Text by Roehrs & Boetsch
At first glance, these prints look like digital renderings of drip paintings. And indeed, the visualisation of movement lies at the core of these works. The artists use recorded movements of a body performance session in the studio and translate this into an avatar, which then paints the movements as liquids in a virtual space. The results are subsequently further rendered with colours and texture. Banz & Bowinkel then add the second layer consisting of an animated augmented reality sculpture, which can be seen with the aid of their especially developed application. The viewer is therefore confronted with the complexity of vision, as one movement is made easily visible but fixed in a print while the part that is actually moving can only be accessed with a device. At the same time, this very device calls attention to the connection between the viewer and the artwork, with the tablet serving as the physical bridge. Furthermore, in a very abstract way, the artists call attention to the completely arbitrary nature of data representation. Because the only reason why the ‘Bodypainting’ works keep their connection to the original representation of movement is the artists’ choice to give this data the attributes of fluids. Banz & Bowinkel could have chosen any other characteristics. This therefore reveals how data can be used and interpreted at will to form any shape and serve any purpose. Given the predominance of companies like Google or Facebook with regard to data representation and manipulation, this becomes a very disquieting notion.