Simon Karlstetter

Simon Karlstetter, born 1985, is an artist, musician and cultural entrepreneur who lives and works in Munich and Augsburg, Germany. He is using photography, drawing, manual printing-techniques, performance, music and sound in his works. He is interested in subjects such as technology, time, society and relationship. His practice is circling around the following topics: shifting perception of authorship, de- and recontextualization of images, appropriation, artistic approaches to photographic archives as well as remix and sampling as forms of art. He is the founder and artistic director of the internationally renowned organization for contemporary photography »DER GREIF«, co-founder and CSO at »Picter«, as well as a co-founder of the interdisciplinary artist-collective »STUDIO FURIO«, that unites dance, theatre, music and media art. He is giving lectures and talks about his work, as well as workshop at internationally renowned universities and institutions.

Simon Karlstetter, born 1985, is an artist, musician and cultural entrepreneur who lives and works in Munich and Augsburg, Germany. He is using photography, drawing, manual printing-techniques, performance, music and sound in his works. He is interested in subjects such as technology, time, society and relationship. His practice is circling around the following topics: shifting perception of authorship, de- and recontextualization of images, appropriation, artistic approaches to photographic archives as well as remix and sampling as forms of art. He is the founder and artistic director of the internationally renowned organization for contemporary photography »DER GREIF«, co-founder and CSO at »Picter«, as well as a co-founder of the interdisciplinary artist-collective »STUDIO FURIO«, that unites dance, theatre, music and media art. He is giving lectures and talks about his work, as well as workshop at internationally renowned universities and institutions.

Impressions from Paris Photo

In my last two blog entries, I spoke a lot about my projects and my personal background. Today’s blog entry is going to be more visual. I want to share with you some gems from Paris Photo last week.

Anna Reivilä at Gallery Taik Persons:

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Bruno von Roels at Gallery Fifty One:

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Peter Puklus at Robert Morat Gallery:

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Detail from Noémie Goudal at Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire: 

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Rinko Kawauchi at Gallery Christophe Guye:

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The Story of der Greif and Picter

My interest for photography manifested when I started to study graphic design and later fine arts. Out of this growing interest, the idea of ‘Der Greif’ was born. Together with Felix von Scheffer – a close friend and photography enthusiast – I founded ‘Der Greif’ in 2008. ‘Der Greif’ is an art project that combines digital and analog content in unique ways and is constantly exploring and pushing the boundaries of publishing in the digital era. The idea was to take images from the screen and put them back onto paper and to experiment with de- and re-contextualization of those images.

At the core of ‘Der Greif’ is a printed magazine with open submission. Today we receive around 10k submissions for each publication. Dealing with this amount of data became highly inefficient for us and so we decided to built our own solution to manage submissions around four years ago. By giving curators, editors and gallerists access to our solution, we found out that our approach could actually solve real problems for both photographers and organizations working with images. This  was then the birth of Picter.com.

Picter connects photographers and organizations in a new way. Organizations can host their call for entries with Picter. They can review work online, evaluate submissions together in a team and track their entries. Photographers upload their projects, choose from a list of open calls and submit their work with a few clicks. There are several problems our approach tackles: so far, photographers have to do the same repetitive tasks of resizing, sending from A to B and so forth  over and over again, which creates an unmanageable and uncontrollable amount of duplicates of the same projects. Organizations on the other hand receive gigabites of these duplicates and have them sitting on their hard drives or FTPs. Both struggle with tasks of managing files.

Our approach with Picter is to bring an end to these highly time-consuming parts of image data logistics. With Picter, images are securely stored and the creator or owner of the files only gives access to them. An organization who was granted access now can easily review, evaluate and sort the entries, remotely, as a team. In case needed, they can request high-res files through Picter. In this process, no duplicate has been created, so for everyone using Picter the currently existing overhead related to working with imagefiles is already way smoother, everyone saves a huge amount of time that is often spent on these repetitive tasks and gains more control about their process. Sounds great, right?

So, right now we’re concentrating on improving submission management with Picter. However, we believe that with our technology we can solve many more problems photographers are currently facing. We are in constant exchange with organizations and photographers who use Picter and currently we are integrating the feedback we gathered throughout the first year since Picter went live. We have ideas about the challenges the industry faces in their daily work life but the only way to confirm these ideas is to talk to people. The next step is to build solutions to overcome those challenges!

Last week, we celebrated our first anniversary with our partners from Aperture Foundation, Triennial of Photography Hamburg, and Paris Photo. Thanks to everyone who came – here’s to many more exciting years to come and to many hours saved that are still spent on inefficient and repetitive tasks!

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Nice to meet you!

Hi,

My name is Simon and I am this month’s guest blogger at Hatje Cantz. Photography is a big part of my life. Thanks to the projects ‘Der Greif’ and Picter.com that I’m involved in, I am constantly in exchange with photographers, artists, galleries, curators, collectors and enthusiasts. I really appreciate that I can work with all these inspiring people and that I get to see so much great art work from photographers all over the planet. On a higher level, I care a lot about the implications photography has on societies; especially since we live in a time, where images are omnipresent, while making sense of these images or their implications becomes more and more difficult.

I guess you could say that the impact of digitalization on photography is a common theme in the past 10 years since I founded ‘Der Greif’. Digitalization affects all aspects of society and culture in one way or another. New questions, challenges, but also a lot of opportunities keep coming up continuously in our days. Regarding photography, these are questions like: How do we create reality with photographic images – or do we even have to? What does the term »reality« mean in times where more and more photographic images are computer-generated? How can we find ways to reasonably evaluate what we see? How can we control the use of images in the age of hypermedia?

I’m convinced that we are in the middle of a big shift that we still have to fully grasp, as we try to understand its implications upon us as individuals and also upon society as a whole. But I am also willing to see digitalization as a process that needs to be formed – and hopefully this formation is taking shape more from within the industry than from outside. With my projects I try to do that on different levels.

For my next blog posts, I plan to talk more about the idea behind the art project ‘Der Greif’ and Picter.com, where I’ll present to you some recent work we did with ‘Der Greif’ and start a general discussion about the role of the image in the age of hypermedia. By the way, this is also the subject of the upcoming Lishui Photography Festival in China and the title of a presentation I’m giving there next week.

I hope I caught your interest and curiosity, and I look forward to returning soon for my next blog post!

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