der fall des falls: das gefangenendilemma

2024, photoseries

Der Fall des Falls: Das Gefangenendilemma (The Case of the Case: The Prisoner's Dilemma) is a photographic project that visualizes the theoretical concept of the prisoner's dilemma. A closer examination of this thought experiment reveals that it would not be a dilemma if the prisoners trusted each other completely.

The photo series is intended to illustrate the meaning of trust, decision, and dilemma.

The prisoner's dilemma, a well-known thought experiment from game theory, depicts a situation in which two prisoners must decide between two options (cooperation or defection) independently of each other and without communication. They are aware that the outcome of their decision depends heavily on the decision of the other person. The thought experiment demonstrates that the optimal option for both prisoners is the one in which they trust each other completely and cooperate. Nevertheless, it is probable that they will select the option that refrains from cooperation, due to a fear of the other party betraying their trust.
The photographic series depicts two individuals attired in monochromatic suits reminiscent of prison garb. They engage in what is arguably the most renowned exercise in trust: one individual permits themselves to fall, while the other catches them. The images raise questions regarding the nature of trust and its potential consequences. Does trust always result in a dilemma? And what if one person decides not to catch the other person? What if the case / the fall had several possible scenarios at the same time?