11 January 2007

Invited guest: Andréas Hagström

”Interpol und Deutsche Bank. FBI und Scotland Yard. Finanzamt und das BKA haben unsere daten da.”

Kraftwerks relation with the media has always been complicated. Though they are not as rarely interviewed as the myth says, the output and information the band distributes is highly controlled. After almost forty years as a band the members has become a symbol of integrity and little is known about their private life, the same goes with photos of the band. Since the band presented the robots back in 1978, they have often let photographers take pictures of them instead of the real band members of flesh and blood.

But of course, there are exceptions to this rule. One of these occasions happened in March 29, 1982 backstage in the hallways of the TV-channel ZDF. Kraftwerk was about to do a performance with the hit singel ”The Model” on the TV-program Na Sowas which was aired between 1982 and 1987. The photographer Didi Zill who had been working for the German pop magazine Bravo for many years was there as well, knowing that asking Kraftwerk for some photos wasn’t much of an idea. But he approached them anyway and to his surprise the band said yes. Suddenly they all grabbed cameras from Didi’s equipment and started posing in their puppet-like rigid manner. The outcome was a whole deck of photos. Didi was supposedly only working with one flash and was trying to make the best out of the situation.

In the photo above which was published as a poster in Bravo nr 5 in May the same year, the four members from the line-up which many consider the classic one, are posing in black outfits and makeup. From left to right we see Florian Schneider, Ralf Hütter, Wolfgang Flür and Karl Bartos. More than robots, the members have a creepy distant quality like a bunch of zombies and they are wearing the cameras as weapons in front of them. They become like an impenetrable mass filling up the image, slowly getting closer, resembling a clip from the horror film Dead & Buried by Gary Sherman from 1981 where zombies take pictures while brutally slaying people.

By turning the cameras towards the photographer Kraftwerk creates an image of control. In the age of papparazzis and surveillance cameras the camera itself becomes the machine that watch our every move. Photography that result in a paranoid society were integrity doesn’t exist and where everyone become aware of themselves as images, or in a term used by the band - showroom dummies. Kraftwerk said on the LP Computerwelt from 1981 ”Interpol und Deutsche Bank. FBI und Scotland Yard. Finanzamt und das BKA haben unsere daten da.” Maybe this is what the band is portraying, photography as an act of violence.
© Andréas Hagström


Andréas Hagström is an artist living in Gothenburg, Sweden. Studying arts and photography, he has been involved in various projects in Sweden and worldwide. In addition he has also a great interest in Kraftwerk and has wrote a number of articled on his website:

More on the F-blog about Kraftwerk, click here.

Invited by Anders Blomqvist

Roadside stand near Birmingham, Alabama

Roadside stand near Birmingham, Alabama.
Evans, Walker, 1903-1975, photographer.

From the collections of Farm Security Administration

lost and found (3)

Some time ago my friend and me discovered, forgotten for over 20 years, negatives. More of the story here
There is another one of them - no author, no dates, no familiar faces, surounding looks like somewhere in Upper Silesia, 1970s? no name of negative, the camera, judging by the layout - old type of Pentacon Six.
Just familly pictures or something already more?


well...I guess it's not a fish but...

"Ich bin der Fotograf mit Taschenrechner in der Hand"

When working with pictures, it's sometimes unavoidable to not think of some suitable music that create a synergy with the picture. Sometimes, the music itself may serve as the core inspiration for a series of pictures.
Quite often I've been thinking of Kraftwerk and how I would visualise their music. This is probably, one of the few examples I would go digital. After some consideration, I would even leave the real world in order to enter the virtual world. This would be in line of how Kraftwerk's music has evolved, a gradual evolution with roots in classical music history, reaching a functional, simplified, level of harmony. The technical solution is solved by the sole user and carried out by the simplest device that can be used to convey the desired effect. The tools needed are not more fancy than needed, a Pixar production would be a no-go, where as a freeware that could be used by everyone would fit in with the vision of gradual evolution.
To paraphrase Kraftwerk: "Ich bin der Fotograf mit Taschenrechner in der Hand"

Illustration carried out by using free IKEA kitchen planner software.

[Don´t waste time] - A Pro Ad

Say hello to fishy Mr. Herring

Wouldn´t he be a real catch Ulf?! He´s a bit slippery though...

little fish. big fish. swimming in the water...

Ulf made me think about presenting a typical fish market in Italy.The best of course are in Sicily. And the best of all in Trapani, as the legend says.These two are from Palermo.

Fisherman´s cottage

I like the photography of Benny Persson. And it´s a pleasure
to show his pictures here. Benny is not a
skåning. He is a
bleking. Now you have something more
to ponder about,
These three pictures are from an abandoned cottage
where a fisherman used to stay over night. Perhaps
of catching big fish...or angels.


the delicate balance

angel trap

© Jeanne Wells

A simple device you can make at home to catch all the angels you want.