Timo Kahlen. Experimental Photography

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Timo Kahlen. Phosphorus Photography
(Phosphor- Photographie), 1987 - 2018

Ephemeral, processual, glowing images of light
temporarily caught on a phosphorescent screen.
Photography as a process of transformation:
fragile, phosphorescent images accumulate
in the camera, transform and vanish in time.

Scholarship of the Berlin Senate, 1997. Phosphorus Photographs were presented at the
Hochschule der Kuenste Berlin in 1987 and 1992, at Galerie Voges + Deisen, Frankfurt in 1993 and 1995 /
the Karl-Hofer-Gesellschaft Berlin in 1995 / the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein in 1998.
Public collections: DZ Bank Kunstsammlung, Frankfurt am Main / Sammlung Künstlerförderung Berlin

Timo Kahlen invented Phosphorus Photography & Film in 1987. Work in progress

Timo Kahlen: Sculpting Light.
Experiments in Photography, 1986 - 2018
With texts by Werner Ennokeit, Leon Zwart and Vilém Flusser
English / German, 292 pages / 206 illustrations
Berlin: Edition Ruine der Künste Berlin, 2018

Free download of catalogue (PDF / 58 MB)

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Timo Kahlen. Lichtstaub (Light Dust), 1996

The artist‘s hand throwing dust
into the air / at the camera

"Timo Kahlen". Schwartzsche Villa, Berlin 2001

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Timo Kahlen. Vibration, 1991

Time exposures on paper negatives
from the camera obscura series of works

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Timo Kahlen
Exposure, 2016

Daylight on linoleum floor, scratches and dirt

Edition of digital photographs. Anticipated by analog series of black-and-white
and Phosphorus Photographs, Berlin 1987 - 1994 and Bauhaus Dessau 1991.
"Timo Kahlen: Katharsis", Ruine der Kuenste Berlin, Berlin 2017

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Timo Kahlen
From: punctum (Prometheus), 2017

Series of digital photographs reflecting
phenomena of artificial and day-light,
accumulating and spreading in architectural space

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Timo Kahlen
From: Gefaltetes Licht (Light Folds),
Vienna 2016

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Timo Kahlen
From: Heavy Light (Schweres Licht), 2015

Courtesy FRISE, Hamburg
"Timo Kahlen: FLUID", Ruine der Künste Berlin 2019

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Timo Kahlen
Images of light from a stone camera, 1986 - 1989 :
Himmel (Sky), October / November 1988
Light, fungi and bacteria on photographic paper, 118 x 110 cm
Nominated for "Prize for Young European Photographers" 1989

Series of images of the sky from a stone camera obscura,
exposed for varying lenghts of time (1 day, 1 week, 10 months).
"The camera would only allow the photographic paper
to 'see' the sky. All the information of the sky (stars,
sunlight, clouds, moonlight)  was distilled into these huge
negative-like black squares by day, and white squares by night.
Nothing could be seen in the final prints, but it is all there,
a dense centre of information... Moisture over time affected
the photographs due to the stone pyramid's hidden condensation
and bacteria ate away at both the paper and the image."

Joanna Littlejohns, Guernsey 2001

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Exhibited at the Ruine der Künste Berlin, 1989
at "Prize for Young European Photographers", Frankfurter Kunstverein 1989
and at Pinhole Resource, New Mexico / USA 2014.
In the collection of the artist and Deutsche Leasing AG

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Timo Kahlen. Einbrennen, 1986 - 2000

Image of a window burnt into the curtains
of the artist's darkroom over the period of 15 years.
Sunlight on black cloth / ca. 200 x 270 cm

Exhibited at "Timo Kahlen: Liquid Light", Galerie im Parkhaus, Berlin 2000

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Timo Kahlen
From: Money I've Burnt for Art, 2009 - 2016

