Sergen Şehitoğlu’s work “Mojave Desert” investigates the Anthropocene via the morphological structure of our planet. By scanning satellite images of the Mojave Desert in the USA, Şehitoğlu focuses in his work on signs of lifehuman vitality in these images within the context of symmetry, repetition and diversity. This work concerns itself with both the biological formal structure of lifehuman vitality and the formal structure of human-created systems of representation.
The desert analyzed through satellite images in Şehitoğlu’s work is addressed as a kind of a space of possibilities potentially containing all forms. In the work, the similarities are shown between the idea of life emerging through the combinations of disorganized diffuse inorganic matter and the indicators making life detectable in geographic patterns. Şehitoğlu states that the expression “temporary islands resisting entropy for a while” as used by Norbert Wiener to define life is also valid for the forms generated by life itself.
From this aspect, one can say that the changes caused by organisms in their environments directly have a mutual connection with their own biological systems. The “disorganizeddiffuse” forms released in the environment as a result of processing of condensed matter and energy necessary for vital dynamics such as growth, reproduction and reaction to environmental conditions show similarities in manmade artifical objects as well. One of the main purposes of the work is to render this mapping matching visible.
Sergen Şehitoğlu (b. 1980, Istambul, Turkey) studied at St. Joseph High School and mechanical engineering at Yıldız Technical University (YTÜ). He continued his master’s studies in photography at Marmara University and after his first solo exhibition at I.F.M Leica Gallery his works have been exhibited in various galleries and art fairs in Istanbul, Berlin, Brussels, Amsterdam, London, İzmir, Ankara, Bursa, Basel, Paris and Vienna.
Recently creating works in the field of post-internet, the artist presents his data visualizations as photographic/visual products. Having published the photography books “O dB” in 2013 and “Kill Memories” in 2016, Şehitoğlu is one of the founding members of the photography initiative GFI. He lives and works in Istanbul. He is the founder and conductor of the magazine “xx-yy-magazine”. He is represented by Sanatorium Gallery Istanbul.
Sergen Şehitoğlu’s fundamental concern is to focus on his period and on its conditions. His photographs, on which he’d been working on for the past few years, focused directly on the contemporary people’s living conditions and experiences. Challenging the concept of privacy in a world that redefines the boundaries of photography and where systems of control reign supreme, these works carried Sergen’s practice to a whole new level, as a contemporary tool and as an exercise of viewing such issues. Drawing our attention, through his photographs, to how uses of technology and to how they bend our understanding of ethics, the artist allows the spectators to observe the situation from a whole new perspective.