Metaverse: we are at the end of something



Metaverse: we are at the end of something - video installation by Keiken – UK

10/21 to 10/27, at 5pm, 6pm and 7pm

Fábrica do Futuro / Room 240

Rua Câncio Gomes, 609 - Floresta


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Metaverse: We are at the end of something is an immersive thirty five minute 5-channel film installation.


Narrative:

Built inside a gaming engine, the film is set in a speculative world in the Metaverse. It has a metaconcept that contemplates the intersection of disparate current and impending events in a post Covid-19 future. A metaconcept is the mind’s generalized representation of one or more concepts, in other words a concept about multiple concepts. It explores social distancing, philosophical understandings of rapidly advancing technology, growing wealth inequality, exacerbated divisions in ideology and the colonisation of our internal, external and digital land.


In reference to ‘Pre’ an essay by Ion Dumitrescu, the time of this Metaverse is set in a state of ‘pre’, in which the structures of the world are on the brink of enormous changes. It is at the end of ‘something’, where it is difficult to both define that ‘something’ and see what is beyond. It’s a transitional state that is not easy for the collective mind to comprehend, therefore friction, confusion and fear rise to the surface in a chaotic battleground of emotions.


These feelings are transposed into symbols and semiotics to build the architecture of the Metaverse and used to reimagine the architecture of the body. As Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio states in The Strange Order of Things “Feelings have not been given the credit they deserve as motives, monitors, and negotiators of cultural human endeavors” and “It is feelings that motivate us to build, to invent and to create all artefacts and instruments of culture”. These feelings are also the ‘weapons’ and the ‘carrier bags’ that the characters hold within to attack, compete, defend and protect themselves. Inside this Metaverse the characters have glass pregnancy bellies each displaying objects, they are vessels which carry the tools of their culture, consciousness’, feelings and beliefs. Many of the characters also hold centerpoint knifes which represent their axis of existence and can be their ultimate source of wisdom and their greatest failure. This references Ursula Le Guin’s Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction and her desire to reframe history. Le Guin argued that the first tool was in fact not a spear, a weapon of violence and competition, but actually a vessel – a ‘carrier bag’: “Before the tool that forces energy outward, we made the tool that brings energy home”. We have subverted this concept by acknowledging that its not really important which came first, as we all intrinsically hold and carry both within us. Both have the potential to ‘force energy outward’ and ‘bring energy home’ and we carry them from one space and time into another, wherever we go.


Concept:

In a time of unprecedented change, Metaverse: We are at the End of Something attempts to subvert the contemporary moment into the Metaverse. It encourages a perspective that pulls the audience out of the present moment and into a birds eye view. From here one can contemplate the network of multiple issues and topics to try and rearrange the order of why and how we got to where we are now. It positions the lens to see the self and each one of us as one being manifesting in countless forms of feelings, beliefs and consciousness that strand through each other creating cultures and the foundations of our future. It acknowledges that we will always have the tools and ability for violence, competition, nurture and community, and that the way we feel will affect the way we use the tools and ultimately the way in which we build our future.


Credits:

Made in collaboration with Ryan Vautier, Sakeema Crook, Sarah Blome, Khidja and Rob Malone.

Co-commissioned by Aspex Gallery, FACT Liverpool and supported by Pontoon.


Instagram / Social handles:

@_keiken_, @ryan_vautier, @sakeemathecrook, @sarahblomey, @_khidja_, @robmalone2


photo: Carol Xarlene