NTAA22 FINALIST: Julian Palacz - Handle with Care

A medium-sized parcel is on its way from the artist’s studio in Vienna to Zebrastraat in Ghent, where it is received by an employee. It is an everyday, logistical process that Julian Palacz has placed at the centre of his present investigation.

His carefully prepared package collects data as it documents its journey from Vienna to Ghent by means of a hidden camera, microphone, GPS tracker and motion sensors, revealing insights into those transit spaces that actually remain hidden from the recipient.

Direct and unfiltered, we experience darkened halls the size of several soccer fields that have been set up solely for the optimal processing of goods. We also experience endless assembly lines across countless levels, carton after carton gliding past us. Sometimes there is a squeeze at the bottlenecks, but for the most part the process seems perfectly coordinated and absolutely effective. Everything is sorted and sent on the right path by different employees or machines. However, it is only at first glance that the imposing images show a rhythmic choreography. A closer look reveals a regime of strict efficiency in which there is hardly any room for people.