Digital C-Prints on Alu Dibond, 120 x 90 cm
40 Handwritings

One consequence of the digital revolution and the increasing use of smart devices, which are more and more controlled by speech, is the change in writing motor skills. The cultural technique handwriting disappears more and more from our everyday life. This affects our memory, our way of learning, our haptic perception.

The starting point of Johanna Reichs project “Decrypt“ is a smartphone photography of a blank white sheet of paper. She opened the code of this digital photo and received 40 A4 sheets of digital code. She asked 40 different people to copy one page of code by hand and then read it back into the computer with the help of an optical character recognition. But the Software can not decipher individual handwriting to 100 percent. By the handwriting of 40 different people a modified code was generated. The originally white sheet of paper was transformed through the human hands into coloured gradients and pixels.

At the end of the process the question remains: which is real – really – authenic – right – valid? Maybe even both? Whatever one decides, one thing is for certain, at the moment the human being can push the software to its limits and outsmart the technique – but we don`t know for how long.

Max Ernst Museum Brühl