The Users – Kurt Caviezel
A web image search for the term user returns icons only – graphic symbols. The user does not exist, at least not in pictures. Considering the ubiquity of this notion this seems paradoxical. Whenever there is mention of the internet, the user is not far. Who, then, is this user?
Of course he does exist. As an individual, he is showing himself in the net with the aid of private webcams. And there he can also be photographed. Private webcams presumably serve some kind of communication and self-assurance. Ideally, they are immersed, after some time, in the user’s daily life. Then, the protagonist behaves towards the camera just like towards a low-maintenance – while possibly somewhat neurotic – pet. The medium within which the users show themselves at the same time is also the one through which they can be depicted. In order to get to them and report on
them, one has to look through the medium.
In doing so one gets very close to them. Using their webcams, I was on location. This is the only way I was able to shoot these pictures. As a real person with a real camera – as a photographer – I would never have gotten there. And that is a paradox: the further away you are from the people, the closer you get to them. This way, The Users pushes into spheres that thus far have not been explored by photography.
The web is – also – a big camera.
Kurt Caviezel, born in 1964, lives and works in Zurich, Switzerland. For 20 years he has been photographing and exploring the world by means of publicly accessible network cameras.
Exhibitions (selection): Photography Museum of Lianzhou – ‘A CHANCE FOR THEUNPREDICTABLE’; Azkuna Zentroa, Bilbao – ‘NEVER REAL / ALWAYS TRUE’; Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, París – ‘AUTOPHOTO’; Fotografia Europea, ReggioEmilia – ‘TIME MAPS. Memory, Archives, Future’; ICP, NY – ‘Public, Private, Secret’;Centre de la Photographie, Geneva – ‘CAMÉRA(ACTE)*CONTRÔLE’; NRW-Fòrum, Duesseldorf – ‘EGO-Update, die Zukunft derdigitalen Identität’; Noorderlicht Photofestival, Groningen – ‘Data-Rush’; Rencontre d’Arles, Arles – ‘FROM HEREON’; Fotostiftung Schweiz, Winterthur – ‘Global Affairs -Erkundungen im Netz’
Publications: ‘The Encyclopedia of Kurt Caviezel’, Rorhof, Bolzano (IT), 2015;‘Red Light’, Edition Patrick Frey, Zuerich, 2000