Boštjan Čadež
PD4


VR INSTALLATION

Aksioma | Project Space
Komenskega 18, Ljubljana

19 December - 5 January 2017
Opening hours: TUE-FRI 12 pm – 6 pm

Exhibition opening: TUE, 19 December at 7 pm
 

 
 

“In evaluating systems the artist is a perspectivist considering goals, boundaries, structure, input, output, and related activity inside and outside the system. Where the object almost always has a fixed shape and boundaries, the consistency of a system may be altered in time and space, its behavior determined both by external conditions and its mechanisms of control.”
— Jack Burnham: Systems Esthetics [1]

The exhibition space in PD4 is empty. There are only a pair of VR goggles [2] and a couple of transmitters. The artwork is not present in three-dimensional space. Its object is a virtual body that extends into the algorithmic infinity of alternate reality.

PD4 explores the idea of presence and self-awareness measured by effects such as a sense of space, time, the body and emotional states. It also deals with the idea of (un)real spaces. The visitor becomes a player in a reality game in which one is constantly losing one’s sense of one’s own body and, therefore, feeling the gravity of one’s own corporeality even more. By creating monochromatic autogenerative levitational architectural elements, the artist conceives a programmed space that the player produces with his or her gaze. He is interested in improvisational aesthetics and the metamorphoses of a live computed sculpture in which the morphing space becomes the spectator’s psychological portrait. Active players are struggling with a sense of balance and orientation in the unpredictable, constantly growing space. Passive spectators are overwhelmed by the expanding constructions, feeling immersed in a doubly interior space: firstly in the space within virtual architecture, and secondly in the space within their own perceptual apparatuses. What the spectator is viewing is not a digital image, but rather a very corporeal image. The architecture of space is not something external, but rather an intrinsic string of characteristics that grow at various levels of syntax and manifest themselves as a set of random formations. These discreet sequences are translated in space as continuous events. The entire environment in PD4 is a sensitive alternate body composed of data-points that deconstruct or saturate.

The space of the alternate reality of PD4 is programmed with Unreal Engine 4, a suite of integrated tools for professional developers of games, simulations and visualisations. [3] Simulations of commercial virtual spaces, which, among others, use these tools, are inclined to producing approximations of reality, whereas Čadež is interested in exploring the boundaries of algorithmic worlds. He is interested in physical and mental effects escaping the users’ control. The aesthetics of PD4 does not aim at effects that would be “better than reality”. In PD4, the player does not identify with anything. PD4 is a simulacrum, it is a walk through alternate nature, the incoherent world with a new geography testing the limits of its own perception. The player is dealing with one’s own corporeality, depth, height, searching for a point of orientation, which challenges all established or learned perceptual processes. The game has no scenario, no narrative; it has generative scenes that keep changing all the time, expanding and flipping over ad infinitum in a temporal and spatial sense. The game has no goal that could be controlled, anticipated or completed because it leads to the expansion of consciousness achieved through the medium of corporeal and mental processes. It is not an escapist resort to entertainment industry and synthetic please. If PD4 has a goal, it is to show that the greatest illusion is the idea of objective reality, the idea that there exists a world that is stable, fixed, and can be perceived as is. For we cannot prove deductively that the “real world” exists without the need for our argument to take into account our presupposition “that the real world exists”. Given the consistency of human perceptions and our seeming inability to affect the findings about these perceptions, it is reasonable to believe that a reality exists as an effect of our perception. The most we can say is that a real world exists only because we do not have sufficient evidence to prove that is does not exist.

The updated HD VR technologies with minimal lagging are announcing a new revolution in the post-information age. At last, VR consoles take into account the carbon-based body which was condemned to a passive sedentary experience for several decades. With VR technology, the player has no surrogate body or avatar that is not subject to bodily functions. Virtual environment is an apparatus for perceiving relations, which takes into account the tension between freedom and necessity. It appears as a causal network of infinite dimensions, which cannot be fully computed or foreseen, for the human body does not have a uniform or exclusively geometric sense of space that could be determined by measuring distances. Space is not uniform but rather condensed or dispersed like time and PD4 challenges our sense of both.

