Daniel Keller

Composite Career Captcha (Mindividual), 2015

aluminium, CNC milled maplewood, hi-macs acrylic, multicolour 3D printed sandstone, steel, translucent acrylic

70 × 120 cm


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Additional Information

Accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

photo credit: def image, Berlin

Artwork
Description

Captcha (mindividual) is a unique work by the artist and is formed of a mixture of materials such as maplewood, aluminium and multicolour 3d printed sandstone. The choice of materials is typical of Keller’s work: blending natural with synthetic elements creating juxtapositions. This attempt at synthesis between the natural and the unnatural world compels the viewer to consider the interplay between ecology and technology and to probe the boundaries that exist between them.

In this work Keller revisits an idea he has explored in several previous works: the CAPTCHA (an acronym for ‘Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart’). Although the term itself is not commonly known, viewers of Keller’s work will undoubtedly be familiar with the test itself which usually involves the user being asked to type out the letters they see in a picture of a distorted text. The test then determines whether or not the user is human depending on their ability to discern letters in a warped image.

Keller takes the concept of the CAPTCHA and employs it his own tool with which to examine the distinctions between man and machine. The artist uses the word ‘Mindividual’, blown up and distorted with a line running through it to resist immediate comprehension. The word ‘mindividual’ itself does not exist and so Keller challenges our perceived notions of understanding and control. Keller’s work is deliberately incompressible.  Unable to understand the CAPTCHA, the viewer is left with the troubling sensation that they are unable to prove their own humanity.

Crucial to Keller’s work is the notion of the ‘prosumer’, a term coined by Alvin Toffer who posited the increasing similarities between the motivations and roles of the producer and the consumer. Keller’s art draws upon the idea of the ‘prosumer’ artist. The artist himself was born in the late 80’s and so grew up alongside the internet. As a life without the internet becomes increasingly unimaginable Captcha (mindividual) exposes the tensions and connections that exist between ecology and technology.

About
the artist

Daniel Keller (b. 1986), was born in Detroit and  lives and works in Berlin. In 2012 he became Director of Absolute Vitality Inc, a Wyoming based corporation-sculpture co-owned by the artist and a group of private collectors. He co-organized TEDxVaduz with Simon Denny, which was held at the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein in December 2013.

The subject of Daniel Keller’s work resonates from an amalgamation of travel, polarised global societies and technological change. His works engage with issues at the intersection of economics, technology, culture and collaboration. Keller merges and melds these concerns to comment on contemporary culture and ecological/environmental affairs. Moreover, Keller’s works frequently refer to architectural elements and materials; with his ongoing investigation into the urban manmade environment he creates a visual commentary on our constructed surroundings.

A large part of Keller’s practice negotiates between the local and global dimensions of ecology and economies. He plays with the role of the "prosumer", a term coined by Alvin Toffler in the early 1970s, in which the progression of new technologies predicted an increasing crossover between the roles of the producer and the consumer. The artist’s current focus of research is on speculative notions of progress, technological disruption and reaction from the perspective of a post-studio "prosumer" artist operating within the global networked economy.

Keller imitates forms and materials taken from nature to bring out the tension between urban planning and an organic spatial landscape. He uses materials such as concrete, resin, rocks and wood to magnify his message. At the same time, Keller makes mixed media and often web-related works creating immersive physical/digital spaces. As a result, the artist's oeuvre asks the audience to rationally question the synthesis of organic materials into the technological. His works offer critical awareness and urge the public, in a subtle way, to form opinions about various environmental and technological issues.

Keller, alongside the artist Nik Kosmas form a collective called AIDS-3D which explores techno-utopianism along with other popular notions of progress. Recent projects have included the series Ideal Work (Creative Solutions) (2010–2011), multi-coloured solar panels styled after Mondrian canvases and OMG Obelisk (2007).


The subject of Daniel Keller’s work resonates from an amalgamation of travel, polarised global societies and technological change. His works engage with issues at the intersection of economics, technology, culture and collaboration. Keller merges and melds these concerns to comment on contemporary culture and ecological/environmental affairs.

He uses materials such as concrete, resin, rocks and wood to magnify his message. At the same time, Keller makes mixed media and often web-related works creating immersive physical/digital spaces. As a result, the artist’s oeuvre asks the audience to rationally question the synthesis of organic materials into the technological.


Daniel Keller
on Artuner

Part of the
exhibition