The orbis sensualium pictus (the visible world), often referred as to Orbis pictus, was a widely used youth and schoolbook in Europe from the 17th until the 19th century. From today`s point of view it was one of the first multimedia teaching materials and can be regarded as the origin of the modern picture lexicon and comic.
In reference to the historical book title “Orbis sensualium pictus”, the audience is confronted with the new, mainly invisible world of “Big Data” in this photographic exhibition. Digitalization, Artificial Intelligence, genetic engineering, body optimization – curse or blessing? Will we still be able to control our personal actions and thoughts independently in the future, or will we be moving in a giant communication bubble manipulated by it or a handful of IT companies?
Largely inspired by books such as “Corpus Delicti” by Juli Zeh, and “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism” by Shushana Zuboff as well as driven by the current corona crisis the beginning of a cycle of pictures has been created which is intended to make this often dystopian-looking world visible from a child’s point of view.
As if in defiance, the almost mindless „century step“ seems to stride through Potsdam’s centre. Only the epochal Nikolai Church seems to stand like a rock.
The subject of the exhibited photographic positions is the current emotional debate about urban development, which has taken place in the most diverse social epochs. How carefully do we treat old buildings and to what extent do architectural dreams justify their realisation? Potsdam is an example of this topic. Here I follow with interest the construction activities as well as the accompanying social discourse about Potsdam’s „new centre“. The reconstruction of the Garrison Church with its disastrous history, the demolition of the University of Applied Sciences and the resulting redesign of the Old Market Square according to historical models are examples of this kind of controversial debate. The architectural contrasts between different social systems could hardly be greater here in the smallest of spaces.
Using photographic means, I tried to depict the urban conflicts about the aesthetics of old and new architecture.
In addition to a digital camera, a simple camera obscura soon became a familiar tool for me. The long as well as the multiple exposures which are presented here were very much in line with my photographic ideas – but left little room for subsequent image processing. The surreal world of images shown in this exhibition was created in the field of tension of these architectural and social contradictions and will not be reproducible in this form in the future due to Potsdam’s urban development.
Newly emerging STADTräume… characterised by transformations and contradictions.
„zwischenZeiten“ – Times of reflection and departure
It is the times between the past and the coming that foreshadow something new and herald a change. We often feel these „zwischenZeiten“ as moods and feelings that are often characterised by lethargy and dreariness in the transition of the seasons or also in phases of economic and social change.
I would like to reflect this situation in the debate on the handling of GDR postmodern architecture in Potsdam’s centre, which I have been accompanying photographically for years, using the example of the Alter Markt and the adjacent Staudenhof.
Grey veils of mist, snow and rain convey an air of melancholy and make the entire area look desolate and abandoned for a short time.
Individual pieces of construction equipment and futuristic-looking pipe strings seem like foreign bodies in the landscape and only hint at the new beginning and departure to come. Symbolic of farewell and departure, the still yawning emptiness of the construction site at Alter Markt and the GDR architecture at Staudenhof stand in contrast to each other.
Like a (gift) ribbon, the red construction fence winds around the entire area – and announces what is coming, what is not yet tangible.
My photographic works were created in the field of tension of these temporary architectural and social contradictions and, due to Potsdam’s urban development, will not be reproducible in this form in the future.