A black dog is looking at himself in the mirror (2021)
Video / 16:9 / 06:41 min
In Ornella Fieres’ video piece A black dog is looking at himself in the mirror we watch technology observing itself. Almost indiscernible scenes in slow motion are hidden behind what seem to be descriptions of images. It could be that the two, the out of focus footage and the phrases in bold letters, refer to one another, but there is an obvious or at least felt discrepancy which might stem on our collective memory: For the piece, the artist presented Sci-Fi movie sequences from the 1960s to 1970s to a neural network trained to analyze images, which then captioned the short scenes. Fieres blurred the footage, so in the end we can only assume that the artificial intelligence failed to recognize the fake technology that was once imagined to become our future.
Letters to M / HTR (2020)
Video Installation / 4:3 / Randomized Loop
In 2016, Fieres acquired from an inheritance sale a box containing about seven hundred letters from the 1960s and 70s from the former GDR. The letters, including postcards and photographs, were addressed to a woman in East Berlin. Among the letters were also a few that she had written herself.
For the video installation Letters to M / HTR Fieres let an artificial intelligence transcribe the handwritten texts in print. In this way, she made the content of the partially hard to decipher handwriting accessible. Some of the letters, more than half a century old, were still written in Sütterlin script.
Fieres selected over a hundred text fragments, mostly single sentences, and presents them on three old monitors. Due to a random generator, the text fragments on display alternate, so that new textual contexts are constantly created. Sometimes the transcriptions are afflicted with small errors. Additionally an AI-generated voice makes the texts audible.
I create paths that lead to the clouds in which we go (2020)
Video / 16:9 / 08:55 min
In Ornella Fieres’s piece I create paths that lead to the clouds in which we go an artificial intelligence shares its hopes, dreams and fears, giving an outlook on a future where the digital universe unites with the human, forming an entity that could mean the end or the salvation of the world. To let the AI speak, Fieres fed a neural network with texts that were written within the last decade on her artistic practice, which deals with the spiritual and uncanny aspects of the digital realm. The AI evolved, like in a self-fulfilling prophecy, from the artist’s theories to develop its own unreckoned, dystopian manifesto.
An Algorithm for Snowfall (2020)
Video / 16:9 / 60:00 min
The video-piece An Algorithm for Snowfall is a digital reconstruction of historic scientific film footage. Ornella Fieres used an algorithmic intervention to create a simultaneously dystopic and utopic world, where nature and technology intertwine. The two frames next to each other display the same film in extreme slow motion, one part moving forwards, one going backwards, mirroring each other in only one imperceptible instant.
The Alchemist / On Guard / Behind the Lens (2019)
3 Channel-Video-Installation / 16:9 / 26:55 min
Excerpt of “On Guard” & Installation
For the video installation The Alchemist / On Guard / Behind the Lens Ornella Fieres filmed computer screens showing early 20th century documentaries on computer-based data acquisition, the invention of slow motion and the chemistry of photography. She then slowed down these recordings by over a thousand times, adding an algorithm which was set to calculate where the video’s pixels would move to in the next frame. The outcome is full of unpredictable interferences, mysterious artifacts, emanating a droning, muffled sound.
As if we are passing through tunnels (2017)
Video / 16:9 / 31:15 min
The urge to take pictures of screens in order to capture their emanations has been around since the birth of television. Whether it’s done in the analogue or digital age – any external or internal screen reproduction means freezing visual signals of events far or near; of events long gone or happening right now. Ornella Fieres’ installation As if we are passing through tunnels focuses on the visuals and language of early spaceflight.
In her work with appropriated footage, the artist frequently comes across analogue photographs of TV screens showing live transmissions of Soviet and US space travel events. For the video piece she recorded film docuemtaries from that age off of computer screens and then slowed the footage down to an extreme extend. The video installation shifts our innate sense of time. Just like walking through a tunnel …
Video / 16:9
Ornella Fieres recorded her video work Tide in the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. In fast motion, it shows the simulation of the lunar phases as a projection on a ball. Further, the artist converted the data of her video into a sound track. Two versions of the film come about, one visual and one auditive, which are played back simultaneously. The video signals that have been converted into sound by the artist resemble NASA's audio recordings from space. They are reminiscent of the noisy and crackling sounds from the radio which emerge from interfering electromagnetic waves. Also, light is nothing but electromagnetic radiation, visible to the eye. Ornella Fieres has transformed the light of her film's data into audio waves—just as NASA did with waves from space. Similarly, both forms of waves can eventually be located in the narrow array of the conceivability of the human senses. (Text-excerpt by Tina Sauerlaender)