BANZ & BOWINKEL - RISE OF GIANTS, curated by Tina Sauerlaender (online)
25 Nov 2021 — 28 Feb 2022
BANZ & BOWINKEL, Primitives I 12 , 2018, CGI Fine Art Print, 100 x 125 cm, courtesy PRISKA PASQUER, Cologne
BANZ & BOWINKEL - RISE OF GIANTS
curated by Tina Sauerlaender
The invisible bots and algorithms which govern our online behavior and collect our data every day, adopt visual forms in the series Bots by the artist duo Banz & Bowinkel. They occupy the virtual world of the PRISKA PASQUER gallery as giant cyborgs. The island, transformed into an all-encompassing coordinate system, becomes a symbol for the Internet. As visitors, we find ourselves in the middle of an experimental field of algorithms.
The Internet is a training ground for artificial intelligence to study, evaluate, and learn to anticipate human behavior. In doing so, they make our lives easier as we use map apps, talk to Alexa, or when Siri sets our alarm clock. Their knowledge helps drive our connection to technology and keeps it running as frictionless as possible. In the 1990s, we deliberately dialed into the Internet using routers and now we are connected to the internet automatically. We still push buttons and give voice commands today, but tomorrow we will control our actions with eye movements, hand movements, or even brain waves. The blurring of the boundary between humans and technology results in our gradual transformation into a technological giant. The visitors as cyborgs in the PRISKA PASQUER virtual gallery also attain formidable sizes. The gallery lies at their feet like Lilliput, the fictional island in Jonathan Swift's novel Gulliver's Travels.
Banz and Bowinkel's series Primitives also addresses the issue of scale in virtual reality. Primitives are simple basic graphical forms that are used as a foundation for the creation of more complex structures. Triangles, polygons or point clouds are important primitive forms for digital 3D objects. These shapes have no size and are arbitrarily scalable without loss of quality, since their existence is defined by the relationship of the individual parts to each other. Size is relative here as well, just like in the PRISKA PASQUER virtual gallery. Banz and Bowinkel's Primitives play with the various proportions of size that exist in the gallery space.
With a virtual reality headset, we have the opportunity to experience what is denied to us on the computer screen. We dive into the dimensions of virtual space and experience a new perspective. With ease, we fly over the miniature version of the virtual gallery and explore the gigantic bots and primitives. The exact size of our own avatars is unclear. However, thanks to an increasingly frictionless connection with technology, we too grow into cyborg giants with extraordinary powers.
Giulia Bowinkel (* 1983) and Friedemann Banz (* 1980) live in Berlin and have been working together under the name Banz & Bowinkel since 2009. In 2007 they graduated from the Art Academy with Albert Oehlen and started making art with computers. Their work includes computer-generated imagery, animation, augmented imagery, virtual realities, and installations.
The award-winning works of Giulia Bowinkel and Friedemann Banz have been exhibited among others in the Museum Abteiberg in Mönchengladbach, in the Haus Esters/Haus Lange, at the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum in Krefeld, at the Haus of the electronic arts in Basel, in the Halle für Kunst & Medien in Graz, at the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen and at the NRW-Kunstforum Düsseldorf. Her works are in the collections of the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum in Krefeld, the Museum Kunstpalast and the Kunsthaus NRW.
Tina Sauerlaender is an art historian, curator, speaker and writer based in Berlin. She focuses primarily on the impact of the digital and the internet on individual environments and society. She is artistic director of the VR Art Prize by DKB in cooperation with CAA Berlin. She is co-founder and director of the independent exhibition platform peer to space, that was founded in 2010. She is co-founder of Radiance VR, an international online platform for VR experiences in visual arts. She is founder of the SALOON, an international network for women working in the arts. Tina Sauerlaender lectures internationally on VR Art and Curating Digital Art i.a. at re:publica (Berlin), at ZKM (Karlsruhe), at New Inc (New York), or Kunsthalle (Munich). peertospace.eu/tina