Digital Wondering 16

Digital Wonderings are a series of online speculations around the curatorial theme of TRUST. They can take any form, from a conversation, a short statement, a film or a photographic series. Invited contributors come from a wide range of disciplines and can respond and react to the theme and the format as they wish.

Artist Portrait: Viktoria Binschtok (GER)

For the exhibition TRUST, work from Viktoria Binschtok’s ‘Networked Images’ (2017 – present) will be shown. Working with image search algorithms Binschtok selects images to be matched with others visually. She then materializes the floating images in clusters, demonstrating the random associations that are made between private and public image production online.


‘These photographic details of people, things and places is a mixture of pictures that I see and pictures that I create from pictures that I see’, she writes about the work. ‘I remove my favourites from the fleeting current of images, separating them from the invisible net and rearranging them. I let these found visual objects collide in a targeted fashion in order to form combinations that I call “networked images”. In my rearrangement, the origin, meaning and purpose of the individual pictures no longer play a role. They subordinate themselves and become part of a new reference system.’


Binschtok is interested in the inherent dynamic of images in digital space, which she describes as: ‘this incredible presence and uncontrollable movement in all directions at the same time. They spread, leap from display to display, into our minds, then back into the world. And this loop of images, this permanent movement between digital and physical space reproduces knowledge about the world in which we live and how we see it. The images are not just supports for our mediated world; our world is also shaped by them.’


Photographs unavoidably trigger associations in the viewer: ‘We link both individual and collective stories with certain images and look automatically for meaning. In my “networked images”, however, I simply abolish the difference between the essential and the non-essential: all relevance, all interrelations are shifted depending on the point of view and thus become personal variables. But even when content and contexts are separated, codes can be recognised that refer to systems that could be represented in these images. And this variation – this shift in the legibility of images – is important to me.’


We live in a very special time right now, Binschtok explains: ’“Business as usual” is not an option and we have to shift a large part of our communication to the Internet. So it’s a good time to examine the exchange of networked images from all sides.’


Having trust is a personal choice on a voluntary basis, she writes: ‘For me, trust is also an essential prerequisite for interpersonal relationships. In the digital space, however, our relationships are coordinated by algorithms. We have to entrust our data to a system in order to be part of global communication. So people trust machines, not the other way around. It is a relationship of dependency in which we find ourselves as soon as we enter the Internet. Our trust is assumed for access: ‘Accept Choice’ or ‘Accept Everything’.



Viktoria Binschtok has had solo exhibitions at Museum Folkwang Essen, Kunstmuseum Bonn,  C/O Berlin and KLEMM’S in Berlin. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at institutions such as Centre Pompidou-Metz and Paris, Museum der Bildenden Künste Leipzig, Bergen Kunsthall, Kunstverein Bregenz and Fondazione Prada Milan.