NEU NOW ONLINE 2016 Amsterdam
Title: Code Talk
Institution: University of Applied Arts Vienna, Austria
Kathrin Stumreich lives in Vienna and she is an interdiscplinary artist.
Graduated with high honours at University of Applied Arts Vienna, Prof. Ruth Schnell, Digital Arts. Studied at Royal Academy for Fine Arts, Fashion Department, Antwerp, BE and University Vienna Departments Philosophy and Ethnology, Vienna.
Graduated at College for Fashion and Design Michelbeuern, Vienna, Austria.
New media installation Code Talk consists of a video sequence with an audio-track that can be heard over a self-made surveillance device which consists of two laser tech-sculptures and a mini screen behind window glass. The video shows the last survivor of the twenty nine people who developed the Navajo Code. Based on the tribal language of the Navajos, this code was commissioned by the U.S. military to be deployed in the South Pacific during World War II. The protagonist Chester Nez in Code Talk is a Navajo Indian who worked on the development of the language, pronouncing the letters A to Z in Navajo Code. Taking national security as a central theme, this installation shows different perspectives positioning them closely next to each other.
"In my work, visual and sound elements are important to create an environment which gives the visitor opportunity to experience art with something I would call integrated digital device ecologies. With this, the artwork becomes a challenging environment for the visitor to see various narrations of the ideas.
The encryption method which my work is based on was used in World War II and that was derived from the language of the North American indigenous Navajo tribe. This is the contextual and visual reference point from which the laser apparatus insistently illustrates the intrusive potential. It also shows the uncanny omnipresence of technological devices that were developed for transmuting archiving and further use of any kind of communication."