VBKÖ – Vereinigung bildender Künstlerinnen Österreichs


Oh Hooman, where art thou?


11. June – 1. July 2022
Opening hours: Tue: 17:00–19:00, Sat: 11:00–13:00 (and by appointment: office@thedodoproject.at or +43 676 795 70 89), closed 18. June

Opening: 10. June, 17:00–21:00
Curator’s Tour:
11. June, 11:30 Uhr and 21. June, 17:30 Uhr
Special Treatment and Book Presentation EDEN: 25. June, 14:00–19:00 (in the framework of Independent Space Index Festival)
Finissage: 1. July, 17:00–19:00

Christiane Peschek and Ernst Lima

Our digital wellness experience offers you the opportunity to train your own virtuality. Bit by bit you detach yourself from real life concepts to a genderless, digital (non)being. Our central smartphone retreat offers you a unique experience and your everlasting personal Garden of Eden. Our wellness area invites you on an audiovisual journey and helps you find your perfect balance of body and mind, with the goal of virtual eternity.

Welcome to the Singularity.

The liminal moment of the pandemic facilitates – in addition to unexpected isolation, individual digitalization and unfulfilled (physical) longings – a direct confrontation with one‘s own transience and death. The latter can be defined as an event horizon beyond which we cannot see. Speculations, artistic strategies, science fiction and speculative storytelling, on the other hand, at least design dys- and utopias. Transitions always offer a possibility, dying is meant as well.

In collaboration with the artists Christiane Peschek and Ernst Lima, The DODO Project stages an experimental arrangement disguised as a self-experience spa. The EDEN project by artist Christiane Peschek forms the basis. Conceived as a smartphone retreat, it is a unique online experience. Flirting with the idea of virtual longevity, EDEN transfers the search for a perfect state of mind and body into an audiovisual journey to a net-based paradise as the final destination. It is about overcoming physicality. It is about training one‘s own virtuality and a gradual detachment from real life concepts towards a genderless, digital existence. EDEN is an artificial overhaul of spiritual trends, beliefs and dogmas.
The smartphone retreat is structured like a decision game – yes/no, inhale/exhale. One‘s own choice guides one into individual virtual spaces. One of these decision paths leads into dark realms: the Uncanny Valley. A retreat based on the abysses and negative effects of the digital, a Dark Archeology of the Self.

The installation created by the two artists especially for the exhibition leads into this Uncanny Valley. Window foils clothe the light of the room in an eternal sunset, thus stretching this melancholy moment of transition into infinity. Yoga mats as a reference to relaxation, self-care and ritualization of the body, imitate a kind of cloister. A basin filled with black liquid is located in the center. The black water surface refers to the information overload in social media and the resulting uncanny feelings. Ernst Lima developed an immersive sound installation for this. This forms the interface between the physical exhibition space and the digital space. Through the presence of the visitors, frequencies are transmitted to the liquid. These frequencies cause the black surface to vibrate. A resonance space is created, which in turn can only be experienced through the presence of the physical body. „objects may be closer than they appear“ not only makes the vibrations of real bodies visible, but is also the connecting piece to the digital video images in EDEN‘s Uncanny Valley, which are permeated with liquid surfaces.
The room is disturbing and soothing at the same time, but one enters the abysses of the self. The viewer sees himself in the dark mirror (Black Mirror). The real and digital mirror image leads to an awareness of the possibility of self-renewal. The infinite depth, has an almost magical attraction (and if you stare into it long enough, it eventually stares back). The neon works of Christiane Peschek quote – like a cryptic mantra – archaic forms and archetypes of (self-)mythologization, cyberpunk, digitality and the wisdom of the Internet. One is too happy to linger in the limbo of melancholy and self-doubt. Visitors can linger in this uncanny valley for a whole 20 minutes …

In the back office, The DODO Project reflects on the immersive art experience in a setting conceived as a research lab. Here, the collected data material of the retreat self-experiments meets ritualized self-knowledge and thus questions a posthuman archaeology of the future. Oh Hooman, where Art thou?

Translated by DeepL.com

Sponsored and supported by Otto Mauer Fonds, GATE27 and Bildrecht

Oh hooman, where art thou

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