What do you see when you close your eyes?

What do you see when you close your eyes?


The exhi­bi­tion »What do you see when you close your eyes?« which was deve­lo­ped during the THIS IS FAKERESIDENCY I consists of four content-rela­ted virtual reality works, spatial instal­la­ti­ons, objects and an archive. The star­ting point were various ques­ti­ons about the central term »remi­nis­cence«, which arise in the fields of tension between virtual reality, digi­tiza­tion and the real reality of a city like Zeitz in Saxony-Anhalt. Using tech­ni­ques such as immer­sion, embo­di­ment and digi­tal record­ing, perso­nal narra­ti­ves of East German iden­tity, German unity and post-reuni­fi­ca­tion are brought toge­ther with topics of inter­net culture such as online iden­ti­ties and avatarism. Toge­ther, the pieces add up to a multi­me­dia compo­si­tion with a total stay of around 45 minu­tes.

The first VR piece called »MEMORY« enab­les the viewer to connect spaces and places that have been digi­tally preser­ved with the help of photo­gram­me­try to perso­nal stories and expe­ri­en­ces of people from Zeitz. Concep­tual spaces emerge which re-construct and high­light the topics of child­hood and adole­scence in the GDR, work­manship, German reuni­fi­ca­tion and the time after the reuni­fi­ca­tion.

In the VR work »REFLECTION«, the viewer is liter­ally put into an extra­or­di­nary situa­tion: while one’s body is appar­ently repla­ced by an anima­tion recor­ded using motion capture, the own move­ments are trans­mit­ted to the person oppo­site. Due to this shift in exter­nal and self-percep­tion and also the feeling of double presence, the conver­sa­tion with the actress Henri­ette Ross­ner-Sauer­bier, who lives and works in Zeitz, turns into a dialo­gue not only about her perso­nal history around the reuni­fi­ca­tion but also about the visitor’s own expe­ri­en­ces.

The world is chan­ging, and with it the envi­ron­ment of work as we know it today. The VR piece »MOTION« nego­tia­tes the disap­pearance of work­manship in a thea­ter-like setting. Low-poly style avatars perform heavy physi­cal work, which move­ments were captu­red by motion capture, but without actually working on the space or on visi­ble mate­ri­als.

»The future is alre­ady here – it’s just not very evenly distri­bu­ted.« – William Gibson. The fourth VR piece »FICTION« invi­tes the viewer to choose a new body in the form of an avatar inside a room simi­lar to a dres­sing room. »You can be whate­ver you want!« is the postu­late. The construc­tions of sexua­lity, gender, ancestry and physi­cal charac­te­ris­tics will no longer play a role in a utopian future. At the same time, inter­views can be heard from people who are alre­ady spen­ding their time in digi­tal worlds and are speaking about their expe­ri­en­ces with avatars.

A connec­ting element in the exhi­bi­tion is the archive, the »Inter­net Café« with two compu­ters. Finds of analog photos, CDs, VHS tapes and other inter­view excerpts are stored there. With a mouse click, visi­tors can navi­gate through the arte­facts and learn more about Zeitz, the GDR and the post-reuni­fi­ca­tion period.

Media (German Only):
»Selbst­ent­de­ckung in der digi­ta­len Nudel« (Zeitz Online),
»In der Nudel wird es virtu­ell« (Zeitz Online),
»Sekt­stun­den Quali­tät in frem­den Küchen: Live aus Zeitz« (Radio Corax)


Lenn Blaschke, Leon Galli, Julie Hart und Farina Hamann

Zeitz, June 2020

Orga­ni­zer of the resi­dency: THIS IS FAKE
Special thanks to: Lukas Rosen­kranz, Paul Maisel, Birgit und Mathias Mahnke