[CATALOGUE TEXT] Marcus Kaiser

Marcus Kaiser Two walks, March 2018. Catalogue text.

Two walks, one in Berlin, the other in New York, consist of the re-transcription of a documentary stroll. Marcus Kaiser chooses the format of the video – image and sound – to retransmit the topographic displacement in its own temporality.

Like a photographer scouting for the preparation of a film, be it fictional or documentary, the artist documents the scene and uses the animated photographic recording as a tool for observation. But these images do not belong to him. They are the property of Google.

These two algorithmic excursions carried out not by bodies but by machines are performed in the virtual space called Google Earth. It is a software allowing a visualization of the Earth from a superimposition of aerial photography, satellite images and geographic information system (GIS) data.

Modeled in 3 dimensions, this virtual world is composed like a collage – a patchwork – of images coming from different temporalities, assembled little by little in the manner of a puzzle of which it would always miss pieces. Past, present and future are thus mingled in a space about which it is difficult to determine whether it is continuous or discontinuous. Some vacant parcels or gaps are filled with strange, almost fuzzy graphics, or with monochrome flat areas.

This intricacy creates an uncanny feeling because the limit between reality and abstraction is thus canceled by the virtuality of an autonomous space visibly under construction. Oscillating between soundscape and musical language, the four-handed soundtrack by Marcus Kaiser and Jens Lohwieser ends up encouraging the impression of disturbing strangeness by circulating in a spectral setting, even a landscape of war strewn with ruins, thus ironically modifying the initial goal of this computer program signed Google: giving an accurate 3D-representation of the Globe.

Clara Pacquet