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Clemens von wedemeyer
Transformation Scenario
Video | 4k | color | 20'0'' | Germany | 2018
In the background of blockbuster films, algorithms have been employed to replace extras in post-production. Since years we are used to scenes in which masses of automated characters fill the screen, animated by algorithms that let them interact, similar to computer games and agents in computational sociology. Such artificial masses are stepping in the foreground. Simulating life began in the movies and computer games, but is influencing many fields today. In architecture, city planning and traffic navigation as well as in predictions of markets and trade, virtual scenarios influence society and change the way we live. Transformation Scenario (2018) by Clemens von Wedemeyer creates a speculative narration on the impact of emulated group behaviour in society. It follows an idea that could be inspired by Jean Luc Godards film Le Gai Savoir: “To find the solution to a problem, be it a chemical or political problem, one has to dissolve it: dissolve hydrogen, dissolve the parliament. Therefore we will now dissolve images and sounds.“ The film is part of a long term project by the artist making reference to the work Mass and Power (1960) by Elias Canetti, shifting the view on imageries of society, crowd control and potentials of masses today. This is especially relevant in times of populism, when numbers are used to construct power, and demonstrations and mass events form moments of resistance.
Clemens von Wedemeyer, born in 1974 in Göttingen, Germany, currently lives and works in Berlin and holds a professorship for media art at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig. The artist and filmmaker participated in group shows such as the 1st Moscow Biennale (2005), the 4th Berlin Biennale (2006), Skulptur Projekte Münster in 2007, the 16th Biennale of Sydney (2008), and dOCUMENTA (13) (2012). He had solo shows among others at MoMA PS1, New York, ARGOS Centre for Art and Media, Brussels, the Barbican Art Centre, London, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein and Hamburger Kunsthalle. His works can be found in major collections such as The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Tate Modern, London.