NORBERT MEIER / PETER SEIPEL
from 07.10.1999 to 30.10.1999
Peter Seipel, Norbert Meier
The arrangement “Bielefeld/Theesen 12.7.1995, 11.30 - 15.30 Uhr” is an extension of my earlier spherical panoramas on the aspects of ‘direction’ and ‘movement’. The previous network of single photos laid side-by-side on a flat surface is taken to another level through a visor. On this level, movable panes are lead diagonally through the screen of photos in two directions. From pic-ture to picture, viewed one after the other, they complete a rotation of 45 and 22.5 degrees, respectively.
The surface arrangement consists of several panoramas; their suspen-sion varies according to spatial circumstances. In each case, however, there are two variations of suspensions: 1. In which the panorama depicts an overall view of the area; the pictures are ordered in the se-quence they were made. 2. In which the pictures are ordered accord-ing to the system of rotating panes, which are laid out horizontally. The beginning and ends of both panoramas can theoretically be com-bined into a cylindrical shape, vertically or horizontally.
An additional depiction of this work dates back to 1996/97 “Flächiges Kugelpanorama, gedreht” (“Flattened spherical panorama, rotated”). The pictures are not only ordered on a flat surface in the sequence they were made, but are also rotated according to the angel of the camera.
Finally, the arrangement was completed with the addition of the two photospheres “Drehende Fotokugel” 1996/97 and “Fotokugelzoetrop” 1999, that depict the surrounding area on their outer and inner surfaces using the same motive or system.
„RASTER-FAHNDUNG“ is the exciting search for human pictures in the microstructures of surfaces of postcards from around the world. It is also the search for historical and contemporary printscreens on postcards originating from various countries and differing time peri-ods.
Technique: Postcards that are found in fleamarkets, antiquity stores or in private households are examined with high-resolution micro-lenses. With the support of a lighting technique specially developed for this purpose, the tiny motives are subsequently photographed.
Result: In contrast to the traditional Blow up – the granular structure of the print, not the grains of the film, appears in the pictures. The lighting occurs on diapositive-film or on colour-negative film of me-dium sensitivity and fine granulation. At the subsequent developing of the prints, no further manipulation or processing of the pictures takes place.
Content: The coincidental figures of a postcard motive become the main ‘actors’. Their appearance (fashion, hairstyle, accessories, and used cars) represents the time variables in the face of tradition (archi-tectural monuments, landscapes, beaches, stretch of water, etc.).
The resulting pictures of the program “Raster-Fahndung” are selected finds that can no longer be associated with the original picture post-card. Usually, the photographer and viewer of a postcard have, as a rule, mainly focussed their attention on the principal theme. People and vehicles were usually only included as an ‘enlivening element’ in the designing and examining of the motive. The coincidental moment of the original illustration creates poses that are never prearranged, but are absolutely natural. The pictures hidden in the microstructures therefore portray– similar to the prints of an automatic camera – ‘fro-zen’ moments of every day life. Thus, the photographs are of an al-most documentary nature. Furthermore, according to aesthetic crite-ria, “Raster-Fahndung” follows the geometric and colourful composi-tions in the microstructures, in which chance also plays a part. Through microphotography, the print technique with which a postcard is produced in series stands in the foreground. Granular, linear or dotted screens - and out of their overlapping resulting Moiré-structures at the offsetprint - are also brought to stand out through micro-photography; just as the colour impressions are dismantled into the three complementary colours yellow, magenta and zyan, along with the colour black. The typical colour design of print work is as equally important a time variable as are people’s appearances. It was defined by the then dominating aesthetic of the film and print colour chemical industry. By laminating the surfaces of postcards, colours were able to remain authentic over the centuries. Coloured black-white prints are, however, subject to more or less stronger changes (bleaching, colour-tone-shifts, etc.), as are postcards with matt surfaces, that often display signs of use such as tears, folds or dirt.
Presentation: The glossy prints are mounted on 16mm thick acrylic glass-planks. The surface of the prints remains uncovered. The planks raise the pictures away from the wall, giving an impression of depth and weight. In this manner, the two-dimensional photograph becomes a three-dimensional object– similar to a carton postcard. The plank structure, visible from both sides, additionally symbolises the screen-shaped search for human pictures. The pictures should be viewed from a distance of three meters, where they will also be more perceptible. Only when the viewer steps a little closer, do the pictures dissolve into their colour and screen structures. The pictures can be viewed, depending on screen size, in various formats of 13x18 to 50x70 centimetres.