Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss are the travellers. I met them in Lodz in 2006.
Their "Traveller" project is unlike anything I have seen, inventive, obsessive, and so about what the World is like today. If you are planning to go to Les Rencontres d'Arles in July this year, there will be a show of the Traveller work.
They say this about the project, The Traveller deals with omnipresence of webcams in both private and public space. The Traveler (performed by Jens Sundheim) is a figure who visits places webcams are pointed at. As these cams constantly transmit images via internet in almost every place on the planet, that what is shown becomes enormously relevant, gains almost global importance. The Traveller travels from cam to cam, always looking for world's most significant places.
On location, the Traveller performs in front of the webcam. Caught by the camera, he starts a second, virtual journey: fragmented into bits, he travels as data stream through space and time, and is – by entering the correct URL – visible on every web-connected computer all around the globe at almost the same moment of time.
Webcams permanently produce new images, depending on technical capabilities and the their owner's will. Every hour, every minute or almost in real-time. Before an image is overwritten by the following one, we save the data, we conserve the image as a »web photography«. The locations visited by the Traveller are documented by these web photographs as if he sends a modern kind of post card.
The project started 2001 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Until now, the Traveller has been to about 360 webcam locations in 14 countries. At the end, we want him to visit every continent and create a world wide trip.
Among many other places, the Traveller encountered the legendary coffee machine world's first webcam was pointed at, the ESA European Space Agency main control room, and a cell at a New York police station after being arrested for strange behavior.
We transfer selected images to photographic paper and present them as large-format photographs for exhibition.
The website www.the-traveller.org informs about the project and presents actual and archived web photographs.