Exhibition opening & performance
International Festival of Character Design and Art
The 15th Pictoplasma Festival probes unreciprocated emotions between humans and virtual characters. Screenings at Babylon, Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz present experimental animated shorts a far cry from family entertainment. A walking tour leads through project spaces in Berlin’s Mitte district, showing the work of renowned artists in the fields of illustration, animation, digital design, and comics to a Berlin audience for the first time. Silent Green shows the central exhibition Inter__Faces: a multitude of virtual and abstract faces in multimedia installations––among them new and specially commissioned works. What is it about these characters that provokes our empathy? Why do we expect our feelings to be reciprocated? The festival extends the current conversation beyond the technological focus and exaggerated expectations for seamless immersion to examine the charged space between the viewer and the viewed.
Group exhibition Inter__Faces
The central exhibition Inter__Faces presents artistic works that explore our emotional relationship with virtual characters. Although the characters initially engage viewers, their attitude remains alien, seemingly aloof and disinterested. Lucas Zanotto installs a series of large kinetic sculptures with which viewers try in vain to establish eye contact. Sundance award winner Jeron Braxton seduces us into a performative interaction with his polygonal characters––but what remains after this workout with an avatar as a virtual mirror? And in a serial work, characters by Elenor Kopka, Eran Hilleli, Julian Glander, Laurie Rowan, and Peter Millard appear as giant holograms, which react to viewers and elicit their empathy, only to destroy it again, or render it superfluous. Visitors can try out what it means to get close to virtual characters. Much celebrated interactivity reverts to too much intimacy.
The transitions from real to virtual, analogue to digital, human to machine become visible. Filmmaker Nikita Diakur shows video footage that is manipulated and transformed into digital characters. And an installation features the finalists of the open call Secret Sidekicks, for which participants were asked to overlay documented scenes from their lives with a fictional character: augmented banality replaces augmented reality.
Start: 6 pm
Opening performance: Fred und Luna, UFO Hawaii
After the opening of the exhibition in Silent Green's underground concrete hall, the festival kicks off in the ceremonial cupola with an electrokraut performance by Fred und Luna—the two mannequins and muses of musician, poet, photographer, and film-maker Rainer Buchmüller. He will be joined by UFO Hawaii aka Künstler Treu.
Doors: 8 pm
Start: 8:30 pm
Elenor Kopka: Resurrection Drive Part II, still from animation film, 2016 I George Tonks: Secret Sidekick, digital illustration on photography, 2018 I Jeron Braxton: personal work, digital illustration, 2018 I Julian Glande: Hologram, preview for the exhibition at Silent Green, digital illustration, 2019 I Lucas Zanotto: Eyes, still from the animation film, 2018 I Nick O’Malley: Secret Sidekick, digital illustration on photography, 2018