The Medial Environment

In the program presented at IMPAKT a number of productions are brought together that reflect in a variety of ways on themes like the disappearance of public space, the world as a museum, the architecture of ‘Shapelessness’, electronic nomad and the ‘magical world’ of VR. In ‘Travelogue 5’, Stefaan Decostere explores the space and time disjunction, the experience that arises through a (global) Disney-like culture-industry, where everything from the past to future is artificially made available in the present. NOX, consisting of architects Maurice Nio and Lars Spuybroek, made a visual essay about the changing conditions in architecture and design. And Christian Ziegler, an expert in digital architecture working at the HfG in Karlsruhe, describes the experience of digital nomadism. The program was preceded by a lecture/presentation.

If You Lived Here You’d Be Home By Now, Marina McDougal (USA, 1993, 12 min., 16 mm.)
Mixes archival and original footage to describe architectural, automotive and electronic realms that have shaped the great American nomadic experience. From mobile billboards to karaoke machines, this experimental documentary essay combines images that evoke the ether of American sprawl, shaped by technologies which in overcoming time and space have created a vast placelessness.

Travelogue 5; Deja-vu, The Museum Planet, Stefaan Decostere (Belguim, 1994, 58 min., video)
In pre-tourist times objects from distant lands and lifestyles indicated to the viewer a glimpse of ‘another world’. In time these objects came to be collected or curated into musea and exhibition environments. Today ‘going somewhere’ is supplanted by a variety of facilities and media intended to submerge the participant in ‘experiential culture’. This documentary presents Japan as world fabricator of deja-vu future, exploring the characteristics and directions emerging in this next era of cultural experience, where global culture (present, past and future) is always available anytime, anywhere, through both the familiar European and contrasting Japanese models.

Soft City, NOX (the Netherlands, 1993, 6 min., video) 
‘Soft City’ explores the changing nature of our (architectural) environment. Biotechnology, hybridisation and new media technology are undermining our fixed positions and concepts. Using a morphing technique NOX demonstrates that we are increasingly living in a world in transition, where fixed shapes and positions are disappearing, and everything is just a temporary stage in the transition from one shape to the next.

Cyber-archi, Yu-ichi Fushimi and Satoshi Sugiyama (Japan, 1993, 7 min., video)
Architecture is dead – long live the cyber-architecture!

The Electronic Nomad, Christian Ziegler (Germany, 1993, 6 min., video) 
An electronic nomad, living in the desert of the Metropolis. His time is that of a space capsule.

Realites Virtuelles, Cecile Babiole (France, 1992, 25 min., video)
A documentary about the current state of virtual reality, a technological development that may well affect considerable changes in our perception and communication. The tape presents insights into various areas of application and offers some vivid examples. Software developers, scientists, critics and media artists express their view on VR. Its use of cutting edge animation techniques – Babiole herself is one of the leading media artists – makes this piece a work of art in itself.


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