"But I must clarify that in the early days, Generative Photography was not made with computers. They were primarily light images made through experimental photography. But we have connected the techniques with the methods of computers, meaning numeric programs. Our method was also a rejection of the single image and the ‘decisive moment’ (Cartier-Bresson) in favor of a serial, logically reproducible series of works.” (Gottfried Jäger, 2019)
In 1968, Gottfried Jäger introduced the concept of Generative Photography as an artistic program. The idea made use of Concrete Photography methods, but followed the style of constructive design: methodical, systematic, serial. This marked a turn against the popular conception of photography as a means to accurately capture fleeting moments of reality. Instead, Jäger placed non-representative photography at the center of his work: photography which could be mechanically reproduced through a series of algorithmic actions. Rather than capturing moments of reality, these photographs produce their own realities, or “aesthetic conditions,” by means of mechanical and chemical manipulation. Jäger created repeatable programs for the photographic screen, which led the way for early generative computer-based art, and then continued to develop alongside this new mode of art. For the exhibition In This Layered World, All Perception Is Real, Jäger in collaboration with Denise Albrecht, Marta Beauchamp and Sonja Mense has, for the first time, transposed his early, rarely-shown Mirror Montage Images into the virtual sphere.
Gottfried Jäger (b. 1937 in Burg, lives and works in Bielefeld) has had solo exhibitions at Sous les Etoile Gallery, New York (2018), Steven Kasher Gallery, New York (2016), Photo Edition Berlin and at Berlinische Galerie (both 2014). His works were last shown at the Tate Modern London (2018) and the Kunstmuseum Magdeburg (2019). In 2014, he was awarded the Culture Prize of the German Photography Society (DGPh)."
Text source: Kunstverein Bielefeld