Aram Bartholl

Obsolete Presence

You can see the shore of a lake. A very large hand with a smartphone is sticking out of the lake. The display of the smartphone is a mirror in which the viewers can see themselves on the shore.
Aram Bartholl
Obsolete Presence

Lake of the Palace Gardens Karlsruhe

September 11, 2020 to March 31, 2021

»Obsolete Presence« brings art and everyday life together. A monumental hand reaches out of the lake in the Palace Gardens holding a smartphone aloft to take a selfie. The large format screen, resembling a mirror that reflects the image of the viewer, encourages viewers to question our relationship with this technical device, which has become an important part of our lives since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007. Today, the smartphone is not only a technical instrument that makes people's everyday lives easier. Like a prosthesis, it completes or supplements the body and, as an interface, provides digital access to knowledge and information. Given the inconceivably vast number of photos that are taken every second worldwide with smartphones and posted on the Internet, and the resulting transfer of our mirror images into digital data bodies, the here and now, the real presence of the individual seems to be becoming increasingly obsolete. Aram Bartholl's work thus not only poses the question of what people do with the media, but also to what extent the media change our image of people.

»Obsolete Presence« was selected for the »Seasons of Media Arts« 2020 by ZKM | Karlsruhe.

Aram Bartholl

Aram Bartholl's work lies at the intersection of the Internet, culture, and reality. The friction between public and private, online and offline, technology infatuation and everyday life is at the core of his work. In the form of interventions and installations in civic space, the artist (*1972) investigates the effects when constituents of the digital world come together with reality. His works have been exhibited internationally including at the MoMA, Museum of Modern Art in New York, Skulptur Projekte Münster, and the Hayward Gallery, London. Aram Bartholl lives and works in Berlin.