Front view
Inv. No.S-2278
ArtistRobert Bodnarborn 1980 in Prague, Czech Republic

"self-similar object #1|1"


Photogram, Copper-Photolithography on glass-reinforced epoxy laminate plate [FR4], coated with Electroless Nickel/Palladium/Gold [ENEPIG]

Dimensions25,5 x 25,5 cm

Robert Bodnar - Binary Restrain
Photography and object

"Photography" is one of those phenomena that have become increasingly intangible and incomprehensible in our time. The days when it could be understood as a print on a piece of paper are long gone, photography is now an omnipresent technological principle, a social mode of behaviour and much more.
Robert Bodnar is an artist who constantly misses the boundaries of the photographic. He combines traditional photographic methods, which are as it were handmade, with highly developed digital technologies. Photographic processes are translated into real space by installation. Material, light and perception are the conceptual reference points of Binary Restraint. The pictures and installations playfully refer to the origin of photography in the silver salt crystals of analogue film as well as to the current forms of images as abstract information in the circuit boards of our electronic devices.
Often the discourses on post-digital photography focus on the arbitrariness of electronic images. The flood of images, copy & paste, complex manipulations at the push of a button - the photographic image is often only the starting point for a simulation that can seemingly take on any form. But the images are not as free as we would like to believe. "The Cloud" is not a disembodied meta-level, it is based on a huge industrial infrastructure: Data centres with their own power stations, a global network of copper and fibre optic cables. Robert Bodnar examines not only the algorithms and interfaces, but above all the material substructure of the digital. His photolithographs with their filigree copper lines against a matt black background are produced using the same photochemical processes as the conductor paths on computer circuit boards, which are exposed and developed in mass production in the same way as an analogue photograph.
The colourful checkerboard pattern of Now I can see in colours [CFA|Bayer Classic] is also taken from an ubiquitous electronic component: the so-called Bayer matrix, a system of colour filters over the sensor of a digital camera, with the help of which the light refracted by the camera lens is divided into green, red and blue components and translated into data. The dichroic glass can also be read as a self-similar detail that repeats the leitmotif of the exhibition. Similar to this two-coloured glass, which appears in one colour, its complementary colour or different interferences and reflections, depending on the incidence of light and the angle from which it is viewed, Binary Restraintauch has a conceptual approach. Conceptual pairs - such as human and machine perception, analogue and digital - are not treated as contradictory, but along their overlaps and ambiguities.
Bodnar combines an interest in technology and natural science with a joy of experimentation and passion that makes his work more than just dry analysis. Indeed, in Binary Restrain one encounters a certain opulence in the best sense: there is something to see, the works can be experienced sensually. One only has to approach the etchings of Cloning Toolbox and look at the structures in these pictures to recognize the lifeless, incessant handwriting of the computer - sometimes, the clumsy trace of the mouse pointer. And the bare materiality of copper.
Bodnar develops his own pictorial language, which is fed by the history of photography, psychology of perception and optical technologies. His historical canon ranges from photograms to Photoshop copy stamps. The materiality of digital structures becomes tangible, the possibility of how photographic images manifest themselves is expanded.
(Johan Nane Simonsen, 2019)

S-2278, "self-similar object #1|1"
Robert Bodnar, "self-similar object #1|1", 2018
S-2278, Front view
© Robert Bodnar / Bildrecht, Wien