Hito Steyerl is a filmmaker, visual artist, and writer whose work often explores issues of militarization, the role of the media in globalization, and the mass proliferation and dissemination of images brought on by digital technologies. Tent/Texture II, Kharkiv is one in a series of montages created using 3-D scans, produced via a smartphone app, of Freedom Square, the central square in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Instead of a seamless rendering of the square, Steyerl produces a tableau of digitized fragments: fractured images of sandbag piles, building sections, pavement, and a yellow and blue volunteer tent (the color of the Ukranian flag) in support of the government’s Anti-Terrorist Operation. With its close proximity to Russia, Kharkiv is an important bellwether of the Ukraine crisis and the tensions between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian nationalists. The patchy images enhance the disjunction between real and virtual realities and the condition of unpredictability that drives contemporary reality in Ukraine.
[excerpted from Kemper Art Museum website]