The Silence of the Balkans / Augmented Reality Experience

In Welmuseum Wien you can see the new installation THE SILENCE OF THE BALKANS by Valerie Wolf Gang (from 8. 10. 2020 to 8. 10. 2021). Part of the physical installation is also the virtual augmented reality experience.

The Augmented Reality Experience Application THE SILENCE OF THE BALKANS is currently in the process of being uploaded in the GOOGLE PLAY STORE (delayed due to Covid-19 situation) and will be available to public soon. Stay tuned!

With the Augmented Reality Experience Application THE SILENCE OF THE BALKANS you will be able to explore the gallery space to discover numerous artists’ impressions of examining the Balkan territory (a virtual layer of the installation).

You will be able to find her detailed notes, poetry, various objects, and (watch and listen to) experiences she encountered on her journey and the process of mapping the memory through several artistic methodologies.

Weltmuseum Wien / 8.10.2020 – 8.10.2021

MORE INFO ABOUT THE PROJECT

Project “The Silence of the Balkans” studies and researches the abstract state of memory. It highlights the significance of the Balkan past to the present day and connects it with the future of our common lands. Essential parts of the project are the field research, collecting and archiving of materials (photo, sound, video).

Valerie Wolf Gang traveled along the so-called Balkan Route by car, going into the opposite direction of the refugees currently coming to Europe. She started in Slovenia, passed through Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Albania, and Northern Macedonia until she arrived in Greece.

On the route, Wolf Gang stopped at various graveyards, where she recorded the soundscape. While recording the sound, she meditated and focused in silence on the present experience of the specific geolocation. After each session, she wrote down her thoughts and observations. Part of the documentation was also a photo (wide-angle lens) and video (dash-cam recording of the complete Balkan Route).

The final stage of the project is to bring the sounds she collected into an exhibition environment, where an installation is set up in such a way that the observer can experience the soundscapes as a whole image, listening to all of the graveyards at the same time.

This arrangement creates a crowded, busy effect so that the whole space is very noisy; it produces a loud cacophony, at odds with the implication of the title, “The Silence.” Hence, the suggestion of the title combined with the experience produces an ironic situation, which metaphorically indicates some of the problems currently faced by the Balkans: a turbulent area, packed with different cultures, ethnicities, political views, and social positions, which are at boiling point, and urgently need to be discussed to build a peaceful and bright (better) future.

From the sounds and visual experiences she encountered on the road, Wolf Gang re-creates the moods according to geographical and “state-of-mind” coordinates, which can be triggered, changed, and manipulated by visitors to the gallery. The experience takes place in the parallel augmented reality installation, which can be discovered by visitors as another virtual layer of the installation setup.

3D render of the speakers’ design – the installation consists of 16 custom made speakers, each playing a soundscape of a specific geo-location (selected graveyards from the ‘Balkan Route’)
Work in progress / Valerie Wolf Gang setting up the installation in Weltmuseum Wien (opening of the exhibition 8th of October 2020)

Location:

Weltmuseum Wien, Heldenplatz, 1010 Wien

Daily except Wednesday
10 am to 6 pm

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More photos and video documentation of the installation will be published soon.

Collaboration and support

Title: The Silence of the Balkans
Author: Valerie Wolf Gang
Technical realization: Institute for Fine Arts Vienna, Kreator & FabLab Maribor
AR programming and design: Žiga Pavlovič
Field recording assistant: Urša Bonelli Potokar
Production: PEEK Project, Genealogy of Amnesia, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Co-production: UV Arthouse, Roberto Cimmeta Fund, Weltmuseum Wien
Special thanks to: Kunstforum der TU Darmstad, Kultur Einer Digitalstadt e.V., Marina Gržinić, Sophie Uitz

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