Karl Martin Holzhäuser

Holzhäuser's contribution to the photographic side of apparative art consists in what he calls Mechano-Optical Analyses (Mechano-optische Untersuchungen). Essentially, the object of apparative art and similarly of its photographic variant, generative photography, is to create intrinsically new aesthetic structures, whereas traditional photographic representation is confined to conveying images of actual objects or processes. Mechano-Optical Analyses can be described as an exercise in visual exploration of the specific conditions of photography. These analyses are concerned with the separate and individual examination of the optical phenomena constituting the compositional elements of representative photography. While representative photography may make preferential use of one or several of these elements, it nevertheless must, by necessity, always accept the aggregation.

Mechano-Optical Analyses, on the other hand, are directed only to the aspects of the interrelation between topical plane brightness, the overlapping of objects in focus with others not in focus, resultant tonal colors and of course, the effects of diffraction and interference – features ever present where optical instruments are employed. Mechano-Optical Analyses are governed by strict programs with fixed starting and ending points. These controlled and gradual mechanical or optical alterations of the experimental arrangements are photographically recorded by Holzhäuser and displayed as a series.