The artist Benjamin Forster has created an online commissioned work for Impakt Festival 2016, called Signatures.
Working with the premise of the Impakt Festival 2016, authenticity in the post-digital age, Forster chose to work with one of the oldest means of authentication; the autograph. Sourced from a Who’s Who in Art book from 1986 with an appendix of over 350 signatures, his work is a script that runs on this page. Benjamin Forster explains: “there is something in the tension between old forms of material trace (embodied) as authentication and the transfer of this into the digital, where this embodiment is replaced by algorithmic process. The illiterates who once signed with an X, always witnessed by someone literate, has become the commonplace – we are all the illiterate now, and the witnesses are mechanical.” Technological advancements have increased the possibilities to identify oneself online. By means of iris scans, selfies, and emoji-sequences, the means for authentication are evolving quickly, and get further and further removed from the old, and sensitive to counterfeiting, signature.