The DEAF98 Exhibition presented electronic art projects that facilitated encounters and interactive experiences with aspects of an 'ars accidentalis'. The artworks dealt with earthquakes and wars, with airplane crashes and the disappearance of horizon and linear perspective and with the incompatibilities of physical and virtual spaces.
In our world, accidents are an everyday part of reality.
The things we produce have a tendency to malfunction as
much as they are capable of functioning properly. We try
to predict and control things; yet, we are often surprised
by their creativity to malfunction in a great variety of
ways. Such accidents are only perceived as a tragedy if
the assumption is thrown into an uncontrolled transition.
Accidents only happen from the perspective of an illusion
of safety and control. Misfortune and failure are not signs
of improper production. On the contrary, they indicate the
active production of the "accidental potential" in any product.
The invention of the ship implies its wreckage, the steam
engine and the locomotive discover the derailment (Virilio).
The accident is the ultimate functioning of a product. DEAF98
explores what an "ars accidentalis" might be. The festival
presents and discusses accidents and their preferred environments
in such areas as art, sound, architecture, urban planning,
economy, and electronic networks. It investigates interactive
machines, virtual environments, acoustic spaces and hardware
and software projects for their "accidental" potential.
DEAF98 is not looking for conclusive answers. It investigates
the project in the face of failure.