Adaptive Images. Technology and Aesthetics of Situational Imaging


With the advent of recent technological developments, digital images are increasingly being integrated into portable, sensor-controlled and augmented visualization systems operating as a function of their environment. While virtual or augmented reality applications have become firmly established in the consumer field, they also promise to yield wide-ranging applications in professional contexts, for instance in industrial production.

In fields such as medical practice, however, the far-reaching implications of this veritable arsenal of technological devices are also becoming clear. Operations are now supported via automated real-time visualizations to the extent that digital images have replaced real bodies as the primary objects of reference. The body itself is restrained by means of hybrid, multimedia and multimodal image apparatuses that are continually being extended through interfaces, mechatronic and logistical elements.

This constant space-time interplay of visualizations, objects and actions affords new opportunities for diagnosis and treatment, yet also poses challenges in relation to the perception, interpretation and design of images that are increasingly guiding actions and even life-and-death decisions as algorithms anticipate decisions and restrict actions. If adaptive images can only be experienced individually, their purported proximity to reality means they cannot be grasped in a specific sense.

This shift from digital to adaptive images forms the project’s central focus. Based on application-related case studies, the project will explore the particular aesthetic, technical and operational facets of adaptive imaging and the associated representational problems. This study will not only make a fundamental contribution to the concept and critique of the image but also to the better understanding of the overall mechanism of digital imaging that lies at the very heart of the Priority Program (SPP).




Prof. Dr. Matthias Bruhn, Professor of Art Research and Media Philosophy at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design

Prof. Dr. Kathrin Friedrich, Institut für Sprach-, Medien- und Musikwissenschaft Universität Bonn

Dr. Moritz Queisner, Research Associate, Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design

Lydia Kähny, wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter, Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe