Leo – virtuelle Kunst im BRUX

Am 24. April 2019 besuchte ich im BRUX – Freies Theater Innsbruck im Rahmen der Veranstaltungsreihe VORBRENNER, welche als „Versuchsanstalt für zeitgenössische Kunstformate“[1] gilt, den zweiten Teil des Projekts Leo, das die mailändische Künstlerin Martina Jole Moro gemeinsam mit Verschubu realisierte, und begab mich dabei auf eine neue Ebene der zeitgenössischen Kunst. Vorrangiges Ziel der VORBRENNER-Projekte ist es, zu experimentieren, zu forschen und zu versuchen, über die Grenzen von Kunst hinaus zu schreiten, wobei im BRUX die Basis für interdisziplinäre Kunstformen geschaffen wird. Leo ist eines von acht VORBRENNER-Projekten, an denen im Jahr 2019 insgesamt 23 KünstlerInnen beteiligt sind.

foto_website_L.e.O.

Bild: Martina Jole Moro, Leo

Die Künstlerin Martina Jole Moro[2] wurde 1990 in Mailand geboren und ist seit 2013 an der Architekturfakultät der Universität Innsbruck tätig. Ihr momentaner Schwerpunkt liegt auf Immersive Environments und die Theorie und Praxis in Bezug auf den virtuellen und den realen Raum. Während zweier Veranstaltungen versuchte die Künstlerin, Performance mit Virtual Reality zu verbinden. Bei der ersten Veranstaltung, welche am 4. April 2019 stattfand, stand das Spiel mit Licht und Schatten im Vordergrund. Die BesucherInnen erzeugten dadurch akustische und virtuelle Inhalte, die in der Zwischenzeit von der Künstlerin digital übersetzt und in den virtuellen Raum transformiert wurden und am zweiten Veranstaltungsabend, am 24. April 2019, mit einer vorangestellten musikalischen Performance von Maurizio Nardo und Benedikt Unterberger, präsentiert wurden. Zur Musik von Dj Das Russolophon und Drinks konnten die BesucherInnen den neu erschaffenen virtuellen Raum mittels einer Virtual Reality-Brille oder per Mousepad auf einer die produzierten Inhalte wiedergebenden Leinwand erkunden. Zudem gab es durch Overhead-Projektor und auf Leinwände projizierte Graphiken zu betrachten.

Für mich war die erste Berührung mit diesem Projekt zunächst sehr schwierig zu fassen. Beim Besuch der Veranstaltung habe ich Einiges nicht verstanden und konnte das Gesehene kaum in mein reguläres Kunstverständnis einordnen. Erst nach dem Austausch mit Martina Jole Moro wurde mir bewusst, auf welchem hochgradig komplexen, künstlerischen Niveau das Ganze basiert und welche Möglichkeiten es in der Kunst bereits gibt. Dennoch bin ich der Meinung, dass sich unsere Gesellschaft mehr noch auf das Hier und Jetzt konzentrieren sollte, bzw. denke ich, dass der Möglichkeitsraum der realen Welt bei weitem noch nicht ausgeschöpft ist, sodass mir die Beschäftigung mit Virtual Reality noch zu früh erscheint. Nach meiner Erfahrung von Leo habe ich der Künstlerin einige Fragen zu ihrer Arbeit und ihrer Beschäftigung mit Virtual Reality gestellt:

komplex (Sabrina): How did you get to this specific form of art and what are your intentions with it?

Martina Jole Moro: Studying architecture requires thinking in physical space but eventually many of us wander into the imaginary spectrum, it’s not uncommon to see radical designs in architecture history, their function reaches out to underline theories or simply to let go of certain urges to speak out “crazy” ideas. Ordinance, proportion, usage applied into a world without rules, or better with different rules, it’s challenging and fascinating. Virtual environments aren’t meant to replace real world but they function as a temporary escape, in a form of art similar to many others.

k: Whom do you want to reach with your work?

