please stand back! – marc ries

Please Stand Back!

Above and below do not exist at first, and other indications of direction do not work either. The picture itself is an agglomeration of details that are constantly being created and disappearing, becoming and ceasing to exist, assembling and breaking up. Each image in each of its stages appears in a white space and is caught there. We are witnessing a kind of creation, a “big bang” during which the condensed mass of information is slowly atomized or particularized. Urban scenes gradually take shape, though only in a fragmentized and strangely pulsing form which is constantly on the verge of disintegration or decay. At first however the particles are merely colored fields, small rectangular plates of uniform size gleaming in pale shades of gray. They create a spatial reference only after recondensing, then scatter and abandon all meaning.

This material, once recorded, can never be examined as such, the program resolutely decides what is shown. The picture has been compressed, calculated in particles of the same size, each one of which can move and articulate in a completely autonomous manner.

As the picture appears, the authority of numerical logic manifests itself first. Even the sounds and voices in “please stand back!” are strangely disembodied, the images rarely manage to overcome their temporary nature and vagueness and form a brochure for the city. The city, as a synonym for density and a confusing arrangement, becomes a plaything in a digital esthetic which confidently manipulates its own appearance, suggesting that all entities can now be put into a state of complete instability and changeability. (Marc Ries)

Translation: Steve Wilder