top of page
Ornella Fieres.jpeg



Ornella Fieres’ first solo show in Belgium offers insights into her exploration of technology’s perception of the world. The exhibition displays different work series from the last five years, all utilizing algorithms and AI to process found footage from the 19th and 20th century.

The Berlin-based media artist examines how advanced technology, trained on modern data, interprets depictions of a no longer
existing natural world. Her works revolve around the concept of technology possessing its own mind, learning from our past and present, to shape an unknown future.
In "Inverse Fourier" Fieres transforms photographs from personal archives by manipulating algorithmic processes, showcasing the machine's autonomous interpretation. For this series, the artist scans analog images and then manipulates the algorithmic mechanisms of the digitization process.
Despite this deliberate alteration, her control over the final output is somewhat limited, leaving part of it to the machine. These works show the world of yesterday, seen through the eyes of today's algorithms, creating a picturesque aesthetic of washed-out memories.
"Postcards to M/GAN" transforms old-time postcards, encapsulating decades of private correspondence, into botanical portraits. In 2016, the artist acquired a private archive containing seven hundred letters, photographs, and postcards from the 1960s to the 1980s, all addressed to a woman in the former GDR. Fieres first transformed the flower motifs depicted on the postcards into portraits of plants using a Deep Learning mechanism. The AI then processed these images, generating new compositions reminiscent of organic structures, seemingly reflecting the essence of the private correspondence.
"The Essence of a Moment/Depth Estimation" delves into AI's perception of visual data. Using advanced computer vision techniques, this new series analyzes the depth of 2D images and transforms them into 3D representations. The resulting 'point clouds' are juxtaposed with the original analog images in silver gelatine print, providing a visual comparison between the original source material and their AI interpretation, revealing the same moment seen through the eyes of humans and of the machine.
The video "It seems to capture the beauty and majesty of nature" explores the visual representation of nature through sequential processing of analog photographs with AI. First, a language model analyzed nature and family portraits and formulated descriptions of the (alleged) visual content. These written image interpretations then served as a prompt for a video generation AI which produced the moving images. The result is, in the words of Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori, an “uncanny valley” landscape, populated by people with distorted bodies, overlaid with voice-over and corresponding subtitles. We can hear Fieres' voice, but it's not her talking. AI has been trained to replicate her vocal color and way of speaking, as masterfully explored in Kraftwerk’s groundbreaking sound creations in the late 1970s. The video was presented in a solo show in New York last year.
Ornella Fieres, born in 1984 in Frankfurt, lives and works in Berlin. She studied Australian Media and Art at Macquarie University, Sydney, and Visual Communication at Offenbach University of Art and Design, with majors in conceptual photography and theory of perception. She is currently pursuing her PhD in media design focusing on research in AI. Her multimedia works have been exhibited internationally, including Centre Pompidou Paris, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Goethe-Institut Toronto, Literaturhaus Berlin, Signs and Symbols Gallery New York, Kunstverein Speyer, and Fotografie Forum Frankfurt.
This compelling solo show in Brussels, prepared in kind collaboration with Sexauer Gallery Berlin, offers an intriguing glimpse into the hidden connections between the past and the present, as well as between digital and analog technology in contemporary art, revealing the interwoven relationship between humans and machines.

Text: Robert Klotz (*title created by AI)


Rivoli Building
Chaussée de Waterloo 690, Brussels, Belgium

bottom of page