Virtual wastelands

35mm photographs 100cm x 56,3cm via Flight Simulator 2020, XBOX Series X, 4k screen

2022

A series of analog 35mm photographs of virtual wastelands that disappear in reality, yet still exist in the hyper-reality of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. All city images are shot inside my home on a Xbox Series X, pixels become film grain and suddenly everything seems much more real, at least at first glance.

The project is supported with a stipend by NEUSTART KULTUR

35mm photograph, Flight Simulator 2020, Xbox Series X, 4K screen
100cm x 56,3cm

35mm photograph, Flight Simulator 2020, Xbox Series X, 4K screen
100cm x 56,3cm

35mm photograph, Flight Simulator 2020, Xbox Series X, 4K screen
100cm x 56,3cm

„virtual wastelands” (working title) is about changes in urban space, it uses very current gaming technology in order to highlight those. For a few years I have been documenting the last remaining wastelands of Berlin that have strongly influenced my image of Berlin as a child and teenager and are, in my opinion, important places free of any concepts of use and architectural planning. Due to their radical otherness, the wasteland has philosophical significance for urban living and thinking. Today, these empty spaces have almost completely disappeared from the inner city and the city is becoming more hermetic by the day. In the absence of real wastelands, I have meanwhile begun to look for wastelands in virtual worlds as well. Microsoft’s Flight Simulator 2020, which I play on the latest XBOX console, uses photogrammetry to create amazingly realistic cities. The inner city of Berlin is also included and since the underlying satellite images are from around 2008, this old version of Berlin still contains wastelands that I could no longer film in real life. With a virtual camera I now fly through this Berlin of 2008 from the comfort of my home and photograph the virtual wastelands there. In a further step I use an analog camera and photograph my motives off a high-resolution 4K screen. Through this transfer to analog, the images seem even more real and only on closer inspection does it become clear that this world is not quite as real as it seems. This loss of the real also affects the wasteland in parallel, whose mere virtual existence ultimately laments its real loss even more. The progressive commercialization of cities and virtual spaces has partly destroyed these free spaces forever. (The project can also be shown in combination with my project “nome/home” which is about urban change and uses videogame technology)