günther selichar

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Standby 2003/04

Installation Tufts University Art Gallery, Medford, MA (USA) 2006

Photo: G. Selichar, Wien

Amy I. Schlegel

Selichar used an infrared thermographic video camera (typically used by the surveillance industry, energy engineers, and fire departments) to repeatedly photograph a single television screen set on stand-by mode.  This in-between position of tension—neither on nor off—is not visible to the human eye, nor is the heat emitted from the television monitor’s cathode ray measured by the infrared camera.  The camera itself determines the range of aesthetic options available.  It can be programmed to detect a certain heat range, which effects the color range when printed.  Selichar determined the temperature range he wanted to photograph thermographically and then decided to print images in the series at the camera’s two settings:  low- and high- resolution, both of which yield comparatively poor quality still images but beautiful color juxtapositions reminiscent of Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko’s compositions, a fortuitous (but not deliberate) conceptual reference.

Amy I. Schlegel
Director of the Galleries and Collections, Tufts University, Medford/Boston