»Songs of the Sky . Photography & the Cloud«
Curated by Dr. Kathrin Schönegg (C/O Berlin Foundation)
C/O Berlin presents the thematic exhibition Songs of the Sky . Photography & the Cloud from December 11, 2021, to April 21, 2022. The opening will be held on Friday, December 10, 2021, at 8 pm, at C/O Berlin in the Amerika Haus at Hardenbergstrasse 22–24, 10623 Berlin. Please bring proof of vaccination or recovery to attend this event.
For centuries, we’ve looked to the sky to divine the future. Today, we look to the Cloud.”
— James Bridle
Dozens of cloud faces gaze down at visitors from the exhibition wall. Many of them seem to smile, while others remind us of people we know, or creatures from mythology. The Korean artist duo Shinseungback Kimyonghun – consisting of Shin Seung Back and Kim Yong Hun – assembled these human-like cloud formations in their 2012 series Cloud Face. Instead of the artists themselves, however, it was the algorithms of a face-recognition program that caused the shutter to be released every time it detected figures in the sky. Once a realm of human imagination and a source of insight, the cloudy sky now reveals the limits of machine-driven artificial intelligence.
As early as 1922, the famous American photographer Alfred Stieglitz turned his camera to the sky for the first time “to find out what [he] had learned in 40 years about photography.” His series of cloud pictures, which he initially called Songs of the Sky before they became famous as Equivalents, paved the way to abstraction for a medium that had been associated with the depiction of reality. A century later, the thematic exhibition Songs of the Sky . Photography & the Cloud uses the original title to discuss the current change in photography due to digitalization and its consequences. Thinking about photography today entails a consideration of the infrastructures that form and organize networks. Regardless of whether images are generated by surveillance cameras or satellites, or consist of digitized archival material or personal vacation photographs on our smartphones and laptops, all photographs are saved on the cloud operated by artificial intelligence.
Similar to the way that clouds resonated in the beginning of abstraction in photography one hundred years ago, the way artists today interact with the cloud reflects the twenty-first century’s visions of the future. Juxtaposing historical and contemporary cloud photographs, the exhibition Songs of the Sky . Photography & the Cloud mirrors the consequences of cloud-computing technology on climate change and geopolitics. What stories can photographs relate about the “soul of the sky” (Étienne Pitois) in the digital age? Will commercial enterprises that maximize their earnings by evaluating and using our cloud data end up buying all of the clouds in the sky? Will the immense carbon footprint of the technical cloud accelerate global warming to such an extent that in the future it will be rare to see many-faced cloud creatures floating by in the sky?
Songs of the Sky . Photography & the Cloud was curated by Dr. Kathrin Schönegg (C/O Berlin Foundation). The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalog that was published by Spector Books, Leipzig.
The exhibition includes works by Claudia Angelmaier, Sylvia Ballhause, Marie Clerel, Raphaël Dallaporta, Fragmentin, Noémie Goudal, Louis Henderson, Internationales Meteorologisches Komitee, Noa Jansma, Stefan Karrer, Almut Linde, NASA, Observatoire de Juvisy, Lisa Oppenheim, Trevor Paglen, Meghann Riepenhoff, Simon Roberts, Evan Roth, Mario Santamaría, Adrian Sauer, Andy Sewell, Shinseungback Kimyonghun, and Louis Vignes & Charles Nègre.
Accompanying events for this exhibition will be announced here in time. Also feel free to sign up for PiB’s free, weekly E-Newsletter for upcoming events & highlights!
Friday, Dec 10, 2021, 8 pm
C/O Berlin is delighted to invite you to the opening of the exhibitions »Songs of the Sky . Photography & the Cloud«, »Harald Hauswald . Voll das Leben! . Reloaded« and the C/O Berlin Talent Award 2021 exhibition »Adji Dieye . Culture Lost and Learned by Heart« on Friday, Dec 10, 2021 at 8 pm. The number of people allowed in the exhibition rooms is limited due to current Covid regulations. Visitors must show proof of vaccination status, a current test, or proof of recovery, which may lead to a short wait. Please check in using the Luca or Corona Warn app when entering. We would also like to request that you limit your stay to about 60 minutes so that others may visit the exhibition opening.
Public Guided Tours: Saturdays & Sundays at 2 pm (held in German).
Individual Guided Tours (held in English and other languages) as well as Guided Tours for classes can be booked as well.
Wednesday, Dec 15, 2021, 6 – 7 pm
with Dr. Kathrin Schönegg. Held in German.
Dec 11, 2021 — Apr 21, 2022
Opening Reception: Friday, Dec 10, 2021, 8 pm
+ Framework program: please see above
Amerika Haus, Hardenbergstraße 22-24, 10623 Berlin
[District: Charlottenburg | Borough: Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf]
Opening hours: Daily 11 am – 8 pm
Admission: 10 € / reduced 6 € | Online Ticket
+++ Please pay attention to the current Corona regulations of the respective gallery/institution. +++ Bitte beachten Sie die aktuellen Corona-Bestimmungen der jeweiligen Galerie/Institution.