For the past fifteen years, Kurt Caviezel has been browsing the interconnected world of webcams in private and public spaces. With a click of the mouse, he extracts stills from the incessant stream of data. By now, his archive comprises more than three million images reflecting all areas of life. The Encyclopedia of Kurt Caviezel encompasses every series he created during the past fifteen years, compiled in alphabetical order.
Translated from the introduction by Joachim Schmid:
By monitoring surveillance cameras over the course of fifteen years, the artist has collated an almost inconceivable volume of images, all of which he extracted from webcam recordings. The sheer mass of pictures is a significant factor: as with many collections, quantity in fact gives rise to quality. Only the amplitude of images makes it possible to recognise recurring patterns. While an image in its single form may be amusing, trivial, or without apparent meaning, it soon becomes a building block of the viewer’s comprehension when presented as part of a series of similar depictions.
Caviezel brings order to the vast flood of data, creating sequences of related photographs and so structuring the events taking place in front of the camera. By turning the continuous, amorphous stream of data into a series of selected single images, he enables us to become aware of patterns – both within different scenes captured by the same camera, and with regards to different cameras in entirely unrelated locations, whose recordings you would not ordinarily think to compare with one another.
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