Test shots

Test Shots example

Artists: Susanne Kudielka & Kaspar Wimberley

Row upon row of video cameras and digital cameras are lined up in multimedia stores such as Saturn or MediaMarkt, offering customers the chance to try them out before they make a purchase. Many of these devices save the users ‘test-shots’ onto the cameras memory.

If you stop to browse these photos and videos you often find a gallery of beautiful haphazard shots, mostly of the opposite shelf, some of friends, some of the photographer, and some of strangers.

Using under-cover guerrilla-style activities, we would like to create a delayed digital intervention that places our own images and videos between the existing data found on the chips, disks and built in hard drives, or re-contextualises those that can already be found there, hacking into every-day normality, while subverting and diverting consumerist thought processes.

Customers in the shop would stumble across these small playful narratives, while an invited audience would search for our interventions, and no doubt uncover additional coincidental narratives of their own.

Narratives in development:

We declare that a camera department has opened as a temporary art gallery. The shelves are labelled and an opening event offers shoppers some bubbly and nuts. When does looking at these images become an intrusion of privacy? Do we have the right to declare that this space is now a public gallery?

Mixed media
We take the existing photos of shelves, friends and strangers, and rework them to introduce bizarre displaced elements, such as an astronaut, a dinosaur or a palm tree, before photographing the adaptations back onto the cameras in the store; corrupting digital information, to capture a fantasy rather than a reality.

Wish you were here
Using a similar technique, ‘wish you were here’ postcards are copied onto the cameras. By introducing the idea of escape our audience is invited to reflect on their immediate surroundings, the shop, the city and possibly the holiday for which they are buying a camera.

The infatuation of Herr Schmidt
We act like a customer who is infatuated with the camera specialist, observing this person using the equipment on the shelves, from simple espionage, to leaving love letters, questions and cryptic messages.

Security cameras
All of the images on the cameras are replaced with images of the security cameras installed in the building, reminding shoppers of who is watching who.

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Susanne Kudielka and Kaspar Wimberley work internationally as interventionists and performance researchers specialising in site-specific and site-responsive art, alternative strategies for audience interaction and new forms of artistic collaboration.

The artistic process usually begins with a given site, and a process of observation and dialogue that analyses, and eventually responds, to the architectural, socio-political, geographical, mythological, connotative and historical narratives that can be found there.

Projects are quietly subversive, playfully readjusting the narrative and appreciation of a particular activity or a given site. The working process often involves those that live in an area, and aims to be accessible and relevant.

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