Der Greif – Exhibition as a Process [Part 1]
The fascinating thing about exhibitions is their presence: Hanging up pictures produces dominance. The combinations on the wall carry a force of the factual that is accepted by the visitors – before judging. What is exhibited is given – is done and dusted. But: For how long? And: For whom?
These are the very questions raised by A Process – yet in the presence-based system of an exhibition. That is indeed important because what is exhibited is given – and judged only afterwards. Only after understanding what A Process does, one should ask why it does so. Because only then one will understand that A Process is the artistic attempt to make one of the basic conditions of digitalization graspable and understandable.
What is presently exhibited in Augsburg is a Wikipedia for photography. And this is not to be confused with an encyclopedia or lexical library. Wikipedia as well as A Process are about an underestimated aspect of digitalization: It is all about the version. Thanks to the historical monstrosity of the digital copy, humankind is able to produce versions of digitized artwork: as mashup or remix after its release, and beforehand as the documented process of creation. The latter brought the downfall of the then minister of defense: In the GuttenPlagWiki, everyone could track how he worked.
The concept of an online version of lexica turns the standards of the print world upside down by displaying the history of each contribution. One can browse different versions of an article and thus trace its development. In the print world, this would not only be impossible but also regarded as a weakness. Why should anyone reveal more than the one final artwork that is to be published?