leuchten – to shine, to light, to light up
flackern – to flickr
flirren – to whirr
strahlen – to shine, to radiate
glühen – to glow
funkeln – to sparkle
schillern – to shimmer

I live in a world of algorithms and artificial light. The idea that the future was supposed to be connected, decentralized, open and equal has yet again been reshaped by the infrastructures of transnational capital, mainly the Internet: monolothic power structures have evolved into rhizomatic ones and produced meritocratic dreams, information overload and omnipresent automated pattern recognition schemes for all kinds of data. Visual information in particular is overly abundant yet most often impertinent: the signal to noise ratio is very low. The achieving society has replaced the society of control while integrating its mechanisms, resulting in a hyperactive society of positivistic excess and missing down-times, in which human activity suffers from fragmented and disseminated attention [1]. At the same time, while observing the excessive archival of knowledge, which few humans persist to actually be able to activate and operate, we are witnessing the ongoing substitution of experience by information.

As a reaction, with these drawings, I’m trying to create a space in which (my) attention is not fragmented, perfection not achieved, errors and mistakes not erased, traces left over time, no algorithmic rules nor calculations made and no knowledge applied. This space is characterized by timelessness, fragility and natural light. It’s a space of silence, contemplation, celebrating connection and de-production – all of which seem to be missing from today’s Global Northern society in which entertainment culture has long reached every home, even the recluse’s. The use of old colour pencils does not only intend to remind childhood, but is, beyond its inefficiency, a very simple means which induces unplanned changes of patterns and light. Instead of making these changes disappear, I’m insisting on them: their aim is to subvert perception and make us embrace life with it’s uncertainties while shining soothing colours onto retina, amygdala, hippocampus.

As much as every being and thing exist only in relation to and through other beings and things, as defined in the concept of interbeing [2], these images come in series, forming inter-related yet open entities.

Ulrike Uhlig

[1] see Byung-Chul Han, „Die Müdigkeitsgesellschaft“, Matthes & Seitz, Berlin, 2010
[2] see Thích Nhất Hạnh