Georg Bak about GESTE 2017

"In 1988 the postmodern media theorist Vilém Flusser dedicated an essay Postmoderne Farben. Für Gottfried Jäger (Post-modern Colours. For Gottfried Jäger) to his close friend Gottfried Jäger where he stated that machines were more relevant than humans in their function to change our world; but human’s (provisional) duty is to program the machines for this transformation of the world.

Twenty years prior to this statement Gottfried Jäger had invented his pinhole structures (1967) made with a simple self-constructed multiple pinhole camera obscura implementing his own coding system. The title of the artwork was at the same time a code as for example 3.8.14. D 4 which defined exactly the procedure of an aesthetic result as a calculatory-computational principle. This was the birth hour of "Generative Photography“! In 1968 the Jäger laid down his manifesto in the groundbreaking exhibition "Generative Fotografie“ at Kunsthaus Bielefeld in Germany alongside his fellow artists Pierre Cordier, Hein Gravenhorst and Kilian Breier. In 1975 Gottfried Jäger, Karl Martin Holzhäuser and Herbert W. Franke published the definitive book "Generative Fotografie" and Bielefeld became the focal destination of this important postwar art movement.

For this exhibition we have selected a number of important vintages and first prints by Gottfried Jäger (pinhole structure), Herbert W. Franke (oscillograms) and Karl Martin Holzhäuser (mechano-optical analysis) as well as recent collaborative unique chemigrams by Pierre Cordier and Gundi Falk. For the first time publicly shown rare vintage photographs by French pioneer of computer art Nicolas Schöffer as well as vintage rhythmograms by Heinrich Heidersberger bring us back to the early beginnings of computer art in the 1960s. Most artists at that time invented their own machines and experimented with photographic techniques."

Georg Bak