About Safe Distance (2014)
Viewed from a distance, Rune Peitersen’s work looks like a series of jet black images with mysterious light sources in their centers. Move closer, and a common denominator emerges: the images all show nocturnal demonstrations or scenes of conflict, such as a street in Istanbul with stone-throwing protesters surrounded by plumes of smoke. Peitersen found the pictures online, in live streams from the mobile phones of bystanders keen to report on the events. The shaky video images and low resolution of this kind of citizen journalism are now all too familiar. Peitersen reflects on the image stream by capturing screenshots and placing black frames around the stills. This makes them seem almost painterly, but also creates the sensation of observing the nocturnal disturbances from afar. In this way, Peitersen questions our position as online viewers eagerly observing conflicts from a safe distance.