The process of burning all receipts and invoices
incurred by producing art in the previous fiscal year;
and seven glass jars of conserved, remaining

ashes of each year

"Timo Kahlen: Katharsis", Ruine der Kuenste Berlin, Berlin 2017

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Pictures: Ashes of the year 2016. "Timo Kahlen: Katharsis", Ruine der Kuenste Berlin, Berlin 2017

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Timo Kahlen. Datenverlust (Loss of Data), 2013

Traces of analog modes
of urban communication.
An exploration of what
when all meaningful information
has been deleted or removed

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Timo Kahlen
Re/post, 2015/16

Bits and pieces, fragments of
information and communication:

"Timo Kahlen: FLUID", Ruine der Kuenste Berlin, Berlin 2019


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Timo Kahlen. Blattlinien (Leaves), 1999 - 2020

Digital scans of leaves,
segmented and marked by insects

Work in progress. First exhibited at
"Timo Kahlen: Staubrauschen", Galerie Pankow, Berlin 2001

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Timo Kahlen. Undo / Delete, 2011

Create & save - or delete, reject, undo.
A reflection on the process

of developing and rejecting new concepts,
new visions and ideas

Also see the related interactive sound art / net art work "Undo/Delete". Or experience "From Scratch",
"Audio Dust", "Signal-To-Noise" and "Carpe Diem"


Flash player is required in your browser to experience the interactive works of net art.
With the end of browser support for Flash on January 1, 2021
the original interactive works above have become media archaeological artefacts.
Although still online, they are now visible and audible only for older browser versions
under Windows and MacOSX. Not visible on Android and iOS (both without Flash compatibility).
As an alternative: watch the audio/video documentary at vimeo.com/441602551

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Timo Kahlen. Matschtreten
(Walking in mud), 2010

Photographic self-portrait of the artist,
walking in mud: leaving and deleting traces
of his presence

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Presented in conjunction with the sound installation
"Breaking Ground" at "Timo Kahlen: Noise & Beauty",
Stiftung Starke, Berlin 2010 and at "Timo Kahlen: Doppelter Boden",
Ruine der Künste Berlin 2015

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Timo Kahlen. Schmelze (Melting), 2011

Walking on thin ice.
Ephemeral, fragile
surfaces of frozen water

Work in progress

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Timo Kahlen. From: Wasserlinie
(Waterline), 2015

Projections of light on a fluid screen

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Timo Kahlen. From : Cohesion
(Kohäsion) series, 2017

Projections into and out of the surface of water

Exhibited at "The Universal Sea - Pure or Plastic ?!" 2018 and
"Timo Kahlen: FLUID", Ruine der Kuenste Berlin, Berlin 2019

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Timo Kahlen
Windphotographien, 1991 - 2020
from: Works with Wind

The series of 'Wind Photographs'
records visual traces of wind moving
through the branches and foliage of trees.
In the long time exposures, defined contours
of organic material dissolve into abstract
representations of a transient motion

See the related series of 'Works with Wind',
Timo Kahlen's site-specific, acoustic and/or kinetic
wind installations and wind sculptures.

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Exhibited in numerous contexts, including Dieci.Due! Gallery Milano 1992, Bonner Kunstverein 1992,
Museo Ken Damy Brescia 1992, Galerie Voges + Deisen, Frankfurt am Main 1993, Luftmuseum Amberg 2010,

Märkisches Museum Witten 2017 and DZ Bank Kunstsammlung, Frankfurt am Main 2017.

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Sammlung Kuenstlerfoerderung Berlin and Collection DZ Bank, Frankfurt am Main etc.
Installation view at "Timo Kahlen: Windwechsel", Luftmuseum Amberg 2010
Work in progress 1991 - 2020

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Timo Kahlen. Projektion (Projection), 1994

Jam jar enclosing the
miniaturized projection of a tree

Galerie Voges + Deisen, Frankfurt am Main, 1994
Stipendiaten der Karl-Hofer-Gesellschaft, Berlin 1994

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Timo Kahlen. Liquid Light, 1989

Tableau of photographs
of an ephemeral, processual
sculpture of light
  (found) beneath a tree

