Visit the BLOB here | Chinese version of the BLOB here  


The im/possible BLOB as installed at “Temporal Stack: the Deep Sensor” in Guizhou, China. Curated by Iris Long and HE Zike (2021).


Imagine you could obtain an 'impossible' image of any object or phenomenon that you think is important,
with no limits on spatial, temporal, energy, signal/noise or cost resolutions.
What image would you create?
(the answer can be a hypothetical image of course!)

This was the question I asked every scientist I spoke to during my Arts at CERN/Collide Barcelona residency (2019-2020). As a result of this exploration, I now have a collection of Im/Possible images, that I organise in a low poly rendition of the unquantifiable BLOB of Im/Possible images. Some of these images would have never found their way to our eyes; they would have remained impossible, only to exist in the hypothetical realms outside the BLOB.  

The BLOB (Binary Large OBject) gives a home to the collection of Im/Possible images that all together illustrate the concept of the impossible image and the relationships between affordance, resolution and compromise. As different Axes of Affordance (X,Y,Z and α) cut the BLOB, they define what is possible to resolve, and what images are compromised, or in other words, will never be rendered. While normally these compromised images would never find their way to our eyes, the hypothetical realms of the BLOB offer pasture to these impossible renders.


The BLOB of Im/Possible Images is made in commission for Haus der elektronischen Künste Basel (HEK) and uses the NewArt.city platform. In the summer of 2021 Lothringer 13 Halle (München) organised a real life exhibition of Im/Possible images.


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作品描述(也在网站上):
想象一下,您可以获得您认为重要的任何对象或现象的“不可能”图像,而不受空间、时间、能量、信号/噪声或成本分辨率的限制。你会创造什么样的形象?
(答案当然可以是一个假设的图像!)

这是我在欧洲核子研究所巴塞罗那驻留期间问过的每一位与我交谈过的科学家的问题。在BLOB项目中,我展示了这项研究为我打开的一些见解。

BLOB(二进制大对象)为Im/Possible图像集合提供了一个家,这些图像共同说明了不可能的图像的概念以及可见性的边际、分辨率和转换中的折中与损失之间的关系。

当不同的可见性阈值轴(X、Y、Z 和 α)切割 BLOB 时,它们定义了哪些是可能解析的,哪些图像是损失的,或者换句话说,是永远不会被呈现的。尽管通常情况下,
这些损失的图像永远不会出现在我们的眼前,但BLOB的假设领域为这些不可能的渲染提供了可能性。


 
The BLOB visiting the real space of the Lothringer in Munich


im/possible Images @Lothringer_13, in Munich

im/possible images is conceptualized and curated by Rosa Menkman, and produced by Luzi Gross, to whom I am very grateful.  💎 💎


🔹 Photos from the install here
🔹 My chipmunk-style video walkthrough click here
🔹 Artforum review here


Description

At the entrance of the Lothringer, a computer provides access to the digital version of the exhibition, titled:   the BLOB of im/possibe images. The BLOB is home to a virtual collection of im/possible images that I sourced during my Arts at CERN/Collide-Barcelona residency, by asking every scientist the same question: 


Imagine you could obtain an 'impossible' image of any object or phenomenon that you think is important,
with no limits on spatial, temporal, energy, signal/noise or cost resolutions.
What image would you create?


I developed the BLOB to function as a virtual home for my collection of im/possible images during the pandemic, when all galleries were closed. But now, at the Lothringer 13, the im/possible images show has become a real space actualisation of the virtual BLOB. 

In analogue photography, the latent image space exists when photosensitive material has been exposed, but has not gone through the process of development (yet). It is the space that has been touched by light, but that is not showing trace evidence (in the form of an image) yet. The im/possible images show uses the latent image term as an expanded concept and a hypothetical space, that involves every imaginable and unimaginable image that could ever be rendered. A main premise of im/possible images is that once a render parameter is chosen, this parameter acts as a metaphoric cut through the space of the latent image, dividing it up into images that remain possible, and images that have become impossible. So effectively, every render setting realizes particular images, while it compromises others.

In the Lothringer these parameters or axes, are materialized as architectural elements that quite literally cut through the space while introducing five categories of im/possiblity.
offered to the audience as a map that they can navigate. 




all possible images

The axis of all possible images serves not really as an axis, but rather as an entrance into the hypothetical, latent image space of Lothringer 13 Halle, which contains all conceivable and inconceivable images.

work:
︎
Fabian Heller, All possible images [True Color, Full HD], Print on PVC, 18x2 metres, 2021.




low fidelity images

Sometimes the parameters by which the image was originally created are not supported by the image processing technology that is rendering it visible. This can happen when for instance the encoding system (the codec) has become unsupported or the amount of pixels of the image is higher than the resolution of the display or the computer can process.
When this happens, the technology or decoder can sometimes still try to ‘interpret’ the image data. As a result, the carrier that is used to translate the signal into an image, will influence and possibly deform the image that is finally on display.
This axis functions as an imaginary threshold that exists in the realms of render technologies, signalling that while some images are possible to render and others are not, there is also a liminal space, where the displayed image exists as an ambiguous interpretation.

works:
︎UCNV, Supercritical, Video installation, 2019.
︎Peter Edwards, Nova Drone, Interactive installation, 2012.




images based on speculation, dis/belief or imagination

While some images may be presented as evidence, with ‘high acutance’ or as truthful, in reality the processes through which they may have been produced are inscribed with values, bias or even erroneous interpretations. Think for instance about the image of the shadow of a black hole, which was constituted from a trove of RAW scientific data, but then enhanced by artificial coloring. Or the basemap of planet Earth, that is used by Google maps, which exists devoid of clouds, while inhabited by inconsistent shadowing.

works:

︎Susan Schuppli, Can the sun lie? Video, 2014–2015

︎Sasha Engelmann & Sophie Dyer, Open Weather, Installation & Workshop, 2020-2021
︎Rosa Menkman, Whiteout, video (15 min.), 2020
︎Quote by Ingrid Burrington "forever noon on a cloudless day
︎NASA basemap of Earth.


chronologies of im ⁄ possibility

Technically, what once was possible to capture might become impossible, while some images that are impossible now might become possible to create in the future. This axis functions as a timeline on which some images move from possible to the impossible, and vice versa.

documentation:
︎Röntgen, Röntgen photo, print, 1896
︎NASA Voyager / Carl Sagan, Pale blue dot, 1990 
︎Medipix,
spectroscopic X-ray 2018

new complexities and humanly un ⁄ readable images

With the introduction of simulation technologies, which today also include AI and Machine Learning Algorithms, the latent image space has expanded. Images are no longer just relying on the object that is captured, the capturing device and its modes of display but also on intelligent processes that now complicate every step of image processing.
As a result, images are no longer just used as evidence, or to illustrate and explain, but also to predict and explore previously inaccessible scenarios. Moreover, image processing technologies have expanded to spaces of production that were previously unthinkable and unknowable.

works:
︎Alan Warburton, RGB FAQ, Video essay (27:38 min), 2020
︎Memo Akten, Learning to See: Gloomy Sunday, HD Video (3:02 min), 2017
︎Rosa Menkman, Shredded Hologram Rose (4:30 min) 2021