Between 1943 and 1945 Albert Speer, Hitler’s minister for armaments and war production, built a giant complex of secret underground factories and bunkers in the hills around Lower Silesia. The project was given the codename “Der Riese” (‘Giant’). In total, construction was started on seven underground structures, with miles of tunnels, cavernous weapons factories, and even an underground town, but none were completed. The Nazis used prisoners of war and slave labourers to carry out the construction, and it is thought that around 28,000 of these people died during the building works. The purpose of the project is still unknown, which has led to many theories developing and being shared online.

The blocky effect of these paintings was created using square, flat brushes that deliberately echo the low resolution digital images of the bunker that Mik found online. The resulting paintings document the ruins of buildings and the overgrown vegetation around them as well as the realities and limitations of digital media at the time.

“From that point I focused on the qualities of digital images, the experience of looking at and through a screen and what that experience means as it becomes more of our lives.”

Rachel Graves, curator, Attenborough Arts Centre, University of Leicester