Ideally by using these technologies, art should see through them and unveil this imperative role in our society. When it is aesthetically pleasing, the truth doesn’t hurt so much.
Banz&Bowinkel’s artworks were exhibited in galleries, museums and festivals around the world (HeK Basel, KM-Halle für Kunst und Medien, Graz, Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen), and they received residencies at Tong Xian Art Center, Beijing, and Artist Residency Herzliya, Israel among others. In 2017, they received the Digital Sculpture Award from the Institute of digital art, HfK+G Ulm. Since 2017, the artist duo lives in Berlin as free-lancing artists.
There is a deep ambivalence in the work of Banz&Bowinkel. The commonalities/differences of real and virtual spaces lie at the heart of their artworks, and the opportunities/challenges of human societies in the digital age are questioned.
The German artist duo investigates the unknown parameters of digital technologies that define our lives through communication, consumerism, and simulated realities. They analyse the performativity in digital imagery, and the human traces in the mathematical logic of the digital realm. In their work, the virtual world is not understood as a simulated reality, but as a computational counterpart to our perception thereof. The computer re-structures seemingly hidden the order of physical reality. Their artworks represent semi-virtual environments in which almost everything is pre-calculated and executed by computers. Physical reality and virtual space merge unconsciously: How does this change our understanding of embodiment, nature and our social surroundings?
In their VR work “Palo Alto” (2017), the very own virtual landscape and avatars represent their computational origin. The fear of the unknown meets the fascination of a 3D-environment waiting to be explored.