Obsolete Presence, 2020

Bartholl, Aram
© Aram Bartholl

Obsolete Presence brings art and everyday life together. A monumental hand reaches out of the lake in the Palace Gardens holding a smartphone aloft to take a selfie. The large format screen, resembling a mirror that reflects the image of the viewer, encourages viewers to question our relationship with this technical device, which has become an important part of our lives since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007. Today, the smartphone is not only a technical instrument that makes people’s everyday lives easier. Like a prosthesis, it completes or supplements the body and, as an interface, provides digital access to knowledge and information. Given the inconceivably vast number of photos that are taken every second worldwide with smartphones and posted on the Internet, and the resulting transfer of our mirror images into digital data bodies, the here and now, the real presence of the individual seems to be becoming increasingly obsolete. Aram Bartholl’s work thus not only poses the question of what people do with the media, but also to what extent the media change our image of people.

Obsolete Presence was selected for the Seasons of Media Arts 2020 by ZKM | Karlsruhe.

Time: 11.09.2020 – 31.03.2021

Location: Lake of the Palace Gardens Karlsruhe

Seasons of Media Arts 2020

11. September 2020 — 31. March 2021