SITUATIONS / Foto Text Data
, Fotomuseum Winterthur

Exhibition February 23 - Juni 2, 2019

SITUATIONS Cluster: Photo Text Data

SITUATIONS / Foto Text Data

The work Cool Clouds That Look like They Should Be Spelling Something, but They Don’t by Swiss artist Stefan Karrer is based on an online search for images that were tagged “cloud”, “wave” or “rock”, in combination with adjectives such as “cool”, “crazy” or “lonely”. In a seemingly endless loop, the collection of images and texts are clicked through as the captions are read aloud by a monotonous, computer-generated female voice. Karrer’s desktop video demonstrates the pitfalls of online research, the often associative connections between image and text, as well as the highly subjective notion of how we organise our digital content. Furthermore, the piece ironically highlights the emergence of online phenomena that become detached from reality, as well as the digital dialogue with its unique mode of expression. For the viewers, the question arises as to whether clouds can really be “cool” or “crazy” – and if so, by what criteria?

We rarely encounter photographic images as isolated objects, but in combination with other media elements. What tended to be confined to text-image-constellations in the era of print media has increasingly morphed and expanded into hybrid assemblages comprising a wide variety of image, text and audiovisual materials sourced from diverse contexts and displayed simultaneously on our screens and digital platforms. How and in which arrangements photographic images appear – and what they make visible in the first place – is increasingly determined by algorithms, artificial intelligence and “seeing machines”, which influence how we make sense of them. The current cluster explores contemporary variations of text and image and the tensions in between as they compete in shaping not only what we see, but how we see it.
With works by Sofia Crespo, Natalie Czech, Shawné Michaelain Holloway, Stefan Karrer, Gene Kogan, The Otolith Group, Clare Strand, Maddy Varner and others.

SITUATIONS is an experimental exhibition format that reacts dynamically to current photographic and cultural developments. A SITUATION may take the form of a photographic image, a video or a performance, an essay or quote aimed at an in-depth exploration of a topic. Numbered consecutively, SITUATIONS are presented as thematic clusters in the physical space and online at

MOUSSE Magazine, “SITUATIONS/Photo Text Data” at Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winterthur

Related works:
Cool clouds that look like they should be spelling something, but they don't