Isabelle Jenniches –artist statement

         My fascination with live cameras on the Internet – webcams – began 15 years ago. During this time I’ve seen a nascent technology evolve from it’s grainy origins to a ubiquitous phenomenon with high-resolution imagery. I’ve used webcams in theater, online performances and photographic series. In 2003 I started to create monumental composite images, drawing upon my ongoing collections of webcam stills.

         My work method involves appropriating public webcams that are typically set up to monitor construction sites or to show tourist attractions. Many miles away from the actual location yet connected via the Internet, I direct these robotic cameras to scan the field of view bit by bit. Over the course of several months or even years, I capture thousands of images, and meticulously stitch them together into a panorama of great complexity and detail.

         This process of assembly uses a visual grammar borrowed from cinema, such as repetition, montage and manipulation of time. The resulting composition becomes a dynamic map of a location’s ecosystem, its socio-economic state and industrial processes. It reveals the passage of time and develops its own narrative logic, offering a fictive yet hyper-realistic portrait of a place. Changing seasons, light and shadows, diurnal rhythms, all are compressed into one composite scene.

         The final product is a seamless digital Lightjet print. Idiosyncracies inherent in the specific camera – viewing restrictions or even discontinuation of service – dictate the pictures’ often eccentric shapes.