Virtual (?) Futures, Planetary Aims
20 August – 10 September 2023
Ondrej Trhon is a writer, critic, teacher, and a PhD candidate at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. He is interested in all things related to virtual worlds, video games, and the intersection of the digital and political.
His residency with Projekt Atol and osmo/za in Ljubljana was dedicated to researching and writing about digital visual culture, its relation to new planetary imaginaries and how we are rearticulated as planetary objects/subjects by the latter. Among the residency activities, Trhoň was working on an essay draft exploring the ways planetary becoming is addressed through new simulation technologies and video games. Besides that he wrote a shorter opinion piece for ETC (to be published in the third issue of the magazine) and conducted also a conversation with Slovak artist András Cséfalvay and Berlin-based artist Simon Speiser, which will be published in the form of a podcast at Šum journal for art and theory-fiction platform.
The podcast asks how virtual worlds, whether it’s games, VR installations, or anything in between and across, can help us craft a new planetary imaginary. Which affective registers can these media enhance, craft, or utilize – while avoiding the trappings of techno-solutionism and machinic cold? Lives on-screen and away from the keyboard are permeable. How can we break with the consumerist logic of escapism and immersion often talked about in relation to virtual realities and rather rethink the latter as transformative artistic media? What can virtual realities do and what they can’t? What are the undeveloped avenues? Where does interactivity become a burden to meaningful contemplation?
Production: Projekt Atol Institute
Supported by: The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, the Municipalities of Ljubljana – Department of Culture.
ISkRA residency is organized within the More-Than-Planet project and is co-funded by the European Union as part of the Creative Europe framework.
Ondřej Trhoň is a writer, critic, teacher, and a PhD candidate at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. He is interested in all things related to virtual worlds, video games, and the intersection of the digital and political.Ondřej Trhoň