Polaroid and AI-generated motifs form a symbiosis as testimonies of a possible past.

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Deep Vanitas

What is real? What is unique? Polaroid photography embodied both for a long time. Today, it is experiencing a renaissance both in its original form with the help of old Polaroid cameras from flea markets and in hybrid form, i.e. analogue-digital, app-controlled or even entirely digital.

Here, nothing is real: for this work, I let an AI generate thirty-three portraits based on baroque models. Therefore neither the scenes nor the people depicted ever existed. And yet the Polaroid as a medium lends this work something plausible and authentic.

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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.

Similar to the Doina, these eight Polaroids show a place of longing that, with the help of the technical inadequacy of a Polaroid camera, is repeatedly distorted and thus varied. This place will be removed from its spatial and temporal allocation. This merges the present with the past and reality with fiction.

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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.

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