Compare related video works "Liquid Light", 1989 - 1999
"White Noise", 2006 / 2008, and "Rauschabstand", 2012

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Timo Kahlen. Grau (Grey), 2011

The view from my studio.
The frozen windowpane a translucent,
fragile projection screen, both concealing

and unveiling the world outside.
Visibility and invisibility. Plato's cave in mind

Series of conceptual photographs exhibited at
"Timo Kahlen: Doppelter Boden", Ruine der Künste Berlin 2015

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Timo Kahlen
Lichtsaum (Fringe of Light), 2012

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Timo Kahlen.
Cutting Edge, 2006
Projections cut through clusters of dry bushes
suspended from the ceiling

Exhibited at "Timo Kahlen: Earcatcher", Ruine der Kuenste Berlin, Berlin 2006

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Timo Kahlen. Further works from the
punctum (Prometheus) series, 2017
focussing on the accumulation and
diffusion of light in architectural space

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Timo Kahlen

Sound and light installation:
empty slide projectors,
wall projections of dust on lenses
and sound of dust on vinyl LP
filling the room

Exhibited at "Scholars of the Karl-Hofer-Gesellschaft", Berlin 1995

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Timo Kahlen
Blind, 2018

Fake windows, painted on facades.
Traces of erosion.

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Timo Kahlen
Blinder Raum (Blind space), 2000

'Blind', opaque mirrors,
silent gallery space with opaque, 
translucent  window panes

Installation view at "Timo Kahlen : Liquid Light",
Galerie im Parkhaus, Berlin 2000

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Timo Kahlen
the undocumented, 2020

Undocumented moments. The camera lens covered by my hand.

Published at "Undocumented events and object permanence", noemata.net/ueop/
curated by Bjorn Magnhildoen, Norway 2019-2020

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Timo Kahlen
At the End of the Day, 2015

Dying light, recorded at dusk

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Timo Kahlen. Projektion, 2012

Images of translucent
phosphorescent screen exposed to light

in the camera

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Timo Kahlen. From: Construct, 2009

Images of translucent phosphorescent screen
exposed to light in the camera. From a series of
new, digital Phosphorus Photographs.

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Timo Kahlen. From: Phospheme, 2016

Digital recordings of translucent
phosphorescent screen in the dark of the camera.
From a series of new, digital Phosphorus Photographs.

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Timo Kahlen. Two photographic series
from Lineatur, 2011 and 2020

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Timo Kahlen. Emission (Quitten),
2009 - 2017

Image of sweet and ripe fruit (a quince)
showing first signs of
deterioration, decomposition and mold.
Series of digital photographs,
with minimal graphic inscriptions

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Timo Kahlen. Baum (Tree), 2015

Two photographs of what looks like a tree - but is, in fact,
a technological structure: a plastic imitation of a pine tree,
constructed and literally pieced together to serve as a gigantic antenna,
transmitting radio waves and mobile data. An homage to Alexander Rodchenko's
early 20th century experimental and Constructivist photographs
of electric wiring, of transmission poles, of radio towers
- and similarly, of lush pine trees, seen against the sky.

Installed at "Timo Kahlen: aus der Luft gegriffen / in trockenen Tüchern", Ruine der Künste Berlin, 2020

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Timo Kahlen. aus der Luft gegriffen
(Ether), 2020
Photographs, three paper bags, speakers, cables

Three paper bags filled with static noise - dusty, grindy, crackling -

of radio waves intersecting and interfering. Seemingly abstract,
until you bend down to the paper bags - and listen to a strange,
unintelligible dialogue of voices distorted by the technical transmission
of sounds via medium range radio signals, circling and encompassing
our globe, travelling and reflecting in layers of air
in the lower stratosphere. Distorted signals recorded
and filled into three simple paper bags.

A photographic series of antennae (admittedly used to

capture analog tv signals, not radio waves, from the ether)
provides a visual reference.

