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Whichcraft

by István Botond Tobai & Adrienn Pintér (HU)

Botond István Tobai and Adrienn Pintér created a virtual space, where you can experience the nostalgia for your memories by having around an inventory of the objects that used to belong to one’s past. You can see the accessories of a happy childhood, but also objects from The room-scale VR environment that surrounds the visitor offers a sudden cheerfulness, not only because of the playfulness and the diversity of the surrounding objects, but also the ASMR sounds that accompany the items of one’s memory. By collecting the 3D-scanned objects and entertaining oneself with them, one can start to question the real nature of technological obsolescence and the continuously changing media that shape our senses and awareness. As Susan Sontag has stated about photography, “the inventory started in 1839 and since then just about everything has been photographed, or so it seems.” We might have the feeling that by browsing photos we can learn about and embrace the whole world. This is also the reason for taking so many digital photos. Already in the mid 80’s, Kendall Walton pointed out that the lack of mental effort in creating photographic images is a quality that distinguishes them from paintings, sketches or other handmade images. It might also happen in the case of 3D-scanning of our objects, that also became an automatic gesture with the aim to map the universe of things. This is perhaps why it became such an automatized gesture to take pictures of all our events and experiences, that transformed into living our life only by looking at it through various ‘filters’. This is the aftermath of a fast technological development, that resulted in the phenomena of obsolete technologies. Bernard London, in 1932, introduced the idea of the planned obsolescence in order to fight the Great Depression, which today takes many forms also on a micropolitical design level. But this obsolescence can be an inspiration for artists’ works as well. Botond István Tobai and Adrienn Pintér are using the obsolescence as an artistic research method: They have created a virtual space, where one can experience the nostalgia for one’s own memories by having around an inventory of the objects that used to belong to the past, but, with the help of this collection of playful elements, also reflect on the obsolete technologies that helped us until now to archive and “carry” these with us. While having a joyful experience thanks to the ASMR sounds that accompany these objects, one can also meditate on the philosophical concepts of Paul Virilio such as dromology, the science of speed that changes our senses and awareness.

Whichcraft