M: Essentially my younger self, effectively some other childlike wanderer follows me down the rabbit hole.

k: How started the cooperation with BRUX and Verschubu?

M: I sent in a proposal to VORBRENNER, “Veranstaltungsreihe” at BRUX, to develop Leo and I was lucky enough to be one of the chosen projects. Verschubu welcomed me to work on the Leo project at their atelier and eventually other members became involved in its development. Raphael Hanny and Lukas Umek contributed under strategy the tactic. Fabian Lanzmaier and Maurizio Nardo worked on the sound score of the project, inside and outside the two realities.

k: How was the idea born to transform a real world within a performance into a virtual one?

M: The delivery of a virtual environment can still only be done through the VR glasses; this is an extremely limiting experience for many. The border between the two realities is too concrete and that’s why the narrative and the settings are important factors to make this transition softer. The narrative behind the creation of a new world was for the participants to build a connection to the project before its completion, to understand the potential behind the idea and implement it themselves. They were given only few instructions and intuitively reacted to the setting.

k: I could not make it to the first event, so could you please describe what happened and how the process of self-segregation from light and shadow with an acoustic performance worked out?

M: The legend of Leo was explained to the visitors, a story of a world eager to manifest in our reality by overriding our visual and acoustical senses. The only thing missing was the human factor and that is what the participants brought in, the way they moved, played and perceived the environment served as a data for the second event.

I made three instruments, the look of them was just like a graphic score to interpret, behind each there was a network of light sensors connected live through an Arduino board and then to a software called Ableton. The people used their shadows to alternate values in the software and produced music. This helped them acknowledge their shadow and use it as a medium of communication with the project. The implementation of sound facilitated the process and enhanced the experience. The sounds were recorded, the people experience was taken in consideration and three 3D-scans of the room with the people inside were done.

k: How was your working process from the first event on April 4th to the second on April 24th?

M: Over the 20 days between the two events I worked on Leo. Everything was based on the data collected on the first event and nothing was designed from scratch, the people were introduced to the environment already on the 4th but only in 2D. I used the three graphic scores as potential structure, extruded their silhouette, analysed the structure and then scaled them and arranged them to meet the architectural standards (ordinance, proportion, usage). The sound recording produced by the visitor’s shadows was given to musicians as a basis for their live performance. Their different musical background fused Benedikt Unterberger’s classical piano with Maurizio Nardo’s electronic sounds, the result belonged somewhere in between the two realities. Lukas Umek, meteorologist, and I tried to recreate a climatic transition inside the real space (BRUX) using fog and lights to match the atmosphere of the environment made by the pointcloud of the 3D-scans.

k: What role played the involvement of a musical performance at the second event?

M: Music was part of both events and it was an enhancement of the experience, the same way as a sound score works in a movie. The performance served as a final introduction to Leo, where the musician presented themselves as shadows and ultimately welcomed the visitors into the experience.

k: Why are light and shadow so important for your work – how do you get influenced by them?

M: Lights and Shadows were important for this project as they represented that link between the two realities. The idea to take light and shadow was to link the way we shape our reality here and the way a virtual reality can be shaped, it had a poetic touch and it might not fit in my next narrative. Though it is fascinating to see how the people that were involved in the project are more sensitive to the aesthetic and potential of shadows now. It’s not a pattern to me and my work; it was a medium of communication in this project.

k: What do you want to express with the projected images (overhead transparencies)?

M: Those images were the original graphic scores of the first event, behind them a network of sensors made possible for the participants to alter sound using their shadows. On the second event I also included a bit more “spacey” looking graphic pieces because I wished people will play with their arrangement this time as they wished to do on the first meeting. The use of the overhead and its analogy projection was to stay in context, the amount of light and shadow projected, with its transparencies; this really communicated the concept to the visitors.

ST

[1] Vorbrenner: www.brux.at/vorbrenner

[2] Martina Jole Moro: www.vorbrenner.org/1-31-04-2019-l-eo-martina-jole-moro

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