PD4 generates alternate reality, it is a programmed sculpture that enables the players to experience the environment that translates the architecture into a situation. PD4 produces a perceptual spectrum that is not better than real; yet, it is real in all its corporeal and mental perceptibility.

NOTES

[1] Jack Burnham: Systems Esthetics, v: Artforum, New York, 1968, p. 32. See also: Jack Burnham: Systems Esthetics, in: Richard Kostelanetz, ed.: Esthetics Contemporary, Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1978, pp. 160–171.

[2] VR goggles are special glasses enabling perception of virtual reality.

[3] Unreal Engine 4 tools are free for all not-for-profit users. Unreal environment is projected in VR goggles, connected to Lighthouse (HTC Vive) laser transmitters, which enable the tracking of visitors in the entire space.

 

 


Production:

Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, 2017



Artistic Director: Janez Janša
Producer: Marcela Okretič
Executive Producer: Sonja Grdina
Public Relations: Alja Žorž
Technician: Valter Udovičić
Documentation: Jure Goršič (photo)


Supported by: the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Ljubljana




CONTACT
Aksioma | Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana

 

Boštjan Čadež
 
 

Boštjan Čadež (1979) is a media artist. He studied industrial design at ALUO in Ljubljana. During his studies, he received an award for a special student achievement for the design of the tyre called Sporty which is still produced and sold by the Sava company. At the same time, he was an active graffiti artist and he released three compilations of sound-responsive animations on the website of the then-popular mp3 player Winamp. With the interactive computer game Line Rider (2006), designed under the supervision of Prof Zdravko Papić, he was successful in the global market and for this work he received a prestigious award for innovation at the computer game developers’ summit in San Francisco. At the 13th Biennial of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean (2008), he and Velibor Barišič (Veli Silver) conceived the PPP box project, which provided a framework within which several dozens of artists exhibited their works in important galleries locally and internationally.

He is active in the field of video projection generated in real time. He is one of the key artists in the field of video mapping of architecture and interiors in Slovenia. Together with media artist Marko Batista, he conceived the performance Timing Diagrams (Kino Šiška, Old Power Station, +MSUM, 2013). In 2013, he also received the Zlata ptica award in the category of intermedia art. In the same year, he developed the robot installation Self-Portrait (Aksioma Project Space, 2013), produced by the Aksioma Institute. With video projections in real time, he is active as a member of the expanded team of the art collective Cirkulacija 2, with which he mapped the façade of the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU, 2010), among other things. Within the framework of Cirkulacija 2, he conceived several video mapping surfaces in projects URBI et ORBI/Total Art Platform (Svetlobna gverila, Kino Šiška and Tovarna Rog, 2011), Total Art Platform: Noise as a Metaphor (Močvara Gallery, Zagreb, 2012), in Cirkulacija 2 with all-night group art performances such as Noise is Us: Space Time (2014), RadArt #6 :: Radar Rhizome (2015), Noise is Us::Cultural Interfaces (2015), Welcome to ATT/AND (Ljubljana, Reka, 2016), and a solo presentation with the installation Swarm (2016). In collaboration with artist Neven Korda, he developed video projections for larger architectural surfaces in the series Parallel Worlds (Paralelni svetovi, AKC Metelkova City, 2006–2011); with Korda, he also conceived a live generated video-dance performance Echoes (Old Power Station, 2009). With the work Tekstom(l)at created in collaboration with artist Lina Rica, he participated in the group exhibition Zig Zag (Škuc Gallery, City of Women, 2015) and in the 8th Triennial of Contemporary Art – UR (Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana, 2016). With the work Alphabet Soup, he appeared at the 18th International Festival of Contemporary Art Practices Pixxelpoint (City Gallery Nova Gorica, 2017).