"A Monument for a Sim Inventory" 2023
Sculpture: 6 m tall. Reinforced fibreglass and resin, installed in Timisoara, Romania
Augmented reality work: works through Instagram, approx 5 min. duration
The work was commissioned by the 5th Art Encounters Biennial 2023 curated by Adrian Notz.
The sculpture was placed outside Huniade Castle (Timisoara, Romania) and is a dual work; a physical column and an AR work that tells a story.
From the Biennial Curatorial text:
"Albrecht Dürer’s renowned work Rhinocerus, created in 1515 without the artist ever seeing the depicted animal. It was a response to a strange encounter, the first rhino travelling to the European continent since antiquity. But Ganda, as its Gujarati name was, reached Pope Leo X only as a taxidermic relic. Dürer’s imaginative woodcut became one of the most influential animal images, finding its way into scientific publications up until the 18th century and continuing to be incorporated into numerous artistic imageries long after."
The idea that something is recreated or retold with limited knowledge is essential in many of my works (like The Party) and I worked further on this with the Rhinoceros story in mind, expanding it with a story from Philip K Dick and the computer game inventory. Looking into Dürer, I found that he designed a monument for the victory of the German peasant’s war in 1525. A drawing of a collection of artefacts, animals and people stacked on top of each other, like a column of objects. The sculpture was never produced, but I used the drawing as a starting point for the work.
In the computer game inventory, you have resources you can craft, use, or build your world with (magi elixirs, sustenance elements, weapons, tools). I was inspired by the novel The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (1964) by Philip K. Dick, where people have fun with a game called Perky Pat. It is similar to the computer game franchise, The Sims, but the characters in it own actual, miniature items created by artists. By placing these objects in various configurations (and taking a hallucinogen), the characters in the book escape from the bitter atmosphere of the alien colonies into a fictional reality. In the work Sim Inventory I imagine an alien species descending on Earth and collecting several objects that can be used in a Sim. To Play at being human. To try to understand us.
This is what they take with them. A sort of memorial of humanity. Seemingly random things, but they all have a function, and are very much in use today- by us
AR is developed by: Augumented Space Agency
Sculpture by: Matyas Attilla
Project financed by EEA grant and Praksis Oslo, produced by Art Encounters Foundation.