Under the heading INTER__FACES Pictoplasma 2019 focuses on the power of abstract characters to trigger what we perceive as interaction—shifting the conversation away from the hype of AI and seamless immersion towards an investigation of what actually happens in the charged space between the viewer and the viewed. The group exhibition at Silent Green will confront visitors with a multitude of virtual and abstract faces in multimedia installations––among them new and specially commissioned works. Although the characters initially engage viewers, their attitude remains alien, seemingly aloof and disinterested. What is it about them that provokes our empathy? Why do we expect our feelings to be reciprocated? And how do we cope when our expectations are not met? Here, in the sinister atmosphere of Silent Green, visitors can try out what it means to get close to virtual characters.
Lucas Zanotto installs a series of large kinetic sculptures with which viewers try in vain to establish eye contact. Sundance award winner Jeron Braxton seduces us into a performative interaction with his polygonal characters––but what remains after this workout with an avatar as a virtual mirror? And in a serial group artwork characters by Elenor Kopka, Eran Hilleli, Julian Glander, Laurie Rowan, and Peter Millard appear as giant holograms, which react to viewers and elicit their empathy, only to destroy it again, or render it superfluous. Here in the sinister atmosphere of Silent Green, visitors can try out what it means to get close to virtual characters.
The transitions from real to virtual, analogue to digital, human to machine become visible. Filmmaker Nikita Diakur shows a video in which footage of his body is transformed into a digital character, which can be manipulated and modeled. And a group artwork features the finalists of the open call Secret Sidekicks, for which participants were asked to overlay documented scenes from their lives with a fictional character: augmented banality replaces augmented reality.