For more than 16 years, Jens Sundheim has been following public webcams: cameras installed in public or private spaces that automatically record images and spread them on the internet. He researches where the cameras are located, travels to that specific location, and then stands in view of the webcam so an assistant back home can capture the live feed. To date, Sundheim has interacted with more than 650 webcams in 18 countries, including New York, Moscow, London, Las Vegas and Singapore. As “The Traveler” he stares back, wearing the same clothes and pose, so he is easily recognizable from place to place.
This is a powerful project which asks countless questions including: Who sets up these automated cameras and why? What do they show? Are people aware of them? Who needs these images? Who looks at them? Does the presence of a camera alter a site? What constitutes a photographic image in terms of content, authorship or quality?
“The Traveler” examines the global proliferation of images that ranges from irrelevance, amusement, information and surveillance. Whether being photographed at the legendary coffee machine where the world’s first webcam was pointed, the European Space Agency main control room, a huge cactus observed by four cameras, or the inside of a New York police station (where he was arrested for strange behavior), or numerous street corners and backyards, Sundheim acts as a willing participant in today's Orwellian atmosphere, raising questions about surveillance and its use.
"The Traveler" is a collaboration with Bernhard Reuss.
Jens Sundheim, born 1970 in Germany, studied Information Science, then Photography in Dortmund and Exeter, England. He attended the master course Arno Fischer at Ostkreuzschule Berlin in 2010 and received his MA Photography at HAW Hamburg in 2013. Sundheim's work has been shown at festivals and exhibitions worldwide including The New York Public Library, Rencontres d'Arles Photographie Festival, Triennale der Photographie Hamburg, Fotomuseum Antwerp, Tokyo Museum of Photography, NCCA Moscow and apexart New York.
For his work Sundheim received several awards including grants by Goethe-Institut Moscow and the European Union, and recently a scholarship for an artist residency in Gotland, Sweden.
Bernhard Reuss, born 1966 in Germany, studied photography at the Fachhochschule Dortmund, Germany. A former board member of the BBK Wiesbaden artist association, he is now engaged in an exhibition space for contemporary art in Wiesbaden, Germany.
His works have been shown in exhibitions all over the world, including The New York Public Library, Museum Centre Vaprikki in Tampere, Finland, Rencontres d'Arles Photographie Festival, Fotomuseum Antwerp, Belgium, Tokyo Museum of Photography, Museum Centre Vaprikki in Tampere, Finland, apexart New York, Ruhr Museum Essen, Germany, M.K. Ciurliones Art Museum in Kaunas, Lithuania, and transmediale festival, Berlin.
All images are available as 28 x 36" (widths vary) chromogenic prints made in editions of 4 + 2 APs for $1400. The video is also available for purchase.
Please call: (312) 266-2350 for prices of specific pieces. Prices are print only unless otherwise indicated.
Jens Sundheim, Install Image 1, 2018
From the The Traveller series
Jens Sundheim, Install Image 2, 2018 (10 min excerpt)