Gottfried Jäger

Gottfried Jäger counts among the most influential photographers of our time having been teaching as a professor for more than 30 years at the Bielefeld University of photography. He has created the art historical term "Generative Photography" while organizing a corresponding group exhibition together with Pierre Cordier, Hein Gravenhorst and Kilian Breier in 1968 at the Art Museum Bielefeld. This was followed by the publication "Generative Fotografie" (Herbert W. Franke, Gottfried Jäger, Karl Martin Holzhäuser) in 1975 which can be regarded as a manifesto for a specific movement in abstract photography which is underlined by three things: the extensive use of apparatuses, the serial principle and the use of chance. Technical/optical equipment had always played an intrinsic part in the program. Once programmed, the machine executes what has been entered and delivers a number of theoretically infinite results. These art works are thus closely related to works of generative computer graphics. The basic element of Jäger's Pinhole Structures is a point of light, which by means of a multi-pinhole lens is transformed step by step according to the principle of the "camera obscura" into a structure on a higher complex order. The picture re-constitutes itself from a simple to a complex level, in other words, as a process of increasing formal, or rather, semiotic accumulation.