"Personal Records" (2003) is a short article by Sandra Fauconnier about "Exactitudes" and "Worldprocessor", written for DEAF03.
Exactitudes by Ari Versluis and Ellie Uyttenbroek and Worldprocessor by Ingo Günther are by far the most low-tech art projects in the DEAF03 Exhibition; of all the exhibited projects, they also bear the most explicit 'traditional' artistic signature and concept. Exactitudes is a long-term project by two Rotterdam-based photographers who compile series of portraits of people who belong to certain subcultures, arranging the portraits in such a way that typologies and striking resemblances between people become apparent - ecopunks, grandmothers, gameboys.... In Worldprocessor, Ingo Günther displays his personal collection of illuminated globes where he represents (pseudo-)statistical information about the world in a whole scala of globe-shaped visualizations.
Versluis & Uyttenbroek's project Exactitudes is, in its methodology, reminiscent of the work of German photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher. Since the late 1950s, the Bechers have photographed - portrayed - examples of building typologies, mostly industrial buildings such as gas holders and silos, but also the typical framework houses of the Siegen region of Germany. Like Versluis and Uyttenbroek, the Bechers often systematically arrange series of their photographs in a grid, exposing typological similarities. They do not use studio conditions for the evident reason that they make outdoor photographs, but always photograph their subjects in cloudy, grey weather, resulting in apparently neutral, shadowless black and white photos with a uniformly white sky - because of this method, their building 'portraits' have the same pseudo-scientific, pseudo-objective look as the studio portraits in Exactitudes. Of course, their subject matter is entirely different. Bernd and Hilla Becher make photographs of built structures that have an air of timelessness - some of the photos could have been taken in the 1930s as well as in the first decade of the 21st century. With some exceptions of more 'timeless' stereotypes (the 'Grannies' for instance), Exactitudes portrays short-lived subcultures - represented by individuals in typical dress - that can each be pinned down to a maximum time-span of two or three years in the 1980s, 1990s or the beginning of the new millennium. For the photographers, it's a lifetime project of collecting in an almost scientific manner.
The same goes for Ingo Günther, who started compiling and processing his data for Worldprocessor back in 1989. Günther's oeuvre shows his apparent interest in world politics, power and state authority; his method consists of 'the artistic reconstruction of journalistic and scientific approaches', as he calls it on his personal website. Worldprocessor offers a collection of sometimes poetic, sometimes threatening data about the world: for instance the projection of the quote "Die Welt ist alles was der Fall ist" (the opening sentence of Ludwig Wittgenstein's "Tractatus Logico Philosophicus") on a white globe, versus a black-and-red globe with the names of local terrorist groupings, aggressively scratched on their geographic locations. The data he uses are pseudo-statistics, which he combines with strong, direct visualizations. In this way, his project can be viewed as a critique of statistics - a scientific discipline that has served a plethora of political factions, ideologies and objectives - and its representations in various media. Worldprocessor shows the individual and subjective worldview of the artist and is straightforward in its subjectivity; nevertheless, because of its consistency, the project is very convincing.
Both Exactitudes and Worldprocessor are manifestations of an attitude of collecting and archiving, both try to shape and contextualize data in an artistic way. Exactitudes does this on the micro level of investigating personal, individual identities, while Worldprocessor deals with global processes on the macro level - showing two different sides of a similar method of artistic research: systematically collecting data and arranging these data within a fixed formal and physical framework. The personal and subjective aspect is very important, so is the pseudo-scientific research approach; both works confront us with the fact that the choice and representation of data, transforming these data into information, is a political act. Our convictions about our personal identity and uniqueness (Exactitudes) and our overall world view (Worldprocessor) emerge, to a certain extent, from a mediatized illusion.