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Timo Toots - Memopolis

Solo exhibition
14 December 2012 - 24 February 2013
Opening: 13 December 2012, 19:00
Presstalk: 12 December 2012, 14:00

The Estonian artist Timo Toots presents current and future data collections and monitoring scenarios in his first major German solo exhibition at the Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art. In Memopolis, social networks, geolocations or biometric recognition features show themselves to be real, technical counterparts of the outlines of dystopian novels, providing an increasingly detailed image of specific people.

The interactive installation Memopol II (2010) in the upper exhibition room renders visible personal data from the Internet. Beginning with data from an identity card or passport, the installation starts its Internet search and creates the user’s profile from digital traces of databanks and websites. The user’s information display is shown on a large control board, which along with information on the person’s popularity also provides his or her possible date of death. The overpowering physical presence of the monitoring apparatus provides an ironic comment on the subtle, everyday methods of data collection on the Internet – methods whose variety, application possibilities and storage criteria lack transparency.


In his first major German solo exhibition Memopolis, the Estonian artist Timo Toots designs the dark utopia of a city based on total surveillance. Like its literary and cinematic models, Memopolis is a world in which there is no forgetting: everything is registered, classified, saved and archived. Given today’s unlimited possibilities to store data traces on the Internet, Toots confronts visitors with their virtual counterpart and its often-frightening level of accuracy.

Toots’s fictional city Memopolis demonstrates controversial application possibilities and increasing degrees of digital control on the Internet. Liberated from secrets, since every expression of life becomes data, the citizens of Memopolis are perfect, absolutely transparent and kept alive by the flow of information. Data streams open up inexorable, untapped territories of the public and private spheres in order to anticipate and eliminate social defects. Automated monitoring structures become higher moral authorities in the evaluation and regulation of actions and thoughts.

Memopolis gives shape to the foreboding notion that modern technology, using data available on the Internet, already has enabled the realisation of the wildest fantasies of categorisation.


12 January 2013, 11:00

22 January 2013, 20:00

06 February 2013, 19:00

23 February 2013, 14:00

24 February 2013

Funded by

Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art, Katharinenstraße 23, D-26121 Oldenburg, Tel.: +49(0)441/235-3208, Fax.: +49(0)441/235-2161
Opening Hours: Tuesday - Friday 14:00 -18:00, Saturday - Sunday 11:00 - 18:00, Monday closed
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