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"Crossroads" 01/22

"Crossroads" Stella Jermann and Jan Hunkemöller

At crossroads, one is forced to decide either to continue straight ahead or to turn onto new paths that lead away from the previous one. They also offer the possibility of a clash with what comes from other, unknown directions, and thus encounters with the foreign. According to these characteristics, crossroads are in an in-between state - a neither-here-nor-there - are ambivalent liminal spheres where different paradigms and opposing ideals either collide or merge. At the same time, they are potential sites of crisis that lead to the choice of either one path or the other. Yet they are not merely the sum of one path plus the other. At the intersection of the paths, they lose their directional character and become a place, or location, or spot. There one is neither on one, nor on the other way, neither on one of them nor both together. In this consideration of the crossing as a liminal sphere, they become points of interweaving. According to ancient folk belief, the membrane that separates our everyday world from other dimensions is particularly thin at places like crossroads. The possibility of communicating or making contact with that which lies beyond the boundaries of our reality is therefore most likely to occur at these places. Also the probability that spontaneously inexplicable phenomena appear seems to be much higher there.

Using photogrammetrically captured objects of Worringer Platz as the basis for 3D animated landscapes and processes, the three-part work Crossroads stretches real space into imaginary space, physical space into virtual space, exploring the materiality of digital objects and their relationships to their counterparts in manifest reality. The first chapter of the work is modeled on PALACE's kick-off event celebrating the birthday of art on 01/17-21, during which the exhibition space was fumigated with several bundles of California sage. Selected moments of the actual action on site are expanded and enraptured in the animated space. The second chapter decouples almost completely from the site-specificity of Worringer Platz; it offers entry into a virtual in-between world of its own, in which fragments, phenomena, and symbols of various origins gather and rhizomatically connect. References to direct physical data in the form of photogrammetrically captured objects are used, as well as exclusively digitally produced content that imitates natural forms or represents complete fictions. Textures of some models have been subjected to translation and back-translation by modifying the photographically generated textures using artificial neural networks, such as the software "DeepDream", and reapplying them to the model. Another process of this kind is the digitization and thus the transition of real elements of Worringer Platz into immateriality, while on the other hand objects of other rhizomatically connected places in the exhibition space acquire physical presence. The methodology of the work thus consists in a constant de- and reterritorialization of its elements.

Photos: Christian Ahlborn

The exhibition runs until 06.03.22

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