Magdalena Kreinecker’s artistic practice unfolds as a sensual choreography of manipulations and breaks, abstractions and coincidences. Using a combination of various printmaking techniques that alternate between the analog and the digital, Kreinecker transports a centuries-old art form into the post-digital present. In so doing, she creates urgent, poetic spaces of possibility that assert themselves against the algorithmic homogenization of our physical realities.
In a world that is increasingly managed by binary codes, Kreinecker describes her works as a search for “emotional in-between spaces”. These take the form of a metonymic rush of associations, a referential shimmer that continually eludes any final assessment of meaning or digital codifiability. Kreinecker explores techniques such as etching, screen printing and linocut for their special properties, transforming the results into abstract mixed forms. With every process of translation from one medium to the next, information from the original image motif is lost and, as a result, new, speculative dimensions of ambiguity open up.
This poetic approach to materiality allows Kreinecker‘s appropriation of chance to become political, as seen clearly in the moirée effects employed in her new series, I Have Learned The Answer Several Times (2021), shown at Viadukt. Created by the repeated overlapping of image content with different layers of color, diffuse white dots and surfaces that imply movement resemble image noise or digital glitches, hinting at technological failure.
Such effects, which in works like Print 018 (Parrot Picture) (2019) manifest themselves as digital collages, embody a further essential aspect of Kreinecker’s concern with interstitial space. Like any other medium, she manipulates and alienates the digital, making its inherent polarizing logics impossible. Using images she sources from the Internet as original motifs, often found via social media algorithms, Kreinecker employs both digital and manual techniques including screen printing as a processing tool. Here, one feels reminded of Rosemarie Trockel, who, in the 1980s (thus, before any commercial use of the Internet), used an interweaving of digital and analog methods for her knitted ‘wool pictures‘. Through meticulous planning of the image on the computer and the machine weaving of her work, Trockel consciously criticized the feminization of domestic textile work, ascribing an emancipatory potential to technology. However, in the contemporary context of surveillance capitalism – whose main instrument is digital technology, Kreinecker questions this potential and chooses instead to play with the limitations of the digital: the processed motif on the screen will always look different as a print, as manual printing processes always create unforeseen, uncontrollable deviations and distortions. Working in this way, Kreinecker undermines the hegemony of the digital through printmaking, exploring its inevitable contingencies to the analog.
With her deliberate transgression of media boundaries and her curiosity for generative new compositions, Kreinecker claims testing, manipulation and perhaps even failure as performative acts of self-assertion at a time when technology companies attempt to render coincidences, surprises and the resulting poetic gaps impossible through the targeted control of our activities. Her approach positions Kreinecker not only as an important printmaker and artist, but above all as an advocate of a self-determined future.
By Frederike Sperling