WARUM 2.0

"WARUM 2.0" (2008) is an installation arena dedicated to the victims of war in Darfur, Afghanistan, Haiti, Gaza, Iraq and Kosovo; to Daniel Demoustier who filmed them, and to Paul Virilio who relates these media with techniques of impact. It was presented in Rotterdam during the IFFR 2009.

WARUM 2.0

Warum 2.0, photo © Jan Sprij

WARUM 2.0 attempts to revitalize perception, giving full attention to the documentary image, offering tools that inform against the uses of technology that determine our relation to the world.

Central in the arena is a suspended 360° panoramic screen, from wich four long curved walls of also transparent textiles spread out from the centre into the whole space of the installation. Onto these screens videos are being projected, some by the initiators, others by the visitors themselves, either online or physically present.

In each of the four corners a host welcomes the visitors to operate a specific platform: one for uploading videos from the internet; another for operating a networked surveillance camera on-site; a third platform for access to Warum 2.0 in Second Life via a game-like navigation tool for moving the avatar; and the fourth displays a human Tetris, in which visitors can take positions, activate sensors and massage footage of soldiers in action.

The installation arena Warum 2.0 is based on the video Warum wir Männer die Technik so Lieben that Stefaan Decostere made in 1985 together with Paul Virilio, Klaus vom Bruch, Jack Goldstein and Chris Dercon. It treated the subjects of war, technology and men. Warum 2.0 adds user-interaction and user-generated content – the "2.0" as used also in expressions as "web 2.0" – to the original themes. What 2.0 will bring about is the question. Will it be a manifestation of user driven content? Or will it just bring along hilarious forms of semantic kitsch? Or will entropy then be the final outcome?

The main subject of Warum 2.0 is our changing relation to the documentary image. For the exhibition in STUK Leuven and at V2_ only videos by Daniel Demoustier are included. Unique news footage of Haïti, the Middle East, Darfur, former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan shot by Daniel Demoustier in the past few years for ITN and BBC will be enlarged and restaged.

The original tape version of Warum will not be part of the installation, but it is usually shown alongside the exhibition of Warum 2.0. For these occasions new interview with Paul Virilio has been recorded.

Warum 2.0 stands for the tension between the consumer (wanting tools and services and wanting them cheap and fast) and the producer (wanting access, open source, content, upload capacity, privacy and personal freedom to move and set up as we please).

Here we are then, in between parts and values, amidst the logics which determine our lives and those we try to disrupt; between us and the digital, between those who have the skills and those who don’t; in between that which happens without our knowledge and that we do know and succeed in changing.

The question is: do our actions with technology in the end realize the pessimistic views of Paul Virilio - as expressed two decades ago, and in excessive ways that is - or do they bring about a transmutation out of them?

The Warum 2.0 installation invites the visitors to handle the tools and scripts made by the following collaborating artists:

  • Christian Decker, a 360° panorama video composer
  • Edwin Uytenbroek, a dynamic distributed soundscape
  • Chris Devriese, a sensor driven interactive platform
  • Daniel Demoustier, original video news footage (ITN)
  • Johan Blaeke, labyrinthine structures of transparant surfaces
  • Jonas Hielscher, game and mechanical tool for Second Life
  • Students from TU Delft/Bouwkunde built a human Tetris platform
  • Joyce Portier, blog

Warum 2.0 is an initiative by CARGO and Stefaan Decostere. WARUM 2.0 is a production by CARGO and Stefaan Decostere, with Christian Decker, Edwin Uytenbroek, Jonas Hielscher, Chris Devriese, Johan Blaeke, and with students architecture TU Delft/Media Studies. In co-production with ARTEFACT Stuk/Leuven and thanks to the support by the Ministery of the Flemish Community, the Flemish Filmfund, V2_Institute for the Unstable Media. 

First presentation during the ARTEFACT Festival, February 12 - 17 , 2008.

Second presentation at V2_ during the International Film Festival Rotterdam, between January 21 and February 1, 2009. 

Text based on the description at the Cargoweb-website: http://cargoweb.wordpress.com/about-warum-20-the-installation/

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