SQUAT is a series of videos, sculptures and Virtual Reality-tech taking their departure from the aesthetics, apparatuses and ideologies of the fitness industry. In the gym your only concern is yourself, you are anywhere and nowhere, enclosed by a hallowed space where decay and worries from the outside world seems absent. Tutorial#8 SQUAT refer to the subjects failure to act adequately on instruction. In its iteration at PODIUM Oslo the visitors are encouraged to take the VR-system for a test run, letting its constructed, virtual environment overlap the installation in the exhibition space. SQUAT---UAT at Podium Oslo included a 15 minute session with VR glasses and a personal trainer to test your physical limits. Possible to book via a booking site SQUAT materialises the virtual and breaches the escapism inherent in the popular presentation of the new VR-medium, bringing your attention to the haptic, shaking, fleshy body stuck in the centre. In a society always adapting to the newest demands, the body emerges as the image of the rebel.
SQUAT(2017-2018) A Virtual Reality Installation consisted of a 10 minute session with VR glasses with a personal trainer (PT). Work consisted of: Physical space (IRL): Foam Mat- 3x4 meter 3 Cushions machine in cut foam and synthetic leather (shape of negative space of standard exercises: squat, plank and sit-up) HTC-Vive and computer. Projector projecting VR pov. PT in suit with logo, iPad with booking schedule and equipment for cleaning between sessions. Stayed in character and followed script. Virtual space: Created in Unreal Engine. Gym room with mirrors where projection was. Cushions in exactly same spot as IRL. Note: Cushions react to proximity. Their materiality differs from IRL cushions, they become wobbly and jelly like.
PT in branded tracksuit. Follows a script that takes about 10 min. Touching, whispering and comforting is essential. Excerpt from script: Does the cushion fit? Any resistance? If your position is not optimal, try to move into another, more comfortable position. There! Great! It is made after ideal measurements. Its not your fault if you do not fit completely. That’s why I am here to help. You’re allowed to try some more. Come on! This is where strength is born and excuses come to die. Ole Petter Ribe/Maren Dagny Juell 2017)