In a digitalized age, the endless stream of images stored in the cloud fills the gaps of what might be forgotten. In her past projects, Michaela Putz was dealing with these implications of technology and virtual image storage and remembrance. The artist’s own image archive from different phases of her life, stored on computer and smartphone, serves as the raw material for this. In a kind of digital retrospect, these are photographed and documented directly from the screen, whereby fingerprints and remains of dust on them are also recorded, as well as the mouse pointer and digital artifacts that are created by zooming into the images. Sometimes, they are digitally retouched and smudged, other times, they have been taken several times with the camera of the smartphone, making them pixelated, slightly dissolving the original image. By this, the works aim to visually sound out the gaps between human and digital memory, bringing the digital images consisting of raw data closer to the ephemerality and imprecision of human memory. Doing a publication with these images not only draws a connection between them but also to think about the way we deal with analog and digital image material. Even though digital images seem to be only data, they are constantly being touched: We are wiping and swiping, zooming and tapping on them through the screen. The book tries to take into account these different qualities and connecting the digital and analog processes of looking at images from our past.
Michaela Putz studied at the University of Applied Art (Master of Art&Science) and Communication and Political Science at the University of Vienna. In her multimedia work she visually investigates our current society’s interaction with digital media, the flood of data/images and our obsession with the screen and its manifold gestures. Exploring the impact of the virtual world on our personal and collective memories, intimate relationships and social issues, she expands the use of photographic images into various layers in front of and behind the screen, implementing tools of digital post-processing and actual traces of touch, while also transforming those images into three-dimensional installations and objects.
She took part in various group and solo exhibitions within Austria and abroad, including institutional shows and gallery presentations. She received several grants and awards, among them the Annual Award for Fine Art of Burgenland in 2018, and the START-grant for photography of the Austrian Chancellery in 2019. Her works have been published in several formats and she has given public lectures on her works about contemporary photography and digitalization.
Michaela Putz was born in 1984, she mainly works in Vienna.