Aram Bartholl’s work creates an interplay between internet, culture and reality. The versatile communication channels are taken for granted these days, but how do they influence us? According to the paradigm change of media research, Bartholl not only asks what man is doing with the media, but what media does with man. The tension between public and private, online and offline, technology infatuation and everyday life creates the core of his producing. In public interventions and public installations Bartholl examines which and how parts of the digital world can reach back into reality.
Bartholl is a member of the Internet based artist group Free, Art & Technology Lab – F.A.T. Lab. Net politics, the DIY movement and Internet development in general play an important role in his work. Beside numerous lectures, workshops and performances he has exhibited at MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) NY, The Pace Gallery NY and DAM, Berlin. Aram Bartholl lives and works in Berlin and is represented by DAM Gallery, Berlin & xpo gallery, Paris.
Exhibited work: ‘Killyourphone’
“In the Killyourphone workshop participants are invited to “kill their phone” by making their own signal blocking phone pouch. The pouch is made from copper or silver coated cloth or fleece especially developed for electromagnetic protection, which makes the phone unable to send and receive signals. The participants can make their own design, and test out the different materials and their blocking abilities.”
Exhibited work: ‘Forgot Your Password?’
Video projection on the façade of the Grande Bibliothèque (BAnQ)
“In the summer of 2012, Yahoo’s Voice service was hacked and its database of 440,000 user passwords was stolen. The collective D33Ds Company then dumped the entire database on the Internet, including all of these passwords. In our Internet-driven society where the concept of online identity is increasingly important, the security of such systems is constantly being tested by pirates and surveillance groups. A user’s very private password can be easily found among millions of others in the vast collections of data that exist online. As part of the Human Futures project, Aram Bartholl projects these 440,000 stolen Yahoo passwords on the facade of the Grande Bibliothèque (BAnQ) in Montreal’s Quartier des spectacles. This public screening of what are normally secret passwords raises questions about our online lives.”
Exhibited work: ‘Penny Press the Internet’
Mechanical Penny Press Machine
“This classic touristic penny press machine offers four different designs, made up of icons commonly associated with the Internet. At the cost of £1 and with the help of some light manual labor, the participant destroys the penny and creates, in a small ‘performance,’ the Internet as a symbolic coin.
The Internet is not a place but is present everywhere in our lives today. Penny Press the Internet historicizes the Internet, while simultaneously questioning it’s current status.”