowinkel & Friedemann Banz continuously suggest declinations of
virtual and real spaces. Dimensions, consistency and matter are
transformative in their artistic works, they overlap and flow into
pictures, videos and installation, coming together as autonomous
Check out Banz&Bowinkel’s ADA from their VR installations,
installation photos and much more:
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ADA: THOUSANDS OF ARTWORKS
Since its foundation in 1999, the ARCHIVE OF DIGITAL ART (former
Database of Virtual Art) has grown to be the most important online
archive for digital art. In cooperation with established media
researchers and institutions it has been documenting the rapidly
evolving world of digital art and its related fields for more than a
decade and contains today a selection of thousands of artworks at the
intersection of art, science and technology. ARTISTS and SCHOLARS are
invited to join the community and set up their own archive pages.
ARTISTS represented, among many others: Rebecca ALLEN, Suzanne ANKER,
Cory ARCANGEL, Roy ASCOTT, Louis BEC, Maurice BENAYOUN, Paolo CIRIO,
Charlotte DAVIES, FLEISCHMANN & STRAUSS, Masaki FUJIHATA, Ken
Agnes HEGEDÜS, Lynn HERSHMAN LEESON, Ryoji IKEDA, Eduardo KAC, Ken
RINALDO, KNOWBOTIC RESEARCH, Lev MANOVICH, George LEGRADY, Golan
Rafael LOZANO-HEMMER, Joseph NECHVATAL, Michael NAIMARK, David ROKEBY,
Jeffrey SHAW, Julius v. BISMARCK, Paul SERMON, Karl SIMS, SOMMERER &
MIGNONNEAU, STANZA, Nicole STENGER, THOMSON & CRAIGHEAD, Peter WEIBEL,
Advisory board: Christiane PAUL, Roy ASCOTT, Erkki HUHTAMO, Gunalan
NADARAJAN, et. al.
EXPANDED DOCUMENTATION FOR THE NEEDS OF DIGITAL ART
Due to the processual, ephemeral, interactive, technology-based and
fundamentally context-dependent character of digital art, it is at
for becoming extinct without an adequate documentation. Therefore, the
ADA is based on an expanded concept of documentation, which takes
account of the specific conditions of digital art.
Oliver GRAU, Nicole High-Steskal, Janina HOTH, Wendy COONES,
Ann-Christin RENN, Viola
RÜHSE, (Editorial Team)
digitalart.editor at donau-uni.ac.at
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