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Artstripe no.19 (2023)
Thinking about Tomorrow

Plato in L.A.: the Artstripe as Datascape and Allegory of the Cave.




Accenture Austria


since 2000 


Wiener Börsegebäude, Dachgeschoß

Idea und Concept

Liquid Frontiers,Vienna


Leonhard Hilzensauer

The time-honoured idea that the essence of something underlies its appearance and that philosophy, art and science are in the position to visualise this has become unexpectedly topical due to digitalisation. Fascinated by the dynamism of the permanently circulating flow of data, the artist Peter Jellitsch begins by measuring this with the help of an app and drawing it using lines of varying thickness.

During a study trip to Los Angeles, he discovers that the aerials required for sending data are disguised as artificial palm trees in order to attract less attention in the cityscape.

His search for further traces leads him to the even more discreet world of patents, which is, however, more accessible than ever thanks to digitalisation, because the search engine Google is making its planned encyclopaedia of all patent specifications available on line. Here one can also find the software and hardware patents that provide the intellectual basis for day-to-day data transfer in Los Angeles. Then, as in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, the artist also copies these formulas and illustrations and returns them to the analogue world.

In “Thinking about Tomorrow”, Peter Jellitsch structures the Artstripe as an alternating optical game with city and datascape, urban landscape and backbone, real and virtual space and, not least, the light and shadow of digitalisation.



Peter Jellitsch (*1982)

After completing his apprenticeship as a carpenter, Peter Jellitsch studied painting at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, where he also currently teaches. Peter Jellitsch became well-known through his early attempts to “draw the internet” or, more specifically, to illustrate the data permanently circulating in the net in his multi-part ongoing series of “Data Drawings”. In these, he visualises the various strengths of the electronic impulses generated by the difference between zero and one and the underlying algorithms by translating them into black and white drawings. As a form of applied seismography, his works initially almost draw themselves, while compositional and conceptual decisions then determine the end result. The artist’s particular interest in the relationship between digital and real space and his architectural background mean that his methods are also predestined for use in the public realm. In Vienna alone he has left traces of his graffiti-like drawings in many, often surprising places and, thus, intensified our experience of urban space.

In addition to his intense exhibition activity, Peter Jellitsch has also published numerous artist’s books, whose conception and design lends them the character of works of art.

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