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Florian Meisenberg | Battery Life 

November 20 ‒ December 22, 2015

Planthouse is pleased to present battery life, a solo exhibition with New York-based German artist Florian Meisenberg. Meisenberg works with painting, printmaking, video and installation, and for battery life he revisits the world of programming to further his research. He invites the spectator to act as the organic agent in manipulating and interpreting the installed environment. Using built and designed technological products, Meisenberg explores the voodoo of progress and the contemporary relationship between the digital and the human through an examination of artificial intelligence, product design, and manufactured intimacy.

The elements of battery life participate in an improvised conversation. Two ‘Siris’—Apple’s resident disembodied tour guide—are engaged in a constant dialogue with each other, triggered by analog manipulation. Meisenberg worked with artist and programmer Tommy Martinez to render a physical hack that would make the impermeable Apple Ipad software ‘communicative’. The requests and comments further contributed by visitors to the gallery will continue to trap the pair of anthropomorphized digital voices in an endless loop of information, penetrating the sleek, fetishized interface to discover something beyond its soulless facade. Meisenberg reinforces the power of organic interference with several waterfall structures, which recycle streams of water over embedded digital images. The water assumes a mythological power of purification, with potential to liberate or destroy the printed icons. Throughout the space, puddles of yogurt-like substance cradle a collection of batteries, rendering them inert even while the material decomposes and vanishes. Both object and matter are implicated in an indefinite cycle of distortion, constrained from any real catharsis.

battery life is an investigation into the resolve of design without human consciousness. Using food, sculpture, printed material, and blunt technological objects removed from their obsessive personal context, battery life prods at the tension between the digital and the organic engaged in an improvisational experiment.

Florian Meisenberg (b. Berlin, Germany, 1980) is an artist living and working New York. Florian studied with Peter Doig at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and was a resident at Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. His work investigates the status of technology, humanity and art making with a strong sense of self-reflexive levity.

His work has appeared in a number of solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States, Europe and South America, including Simone Subal Gallery in New York, NY; Kate MacGarry Gallery, London, UK; Wentrup Gallery, Berlin, Germany; Mendes Wood DM, Sao Paulo, Brazil; KW - Kunstwerke, Berlin, Germany; Ludwig Forum, Aachen, Germany; Kasseler Kunstverein, Museum Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany; Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westphalen, Düsseldorf, Germany; Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Germany; Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, Germany; Boros Collection, Berlin, Germany; and Kunstpalais Erlangen, Erlangen.

Upcoming projects include Our Hidden Futures with Anna K.E. at Art Basel Film, Art Basel Miami Beach; ICH - Neue Formen des Selbstportraits, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany, curated by Martina Weinhart; Salon Kennedy, with Anna K.E., Frankfurt, Germany; Murias Centeno, Lisbon, Portugal; Nuit Blanche Monaco, with Anna K.E., curated by Joerg Heiser, Monaco; Late Checkout II, with Anna K.E., Signal, Brooklyn, NY; and in 2017 at the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo, curated by Milena Hoegsberg & Alex Klein.

Equipment for battery life provided in part by Harvestworks. Many thanks to Simone Subal.

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