Esther Hunziker, Frequency, 2008, screenshot

Esther Hunziker, Frequency

Year: 2008
Type: Video
Media Format: DVD, color, sound
Duration: 3' loop
Dimension: Variable
Edition: 10 + 1 AP + 1 exhibition copy

Permanent loan from the Digital Art Collection, Basel (Annette Schindler and Reinhard Storz), 2017. Inv. No. S0034.

Artwork Link:
Artist Website:

Esther Hunziker, Frequency, 2008, screenshot
Esther Hunziker, Frequency, 2008, screenshot
Esther Hunziker, Frequency, 2008, screenshot
Esther Hunziker, Frequency, 2008, screenshot

In her video Frequency, Esther Hunziker compressed the found footage of a live concert so often that the band’s motions break down into constantly changing color fields. The fitting "electrospherical" soundtrack, as the artist herself aptly names it, consists of overlapping radio frequencies.

The work can be read as an opulent example of the age-old paragon of genres, which took place in the Renaissance between painting and sculpture, generating numerous wonderful works of art. Here one can see the competition between the individual image and the moving picture, with the help of a modern artistic strategy: the deliberate inclusion of weaknesses in media, in this case technical weaknesses, to create an aesthetic that is estranged from the original media, which in turn appropriates the strengths of other media. As in this case, the power of color is reminiscent of a Gerhard Richter painting or one of Thomas Ruff’s large-format, digital photos. It replaces linear narration with an extraordinary new kind of color composition that – as it morphs – appears to be stronger than the static of a single, fixed image.

(Text: Bettina Back)

Artist Bio

Esther Hunziker (*1969), lives and works in Basel.

Esther Hunziker is a Swiss freelance artist and lecturer on digital media. She works as a media designer with a focus on web design. Before studying art, she learned the trade of dressmaking and studied fashion design in Basel. Afterwards, she established her own fashion brand, worked as a screen designer, experimented with analog video-editing technology and created her first interactive narrative forms in the digital network. The artist’s creations are often based on surveillance technologies, objets trouvés, architectural photos, deconstructions or montages. They address the clash between apparent realities and real illusory worlds.