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Photo: Anne Wellmer

Up Side Down

2019

Steel, plaster, stone, rope, fishnet, monitor, projector

4’’12 each,  HD video

100 x 100 x 250 cm

Imagine the circumstances of the deep sea, several thousand feet beneath the surface. The only sources of light are bioluminescent creatures, and the level of oxygen is extremely low. As far as we humans know, only a few species can survive there. One of them is the vampire squid that also inspired the cultural theorist and philosopher Vilém Flusser (1920–1991). Flusser’s book “Vampyro- teuthis Infernalis” is a philosophical fiction that brings us into the everyday life of this animal – as the ultimate “other” from a human perspective – and analyses different phenomenological events of human life.

Based on Flusser’s ideas and organized by Anita Jóri, Alberto de Campo, and Hannes Hoelzl, the students of Studium Generale and Computational/Generative Art reflected on deep sea-related philosophical questions such as immersion, animality, otherness, distancing, and ocean plastics pollution.

The Society for Nontrivial Pursuits (students, teachers, alumni, and friends of the Computational Art class) presented a group work, an ensemble of hypothetical deep-sea creatures. They constitute a network of very divergent specimens (artificial individualism) which nonetheless have ways of deciding about behaviors they want to share via coded collectivity.

The exhibition took place at Berlin University of the Arts in January 2019 as an official event of the Vorspiel Program of Transmediale and Club Transmediale (CTM) Festival and is currently receiving numerous invitations from festivals and galleries.

Text by Anita Jóri