SWARM F71834AA6A9A6586


Evoking Mr. Sepp Keiser (born 1923)
in a swarm of 16 inspirited objects

The latest group of works by the art collective etoy is taking the concept of interaction between human beings and electronic devices a step further and explores afterlife, the most virtual of all realities.

TAMATAR are white spherical carriers created for the resurrection of dead MISSION ETERNITY PILOTS. The reincarnation of one human being takes place in 16 Styrofoam bodies. Styrofoam is a typical packaging material: light, cheap, shock-absorbing and, thus, ideal to protect sensitive content. The inherent fragility of the material and the ephemeral nature of its function remind us of the permanent decay of matter.

The spherical shape and the neutral white color of the TAMATAR support etoy's long term strategy to focus on software-driven social interaction instead of deviating attention to the surface of art objects. On its own, each sphere is not much more than an abstract dot moving in three dimensional space. Only through its behaviour and interaction with the environment a TAMATAR reveals its value.

All conceptual and material resources are invested in the production of a social presence: previously recorded memories of the M∞PILOT are used to detect characteristic elements and to derive behavioural pattern for the TAMATAR. This code is combined with voice recordings and ca. 16 giga bites of data collected by the PILOT, his friends/family and etoy.AGENTS to generate 16 TAMAS*.

In a ritualistic art performance, the TAMAS (software) are uploaded into the 16 TAMATAR (hardware: the spheres acting as the transport layer for digital content). The TAMA-SOFTWARE starts to posses the new bodies. The physical carrier is able to move (roll), to talk with the original voice of the dead person and to make use of telepathy (wireless communication). The simple set of possibilities of expression is the base for complex physical, emotional, intellectual and poetic interaction with living human beings, other TAMATAR (the dead) and technical components (on- and offline).

The result is a dynamic hybrid between a constantly moving sculpture and a social-software that divulges itself in a theater play and dance choreography involving the living audience as well as the dead PILOTS and all involved etoy.AGENTS. The performance act translates the digital and spiritual into material. Information becomes visible, palpable and present. The visually and formally abstract swarm of distributed, self-propelled and independent (if interconnected) bodies host parts of the self of a MISSION ETERNITY PILOT: in this case Sepp Keiser, a microfilm pioneer born in 1923. The schizophrenic and disorderly nature of identity and memory in electronic media becomes obvious and of central interest to etoy.

* TAMA: “A general term for spirit or soul in ancient times. In addition to human spirit, it also refers to spirit or spiritual force in nature. A human soul is considered a spiritual entity that comes from outside and dwells in the body, endowing the individual with energy and personality.” Yonei Teruyoshi: Encyclopedia of Shinto, Kokugaku-in University JAPAN