The Beauty of the Morbid


Birth – growth – reproduction – death. The eternal cycle of life. But all the efforts of modern science are aimed at slowing down or even stopping this cycle: fewer illnesses, vitality into old age, eternal youth, and so on. Is this eternity? How old do we want to be? When have we lived enough? These fading beauties never existed, but were generated by an artificial intelligence. They are thus representative reminders of the beauty of human existence in all its imperfection.

Mädchen auf einem Stuhl Polaroid



Sandbox is on the one hand a sandy playground for children, on the other hand a term originating from software development for an “isolated area within which any action has no effect on the external environment”. (Wikipedia)

We are sitting in a large virtual sandbox that is anything but isolated. There are many toys in it that we don’t know what they are for. And new ones are added every day. We explore them playfully and in the process we come up with ideas – good or bad….

One such toy is Dall-e 2, one of the most celebrated AIs of 2022, which can create realistic images and even artwork from a text-based description in natural language. This creative act is new and unique, and must be judged as the next stage of evolution.

The works Dall-e generates are almost perfect, and yet she generates strangely disturbing outputs in response to seemingly innocuous keywords. It begs the question, is this the toy we would give our children?

Alte Frau hält Schädel in der Hand Polaroid

Deep Vanitas


Since the invention of the internet and social media in particular, our society has found itself in parallel realities: the analog, physical world and the virtual one. There, we are increasingly confronted with fake people and fake stories that have been perfected with the help of artificial intelligence. How can we counter a digital space that is dehumanized in every respect?

In this work, I bring together two things that don’t belong together: the Polaroid and the AI-generated fake human. For a long time, Polaroids embodied authenticity and uniqueness, because each photo was unique and captured a real moment in all its imperfection. But the scenes here, which look like baroque vanitas motifs, never existed. And yet the Polaroid as a medium lends this work something credible and truthful.

In this constellation, the vanitas idea “Remember that you are mortal” is given a surprising twist, which could come from the “mouth” of an artificial intelligence: “Remember that you are obsolet”.

Gartentor Polaroid


The Doina is a folk music style with Arabic-Persian roots and is native to Romania. It is comparable to the Portuguese fado or the Afro-American blues; hence it can be described as “musical lamentation”. Typical for it is the free rhythm and improvised coloratura of a traditional melody. In this way, a singer or musician can perfectly express his feelings and virtuosity.

These eight Polaroids show (longing) places in Romania that are connected to my biography. Due to the inadequacy of a Polaroid camera, they are distorted and thus become a version of themselves that eludes spatial and temporal classification.

Polaroid der Künstlerin Erika Kassnel-Henneberg

Pink Noise

“Noise” is a physical disturbance variable with a non-specific frequency spectrum, which is perceived acoustically as a high-frequency noise. (Wikipedia)

Memory is also a kind of “non-specific noise” in the head. It resonates unnoticed in daily life, influences thought and action and shapes our identity.

The Polaroid camera makes memory visible. It has a subjective and inaccurate view of the world. In it, the present rushes and leaves a daring glimpse of the past. Its outputs are like EEGs – recordings of brain waves that reflect the world in unspecific noise.