Have you met... Kim Asendorf

Kim Asendorf
Text by Francesca de Cesare, pictures by Kim Asendorf

This November-December issue B-SIDE, "Mountain Tour, 462463-2", is the work of Kim Asendorf ,an artist with a great passion for conceptual art, as he once said,using the internet as his playground. Asendorf currently lives in Berlin and his works have been shown in festivals like transmediale or fairs like Moving Image Contemporary Art Fair (London), to name but just a few. You can also see one of his works tonight at DAM Gallery with the opening of the exhibition DRKRM (do not miss!). We had a chance to catch up with him, read on.

On October 30th the collective exhibition DRKRM opens at DAM gallery and you are one of the invited artists. Could you tell us a bit about your contribution to the exhibition?

Yes, I am showing my favorite GIF from the series on47. It is a pretty conceptual animation series about computational base geometries. The background color is RGB(47,0,0) and the geometries have changing random colors for each frame. You can find the complete series here

A lot of your projects, like ExtraFile, are open source, conceptual interfaces that can keep existing and be used after their creation. Can you tell us a bit more about that software?

The ExtraFile project is about image file formats. It started with the idea to create a personal image format and evolved into a set of 7 file formats. The software itself is just a tool to make these formats virtually real and usable. The work of art are the encode and decode algorithms. Each format has its own strategy to store the image data and some even use very lossy compression algorithms.

In that context what does User Interaction mean for you?

I really like users. For ExtraFile I had the idea to invite some glitch artists for beta testing. File formats are some kind of the limits of the genre glitch, so a set of new formats could eventually expand the scope of the scene. Also it was interesting to see if these formats can have some use at all. Compared to 'professional' formats they suck in many ways.

When does a software you create stop being a potential product and start being a work of art?

Actually I create a lot of software for various clients, some could even be labeled as art, but mostly they have a commercial purpose. Maybe it is simply a decision. An artist creates art.

What is your relationship with the art market and more generally between that and computer art?

It is scary, computers are black boxes and nobody knows anything about the computer art market.

Why do you choose to exhibit internet-based projects in physical spaces like galleries?

Usually that is exactly what I am not doing. My internet-based projects are made for personal computers and will be experienced best at home. I dislike keyboards and mouses in galleries, like videos with headphones.

What are the main issues, positive or negative, related to copyright, creative commons and being authors of artworks based on and spread on internet?

Copyright matters only to very popular works, so stealing is fine if you go under 1 million users. Creative commons material usually suck except for software. However, I am rather interested in user experience, the online chaos and everything else than law and order.

At a time of accelerating technology, constant obsolescence and overstimulation we may be loosing our sense to be surprised by novelty. Can art create opportunities to be surprised by something in this technological era?

Of course, any technological innovation that affects our society and behavior offers an incredible amount of new opportunities for art. I have no doubt that art will forever find inspiration out there. But the most interesting about new technology is that it eventually brings art closer to the people.

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