Michael Perl
Artist Statement
Kaizo (改造) is a series consisting of pictures shot during a trip to Japan in February 2020, shortly before the Covid19 pandemic was in full effect. Taken with the intention of documenting rather touristic impressions, they have been transformed into a space for vague memories that fade away and lose sharpness on closer inspection. The pictures are digitally rendered from standard photographs into low-fidelity, Gameboy Camera-like characteristics. For the exhibition in Tokyo the digital images would be built using plastic beads making the picture become more “blurred” the closer the visitors inspect them. Just like our memory, some pictures are more obvious to identify and some offer a rather abstract aesthetic, as the elements might not be recognizable. The reduction of resolution was inspired by the principle of Wabi-sabi (侘寂) - this reduction offers a new perspective on these pictures of fading and changing memories.
The exposure of western teenagers to Japanese culture has massively increased over the years and offers a potential for collective memory. This moment of collective memory influences a lot of grown-ups in their work and the remodeled influences manifest in many different artistic ways: - Kaizo refers to the name for incredibly difficult fan-altered video games. By transforming (改造means remodeling) the pictures similarly into something that is harder to recognize, Kaizo is a reflection of the influence Japanese culture is having on my artistic practice and how this evolved over time and still continues to do so.
Artist Bio
Michael Perl was born in Austria in 1991. His background is in programming and computer engineering. His interests and works revolve around the digital sphere, cultural memories, communication and media theories. His practice includes visual arts, installations, live visuals and music written for performances. He is co-curating the ongoing monthly experimental music series Performing Sound in Salzburg. He currently lives and works near Vienna.