Lola Läufer

The mechanical Stain Interferences in contemporary Image Techniques


The fundamental aim of printing and reproduction processes is to create precise and accurate copies; the focus of my thesis is to spotlight artistic approaches that deliberately trigger or harness unpredictable results when applied to digital imaging techniques. I consider contemporary works which rely on a process of creation and image transfer which leverages intended error generation, thereby rendering its uniqueness impossible to recreate.

In handing the execution to any mechanical device, the artist transfers authorship at least in part to the machine. Creative control and mechanical action co-exist at this point. While the artist relinquishes conceptual execution to the machine, he nonetheless still remains vital as originator.

The artist can invoke malfunction, by intentionally using a technique in a manner contrary to its intended purpose. Irregularities arising from this are highlighted against the regularity of the mechanical structure in normal use. This creative misuse incorporates both deliberate intent and uncertainty of outcome. The artist indeed is in control of the starting point but not the eventual result. While he certainly intends the derailment of normal process by introducing a “fault”, he is unable to predict what

actually happens as a consequence. By means of this interference, the artist is able to play with disrupting mechanical alignment and against the uniform flow of the devices. Stains, gaps and misalignments increase the artistic and pictorial dimensions of the piece.

While deliberately avoiding certain interferences and harnessing others, the artist takes aesthetic decisions within the mechanical process. Artistic ability and technical potential exist in cooperation. The work presents its own dynamic within an open process of manipulation, strategy, contingency and implementation. The artistic piece reflects its own genesis to the observer, while disruptive interference account for its immediacy, and thereby its transparency indicates the specific materiality.

Although art aims to make things visible, here it is achieved by means of triggering dysfunction and incoherence, by visualising the intrinsic characteristics and weaknesses of the machine, and these manifest themselves as surprisingly formal-aesthetic details within the work.


  • Prof. Dr. Christian Janecke 
  • Prof. Heiner Blum
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