Michael Dettmer’s photography
WHILE at the Geoff May Studio, Limassol, observing a group exhibition called Cinema #1, I met Michael
Dettner, who has since given excellent information on his photographs which were on display.
Since graduating from the
Steiner School (Waldorfschule) in Krefeld, Germany, Michael started to work in various photography studios in Cologne.
went to the UK in 2001, where he spent a year doing media studies, still focusing on photography.
At the Arts Institute
in Bournemouth and London, he studied Interactive Media and started to use a variety of media.
Besides his studies,
he worked as a freelance designer in web and graphic design, video and photography.
For his post-graduate studies he chose
to come to Cyprus to study Fine Art at the Cyprus College of Art to be influenced by a completely different place compared
He finds that design and art equally create powerful messages and he was (and still is) interested in how traditional
artists see the world around them and process that information in a sculpture or a painting.
He has come from a technological
generation that grew up with personal computers that shaped his view of the world fundamentally.
The danger that
occurs in working with one medium, in his view, is that messages and information are conformed through that particular medium.
Marshall McLuhan famously stated: The medium is the massage" (not message as is often misinterpreted) which summarises
his concern about which medium to choose when producing art work.
With the introduction of graphic design, a new visual
language with its codes and connotations developed, created to be understood by everyone. A popular visual culture, a language
with repeating rules.
He chose to come to Cyprus to work with artists from a non-technological background to use this
information and to learn to create work that does not conform to the medium.
He says: "We live in a modern age, where
we have more media than ever to choose from, by combining them in modern ways we can create something new, break the rules
of a single medium and define new visual languages.
"Art for me is the process of interaction with the spectator,
whether it is a painting, a website or an installation. Every medium has the ability to change peoples thought, behaviour,
attitude - life."
Dettmer’s current photography is focusing on the aspect of the Cyprus problem, not politically
but rather through humanity.
He says we have seen political solutions for Cyprus that failed and probably more will fail
in the future. The Manifesta grotesquely failed, because it changed into a political happening. Therefore, Dettmer says, his
photographs portray children from the north because they haven’t heard of the Annan Plan or the Cyprus referendum.
are innocent, vulnerable and pure. Politics hasn’t reached their consciousness, yet.
The children in his pictures
do not want to be disliked by anyone, they are born in a place that is their home in this world. For them it wouldn’t
make a difference where you are from because they haven’t been taught to dislike the people on the other side.
Dettmer then says: "We adults, who are looking at these pictures, need to fundamentally stop thinking in our abstract ways
and focus more on our humanity and love towards others. Life is evolution and art is the love of bringing messages into peoples
Michael Dettner’s photographs were on show at the Geoff May Studios in Limassol and will move to Dinos Art
cafE, Limassol in April and will be on display for six weeks
His design work can be found on www.interaktivemedia.com and his art work on www.artcyprus.com (Cinema # 1Artist Collective) or his personal website www.michaeldettmer.com.
He is a Lecturer in Interactive Arts at the Limassol Studios (Cyprus College of Art)
Student debunks professor's method
for identifying Pollock's paintings
Finding a Jackson Pollock
painting is the art world's equivalent of a winning lottery ticket.
But proving a Pollock painting's authenticity isn't
easy, which is why physicist Richard Taylor's theory that the famed artist's work can be identified using fractals has stirred
such interest and controversy.
Now, a graduate student is debunking Taylor's analysis, saying she can make a crude drawing
in a matter of minutes that has all the fractal qualities of a Pollock masterpiece.
Fractals are complex geometric patterns
with a self-similar structure - they look the same if magnified. A snowflake and a coastline viewed from above are examples
of naturally occurring fractals.
"I firmly believe his analysis is seriously flawed," said Kate Jones-Smith, a third-year
doctoral student in physics at Case Western Reserve University.
Pollock's drip and pour technique has been
both praised and ridiculed, but there's no debating the monetary value of his work with his "No 5, 1948" selling for a reported
$140m last month.
Pollock paintings seem to be popping up all the time and even those that haven't been authenticated have
fetched large sums. A man bid $53,000 in October for a painting that was possibly done by the abstract artist, who died
in a car crash in 1956.
When Jones-Smith read that Taylor's method of fractal analysis was being used to discredit paintings
discovered by Alex Matter, son of Pollock's friend, photographer Herbert Matter, she decided to take a closer look.
really became relevant to tell people that it didn't hold up under mathematical scrutiny," she said.
Alex Matter found
the paintings in 2002 in a storage unit belonging to his late father. The discovery was made public last year by Matter and
the Pollock-Krasner Foundation.
Although Taylor determined the works weren't Pollock's, Ellen Landau, professor of art
history at Case Western Reserve University, believes they're authentic. The issue is still being debated.
Taylor, a University
of Oregon associate professor, first applied fractal geometry to Pollock's paintings in a report commissioned by the Pollock-Krasner
Foundation in 1999. He determined that Pollock understood the complex patterns in nature and applied them to his work, something
that would be impossible for another artist to copy.
Taylor, who is working in New Zealand and did not respond to an e-mail
seeking comment, told The Associated Press in February that fractal analysis is effective at spotting imitators. He also has
cautioned that his analysis shouldn't be the sole factor in deciding authenticity.
Jones-Smith and Case physics
professor Harsh Mathur go a step further though in a critique that appeared in November issue of Nature.
They say Taylor's
analysis shouldn't be used at all because Pollock's paintings are too small to be considered fractal - the smallest paint
drips are only a thousand times smaller than the canvas.
To prove her point, Jones-Smith made a drawing of stars that she
said is just as fractal as a Pollock painting.
"The drawing is incredibly childish and simple," Mathur said.
been telling people is that (Taylor's) either wrong about the criteria or that Kate's drawing is worth millions of dollars."
Taylor wrote a reply in Nature saying that if Jones-Smith and Mathur dismiss Pollock's fractals, they would also nullify other
investigations of physical fractals.
The Pollock-Krasner Foundation believes that fractal analysis is one of many tools
that should be used to investigate the authenticity of a Pollock work, said Kerrie Buitrago, executive vice president in an
Landau, who disagreed with Taylor about the authenticity of the paintings found by Alex Matter, said only
of Jones-Smith and Mathur's critique, "I found the article informative and interesting." Boston College physicist Andrzej
Herczynski, who is planning his own fractal analysis of Pollock's paintings, views Jones-Smith and Mathur's critique as a
He agrees with them on a scientific level that some researchers are applying fractals too
liberally. He's also sceptical of Taylor's analysis.
"He is wildly over-enthusiastic about being able to use fractal analysis
to authenticate Pollock," he said.
But he isn't ready to throw the idea out either.
"At best, it's one of many ingredients
that need to be considered along with material analysis, provenance and the appearance of the work," Herczynski said.
Jones-Smith, she said artistically it doesn't matter if Pollock's works are fractal or not. While she once stared blankly
at his paintings, she has developed an appreciation for his colourful layers of swirls and splotches.
"I'm much more of
a Pollock fan now than I was before," Jones-Smith said.
All The World’s
AND so it is.
This year, Castelliotissa hall, which has seen some drama in its time, has been upstaged by Stin Bouka,
an exhibition of stage scenery and costumes and posters presented by Thoc, Satirico, Theatro Ena,
Ethal and Theatro Scala.
Hurry, it closes on Friday.