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Or So It Seems
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Exhibition
1–26 February, Akademie der Künste

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Or So It Seems is collaborative exchange between Alan Butler and Simone C Niquille that interrogates the technical and socio-political implications of computer-vision technologies. A simulation of an extreme weather report of a never-ending storm is interrupted by duckrabbit – the star of an animated TV series – who tells their queer coming-of-age story of self-discovery and their struggles with vision technologies. Roaming through California’s Yosemite National Park, the news reporter screams My First Summer in the Sierra (1911), an account of ‘nature writing’ by John Muir, in defiance of the storm, while duckrabbit ponders their desires for ambiguity in a world composited and remade with CGI assets.

As these worlds begin to collide and blur, their uncanny representations come apart at the seams. Questioning the gaps between the realities generated by CGI and simulation technologies and their high-resolution capturing of the present, Or So It Seems asks how we hold together when the line between impending doom and entertainment becomes unclear.

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The exhibition features the premiere of two new video works by Alan Butler and Simone C Niquille.

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This FAQ was written by Lorena Juan and Nora O Murchú, who collaborated with Alan Butler and Simone C Niquille to make this exhibition.

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What is happening?

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What is the exhibition about?

SpecialText { "__typename": "tm23Layout_specialText_Entry", "sectionHandle": "tm23Layout", "typeHandle": "specialText", "id": "96468", "title": "How does this relate to transmediale’s festival theme?", "slug": "how-does-this-relate-to-transmediales-festival-theme", "uri": "exhibition-adk#faq-2#how-does-this-relate-to-transmediales-festival-theme", "url": "https://2023.transmediale.de/exhibition-adk#faq-2#how-does-this-relate-to-transmediales-festival-theme", "subtitle": null, "description": "How does this relate to transmediale’s festival theme?", "body": [ { "__typename": "body_textBlock_BlockType", "text": "The 2023 festival edition explores how scale reconfigures relations, politics, and affects in an age of mass images. In this exhibition, Alan Butler and Simone C Niquille are not thinking about scale as a reference to things as big or small, but instead approach scale as something that is constantly made and remade by the images we see and the devices we use.", "style": [ { "__typename": "styling_Category", "id": "44539", "title": "Body Blocks Styles", "uri": "body-blocks" }, { "__typename": "styling_Category", "id": "60657", "title": "Text small (Body Block)", "uri": "body-blocks/text-small" } ] } ], "image": [], "linkTitle": null, "linkUrl": null, "related": [], "style": [ { "__typename": "styling_Category", "id": "61892", "title": "tm23 Layout Modules Styles", "uri": "modules-tm23" }, { "__typename": "styling_Category", "id": "61903", "title": "Special Text: Expandable (Modules)", "uri": "modules-tm23/special-text-expandable" } ] } +

How does this relate to transmediale’s festival theme?

SpecialText { "__typename": "tm23Layout_specialText_Entry", "sectionHandle": "tm23Layout", "typeHandle": "specialText", "id": "96476", "title": "What is the weather forecast reporter saying?", "slug": "what-is-the-weather-forecast-reporter-saying", "uri": "exhibition-adk#faq-2#what-is-the-weather-forecast-reporter-saying", "url": "https://2023.transmediale.de/exhibition-adk#faq-2#what-is-the-weather-forecast-reporter-saying", "subtitle": null, "description": "What is the weather forecast reporter saying?", "body": [ { "__typename": "body_textBlock_BlockType", "text": "The news report takes place on a virtual terrain with a topology modelled on that of Yosemite. The simulation unfolds across 200 km² of the 3,027 km² that the national park covers. As they roam this landscape, the news reporter screams-reads *My First Summer in the Sierra* (1911), an account of nature written by John Muir. Muir was a preservationist who saw the natural world as sacred and divine that should be saved from the corrupt hands of human society. In his campaign to make Yosemite a national park, the spiritual quality of his writing and his enthusiasm for nature inspired many readers, including then President Roosevelt, and led to the establishment and preservation of the park. Walking through this now-altered landscape, the weather reporter screams an image for the audience to consume: an image of the world that once was, pointing to the long legacy and role of image-making technologies in mythologising the Western notion of Nature.", "style": [ { "__typename": "styling_Category", "id": "44539", "title": "Body Blocks Styles", "uri": "body-blocks" }, { "__typename": "styling_Category", "id": "60657", "title": "Text small (Body Block)", "uri": "body-blocks/text-small" } ] } ], "image": [], "linkTitle": null, "linkUrl": null, "related": [], "style": [ { "__typename": "styling_Category", "id": "61892", "title": "tm23 Layout Modules Styles", "uri": "modules-tm23" }, { "__typename": "styling_Category", "id": "61903", "title": "Special Text: Expandable (Modules)", "uri": "modules-tm23/special-text-expandable" } ] } +

What is the weather forecast reporter saying?

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Who is duckrabbit?

SpecialText { "__typename": "tm23Layout_specialText_Entry", "sectionHandle": "tm23Layout", "typeHandle": "specialText", "id": "96503", "title": "Who are Simone C Niquille and Alan Butler?", "slug": "who-are-simone-c-niquille-and-alan-butler", "uri": "exhibition-adk#faq-2#who-are-simone-c-niquille-and-alan-butler", "url": "https://2023.transmediale.de/exhibition-adk#faq-2#who-are-simone-c-niquille-and-alan-butler", "subtitle": null, "description": "Who are Simone C Niquille and Alan Butler?", "body": [ { "__typename": "body_textBlock_BlockType", "text": "Simone C Niquille is a designer and researcher based in Amsterdam who investigates the representation of identity and the digitisation of biomass in networked spaces of appearance. Alan Butler is an Irish artist whose work explores material and philosophical ideas about how imagery and meaning function in technologically-mediated realities.", "style": [ { "__typename": "styling_Category", "id": "44539", "title": "Body Blocks Styles", "uri": "body-blocks" }, { "__typename": "styling_Category", "id": "60657", "title": "Text small (Body Block)", "uri": "body-blocks/text-small" } ] } ], "image": [], "linkTitle": null, "linkUrl": null, "related": [], "style": [ { "__typename": "styling_Category", "id": "61892", "title": "tm23 Layout Modules Styles", "uri": "modules-tm23" }, { "__typename": "styling_Category", "id": "61903", "title": "Special Text: Expandable (Modules)", "uri": "modules-tm23/special-text-expandable" } ] } +

Who are Simone C Niquille and Alan Butler?