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With: Walter Knoll

© Joachim Sauter

Herrenberg, Town Hall

Joachim Sauter (ART+COM studios): »instafacewhatssnap (Vanity Bench)«

How do we construct identity in the age of social media? Which image, or rather which images, do we convey of ourselves? How real is what we communicate about ourselves, how congruent with our real selves? Or has the idea of a fixed and tangible identity long become outdated?

Media artist Joachim Sauter asked these questions with his installation »instafacewhatssnap (Vanity Bench)«, which he produced with the support of Walter Knoll, a high-end furniture manufacturer in Herrenberg. Sauter's work included a sofa, which he extended in two ways. On one side of the seat was a mirror that showed the viewer as an image.

Behind the mirror, it carried on with a virtual superimposition of reality, which could be experienced with the help of a smartphone.

This unleashed a dialogue between the real and the mirror image, between the physical and virtual object. The installation played with the optical perception of the beholder and mimiced reality. What appeared to be real and true suddenly changed, dissolved and continuously regenerated itself.

The Artist

Joachim Sauter (ART+COM studios), born 1959 in Schwäbisch Gmünd, is a pioneer in the field of new media. He studied at Berlin University of the Arts and at the DFFB, the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin. Since the 1980s, his artistic focus has been on digital technologies, and he experiments with content, forms and narratives. In 1988 he joined forces with other artists, designers, hackers and scientists to set up the ART+COM studios. Today, the group is still seeking to explore art and design in digital space.

Sauter's works have been exhibited internationally, including at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Getty Center in Los Angeles. He has received numerous awards, including the Cannes Golden Lion and the British Academy for Film and Television Award. Since 1991 he has been Professor of Design at the University of the Arts in Berlin and since 2001 a Professor of Media Design and Media Art in Los Angeles. Sauter lives in Berlin.

The Company

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Marktplatz 5
71083 Herrenberg


5–26 October 2018