"Touching the images" online 7 PM, 8th of June
Artist Yvon Chabrowski, in residence at Villa Serpentara, German Academy, Rome 2020
TOUCHING THE IMAGES
Video sculpture, full HD, loop, 13 min color, no sound life-size projection onto a
free-hanging acrylic screen 71 × 40 cm, 2016
Floods of images and streams of sensory impressions inundate the spaces for thought in a society steeped in communication. In contact with the sensory interfaces of our devices, we develop a private, almost intimate, relationship to these devices, which in turn leads us to forget them and ultimately replace our perception of self. The resulting immersive proximity almost entirely supplants what was originally the communicative function of the media. Yvon Chabrowski’s work Touching the Images addresses precisely this sensory relationship between the medium and the user, and the associated ambivalence with respect to image production and sensory experience.
Yvon Chabrowski has a human hand stroke the smooth surface of a transparent medium like a choreographed sequence, and perform standard gestures such as tapping, swiping, touching, holding, and pinching.
As the body merges with the medium by means of touch, the device ceases to be a separate object. When encountering this installation consisting of a display panel hanging freely in a room, beholders of Touching the Images experience how the relation between a user and the visual realm is reversed. By switching between a perspective from inside a device and that of the user perceiving the device, the work embodies how we no longer apprehend the world we might see through the window of the medium, but rather only through our interaction with ourselves. The images produced can no longer claim their own right to exist but are limited to what gestures can express.
Whatever one may think of them, these gestures in their abstraction embody the new visual forms of the networked world, in which the opposition between that which is digital and that which is real has long since been replaced by what is behind and in front of the glass.
text by Robert Sakrowski