Studer / van den Berg
filter: four letter words
Monica Studer and Christoph van den Berg are among Switzerland’s pioneers of media art; they have been addressing the artistic possibilities of this new platform since the mid-1990s. The three so-called filter works, which were created between 1996 and 1998, can be seen today as historical snapshots. According to the artists themselves, they "deal with the then totally new artistic instrument of hypertext at the level of pictorial translations."
The first work, filter: four letter words, is a reference to children’s games in which one letter of a word is exchanged, resulting in a different word and association. The hypertext structure of the World Wide Web makes it possible to implement this principle using simple algorithms. After a swift search, the algorithm generates more and more combinations.
In a playful way, the work refers to the aimless surfing of the Internet and connects the new technological possibilities, which were still in their infancy at the time, with widespread practices in children’s games.
(Text: Sabine Himmelsbach)