Rosa Menkman

Resolution Theorist

Panel: Unfolding Models

Rosa Menkman, DCT:Syphoning, 2015-17. Courtesy of the artist.
Rosa Menkman, A Vernacular of File Formats, 2010 and 2017. Installation view, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Courtesy of the artist.

Rosa Menkman began her inquiry into the data structures that shape the sensory form of digital media by cracking open, modifying, and breaking image and video files. Deepening this inquiry into the physical and technical basis of perception and meaning, Menkman produces works of video and animation that both demonstrate the structure of data formats and narrativize their historical and lived repercussions. In the context of the “Unfolding Models” panel, Menkman’s work challenges us to look for the glitches at the edges of theory as they appear in the computational substrate of model making.

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Symposium Schedule

Panel: Unfolding Models
Video Release: Friday, April 2, 2021 / 9:00am EST

Live Q&A: Monday, April 5, 2021 / 5:00–6:00pm EST

Related Works

Impossible Images

2019, CERN

A growing collection of impossible images illustrating the diverse array of limits on resolution, ‘impossibility,’ ‘image’ (which ranges from photograph to dataset), and imaging technology (from huge dipole magnet telescopes to detectors connected to the LHC).



An exploration of the Ecology of Compression Complexities, the project is a contemporary translation of the 1884 Edwin Abbott Abbott romance Flatland, and describes some of the algorithms at work in digital image compression.

A Vernacular of File Formats

2010 and 2017, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Menkman compresses a source image via different compression languages and subsequently implements the same (or a similar) error in each file, letting the otherwise invisible compression language present itself onto the surface of the image.