Iphones: Hands at Work


Session Title:

  • Digital Photography

Presentation Title:

  • Iphones: Hands at Work




  • In this talk I want to demonstrate how I use my phones as tools to create an artistic imagery. Starting point of my project called ‘Das Nichts / Nothing’ are screenshots from web sites that were not yet properly loaded. With highly manually skills I explore whatever can be done with these screenshots in regard to the different phones models that I have been using for this purpose.I have developed several presentation formats for this project. For now I will focus on my output for VJing.

    Obsession & Hands at Work
    ‘Das Nichts’ became an obsession of mine. Since April 2014 I cannot help but to capture ‘nothing’ whenever a page on my smartphone needs time to load or it cannot connect to anywhere. My phone is slow though I need to be quick to capture the gap before the page properly displays it’s intended content. Starting point of my series of Sessions is usually one single screenshots that I then use for further screenshots. Did one set cover around 100 shots two years ago, I now make sessions with up to 1300 screenshots abase a single motive.

    It needs some skills and all of my fingers to select and capture the desired compositions. I create one session usually in one go. Heavily working with the respective phone buttons for hours and hours my eyes by now hardly can bear the little white flash that indicates that the screenshot is made.

    Restriction & Chances
    By making screenshots of screenshots of screenshots. I like playing tricks with the programmer’s intention on what you may do with your pics and what you shouldn’t. Each software update leads to new aesthetics to explore and create new aspects. At the same time some aesthetics are lost. I cannot play with the tiny dust bin of iphone 3g. I have been working with three different phone models by now, which I will all bring along.

    As each session of screenshots refers to a certain web site I would like to discuss the chances for commercial commissions and presentations. In-House & Indoor/Outdoor. All screenshots of this project are strictly made ‘inhouse’, that is inside my phone. I do not apply any further image alteration with photoshop. During post production of the visuals I set the image length and fading. To get a full screen image I then create simple compositing.

    Each set of visuals covers one screenshot session, that stands for a certain topic and colour range. Usually one program is around four hours long. Projected onto walls and ceilings of bars, clubs and festivals around Berlin it leads to ever changing lights and moods.

    With nothing but my phone and web input I manually create an imagery that explores the rich potential and variety of smartphone screenshots as an artistic media on it’s own.