For her curatorial project Hotel Palenque, Elise Lammer invites artists to create just one piece of work that gets displayed for just one night in a certain location. There are two further criteria the guest artists must adhere to: the work has to take the form of a standard A0 print, and the artist has to destroy all the digital files that went into the piece’s production before it’s put on display.
The piece, Process Watch, was made and exhibited on June 27 in London. Novitskova’s poster is comprised entirely of mundane data from that day—stock quotes, exchange rates, weather updates and more, captured in screenshots and then reassembled piecemeal in Photoshop.
But the seemingly straightforward piece raises some interesting questions about experience and reality in the internet age. The largely black and white screenshots do give us exchange rates and weather forecasts for a particular moment in time, but do they really tell us what the world was like on June 27, 2012? Surely not in the same way a collage of candid snapshots would. The poster shows us that it was 30°C in Houston, TX, but wouldn’t a sun-kissed photograph of a Houston city block show us so much more? Sure. But then again, for all those people who spend their days staring at their computer displays, the screenshots in Novitskova’s piece are exactly what June 27 was like—boring, pixelated, and not sun-kissed in the least.