With computer techniques which aren’t made for image editing, the German duo Christoph Krause & Cyrano Bentlage used photos of human bodies as digital canvases. They used up to a hundred unique photos per image, and let the computer perform complex calculations. The fascinating results seem arbitrary, but are in fact computer-driven.
For the series Strange Entity the artists photographed human bodies and used these photos as digital canvases. They handed over part of the decision making to the computer. They damaged the photo files or edited images with digital techniques that weren’t at all made for image editing. For example, they changed the source code of photos with audio software or had the computer calculate displacement maps, a technique for generating 3D-graphics. The result seems arbitrary, but is in fact driven by computer calculations. It was a time-consuming process: the computer had to perform complex calculations and they ended up using up to a hundred unique photos per image.
How do rapid developments in the fields of social media and video games change our human lives, they ask. And our culture, our idea of beauty? Does technology bring something new, something beautiful but yet unknown? Or is technology a terrifying, destructive force? ‘We are both more isolated and more connected than ever before’, say Krause and Bentlage, who both study photography at the University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld. ‘Not feeling alone when you are sitting in front of the screen for hours on end is bizarre, but also awesome.’
Christoph Krause, 25, is currently Master student at the Fachhochschule Bielefeld, based in Germany. He is a professional photographer and retoucher, specialized in photo manipulations and conceptual photography.