In Good Timing / Bad Timing, photographs and films take form as sequential compilations of many thousands of still images. For the series in front (2002), the German artist duo M + M (Marc Weis and Martin de Mattia) dissected television news reports and political broadcasts, such as Vladimir Putin’s 2007 speech at the Munich Conference on Security, to create works spanning the media of photography and film. What at first glance appears to be a complicated pattern of horizontal stripes is revealed to be the authority of television as a matrix of miniature stills upon closer inspection. Incorporating newsworthy spectacle from the last nine years and mixing military coverage with individual acts of violence, a magnitude of images reflecting the horrors of life every day are transformed into abstract images of colour and form.
In the series kurz vor fünf (shortly before 5) (2007), shimmering horizontal rows of still photographs are composed of M + M’s three-minute-long films made shortly before 5PM European Central Time. Capturing day-to-day activities in typical urban settings around the world, the works reflect the increasingly global flow of information and the limited ability of the individual to comprehend the whole. In a network of fleeting picture associations, M + M create an unnerving psychological commentary on contemporary urban life.