For the work Allebildergenerator, the Basel artist Philipp Madörin, who originally worked in the field of medical-diagnostic imagery, developed an algorithm that can generate all the images that can be made on a b/w monitor with 480 x 360 pixels. Altogether, there are 2480 x 360 such combination possibilities – a number whose 52'018 digits extend beyond the printout on the wall beside the monitor. Madörin’s work shows the digital world as a universal, time-transcending archive of images and human memory, which already includes every imaginable picture of past, present and future in all possible combinations.
As early as 1941, Jorge Luis Borges gave expression to this idea in his short story The Library of Babel, in which he described an immeasurable library, a universal, textual memory of mankind, which already contained every possible combination of letters with every possible typing error in every language. Madörin’s experiment shares with Borges the dissolution of the idea of the artist as author; instead, the artist is one among others who flesh out constellations from an infinite virtual pool of already-existing possibilities.
(Text: Bettina Back)