This contribution is an abridged version of the following publication:

The watermark is like a home but instead of people it houses images. Homes do not discriminate, and neither do watermarks, be it against origin, content or quality, as long as the residents meet the community guidelines. A community sometimes needs guidelines and the watermark knows this—otherwise it might turn into a sketchy neighbourhood and nobody would be happy about that either. This way the watermark can help to make sure that every image inside the community is equal; every image is the same.

Post-Watermark pt.1

IOCOSE, A Contemporary Self Portrait of the Internet Artist, 2015

Sometimes the watermark can become a bit clingy. But this is only because the watermark loves all of its images so much. Because of this, when one of its images wanders off into the void, the watermark does not tire to point out the way home. The watermark is close friends with the seat belt alarm because of their mutual persistence.

Post-Watermark pt.2

Stefan Schäfer, iStockphotoforreal, 2014

When the watermark gets too persistent, people get annoyed with the watermark. They say to the watermark that it is holding the images back, or that it is trying to be the centre of attention. This makes the watermark sad. Usually, then it remembers all the images that still need it before it can let them go wander off by themselves and it gets happy again. The watermark means well.

Post-Watermark pt.3

Bert Schumacher, JstChillin, 2011

But sometimes, even the watermark is doubting whether the direction that it is pointing at is really home—or whether it is actually pointing at anything at all.

Post-Watermark pt.4

Robin Lèsyer, Consistent Ambivalence, 2016

The watermark is a little bit like a pair of glasses. It likes to be looked through, like lenses do, and it likes to marvel at the virtual realities that are being created along the process. Generally people really like these realities as well, but they don’t always like to wear glasses. Lately, however, glasses have gone into fashion again, and the watermark thinks this is a good thing.

Post-Watermark pt.5

Johannes von Gross, Exhibition View at Direktorenhaus Berlin, 2014

Secretly, the watermark would like to be in fashion as well. The watermark is quite handsome after all. But whenever there is a modeling job that the watermark would like to participate in the people who make the decisions about these kinds of things decide against it.

Post-Watermark pt.6

Harm van den Dorpel, Assemblage (everything vs. anything), 2013

The watermark is fearless. It’s a bit like a fireman, rushing into a burning building to save a child, only the child is it’s brand’s visibility and the burning building is the encryption algorithms that make images online more streamable. But the watermark doesn’t take any credit.

Post-Watermark pt.7

Timor Si-Qin, Skull Coffin Manifold KNMER 1813, 2014

Instead, the watermark tries to ensure that credit is given to those who deserve it. The watermark thinks that if someone wins a race they should get a medal for it. Because sure enough, the others are going to arrive at the finish line eventually, and then how is anyone supposed to know who it was that they saw first?

Post-Watermark pt.8

DIS, Positive Ambiguity (beard, lectern, teleprompter, wind machine, confidence), 2015

In these moments the watermark feels at home in the image instead of the other way around. Finally, the watermark can relax. Not even the watermark likes to always be the bad cop!

Post-Watermark pt.9

DIS, Watermarked for KENZO, 2012

The watermark is at home but instead of in a house, it’s in an image. Sure, it sometimes discriminates, but then, so do people in houses.

Post-Watermark pt.10

Sucuk und Bratwurst, Watermark (Identity for Watergate Berlin), 2014