Installation view at "Timo Kahlen: aus der Luft gegriffen / in trockenen Tüchern", Ruine der Künste Berlin, 202o
Free download of catalogue (PDF / 4.9 MB) of the exhibition. Enlish / German. 28 pages / 34 images. Edition Ruine der Künste Berlin, 2020

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Timo Kahlen. Datenaustausch
(Exchange of Data), 2010

A spoon, several small loudspeakers,
and audio components on a plate.
Particles of sound ready to be served

Series of photographs related to
synaesthetic sound sculptures / sound installations,
e.g. ' Zart ' (Tender), 2010 : various plates filled
with miniature loudspeakers, emitting soft,
subtle microcosms of sound

Exhibited at "Timo Kahlen: Noise & Beauty", Stiftung Starke, Berlin 2010.
Courtesy Stiftung Kunstfonds, Bonn 2010

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Timo Kahlen. Zwiebelmuster (Still # 16) and # 17, 2006

Two sound sculptures. Images of a swarm of flies hovering
over a plate - oscillating and vibrating irrationally,

agitated by very low, barely audible sounds of insects
whirring through the air.
A kinetic 'still life'.

Exhibited at "Tonspur expanded: The Loudspeaker", Vienna 2010 - 2011
"Sound Art 2006: Deutscher Klangkunst-Preis, art cologne 2006
and "Timo Kahlen: Earcatcher", Ruine der Kuenste Berlin 2006.

"Zwiebelmuster (Still #17)" was re-installed at "Flügelschlag. Insekten in der zeitgenössischen Kunst",
Museum Sinclair-Haus, Bad Homburg 2019 and at "Timo Kahlen: aus der Luft gegriffen / in
trockenen Tüchern", Ruine der Künste Berlin 2020.
Photographic images, wire, plate, loudspeaker and infrasonic sound.

See Kahlen's oeuvre of site-specific and kinetic sound sculptures.

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Timo Kahlen

Stille (Silence), 2020
Silent remains of explosives

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Timo Kahlen. Further work
from the series

Cohesion (Kohäsion), 2017 and Frozen, 2018

Timo Kahlen: Sculpting Light.
Experiments in Photography, 1986 - 2018
With texts by Werner Ennokeit, Leon Zwart and Vilém Flusser
English / German, 292 pages / 206 illustrations
Berlin: Edition Ruine der Künste Berlin, 2018

Free download of catalogue (PDF / 58 MB)

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Timo Kahlen
Everything Will Be Alright (#2), 2008 - 2018

Series of digital photographs
installed at "Timo Kahlen: FLUID"; Ruine der Künste Berlin 2019

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Timo Kahlen

Isolation, 2020
from the series "Rasenstücke" (Turf), 2002 - 2020

Isolated fragments of turf, temporarily removed from their contexts.
How can the pandemic experience of our times, the experience of
'social distancing',
the lack of physical personal contact, be visualized ?

Series of works
created in March 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic
and times of 'social distancing'

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Timo Kahlen
Momentaufnahme, 2020

March 2020.
Holding My Breath
during the Covid-19 pandemic.
My breath, contained in an intimate, shimmering,
fragile sphere bevcomes, quite literally, the medium
of my reflections: on social distancing, on cultural
isolation and well-being.

See the related HD video and sound composition "Holding My Breath"
at vimeo.com/409211734

Timo Kahlen studied experimental photography
and media art
with film-maker and photographer
Prof. Dieter Appelt at the Hochschule der Kuenste
(now University of the Arts) in Berlin.

Kahlen was awarded a
Master of Fine Arts (Meisterschüler)
degree at the Berlin University of the Arts in 1993,
held a
Lectureship for visual media and video art
at the Hochschule der Kuenste Berlin in cooperation
with the Humboldt-Universitaet Berlin from 1993 to 1998;
and has continued to teach media art for more
than 25 years, to the present.

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© Timo Kahlen / VG Bild-Kunst, 1999 - 2021