3-channel video installation
HD video loops, gymwheels (Rhönräder), latex
The video installation traces an image of the human body shaped by algorithms, psychology and biotechnology. In the videos, floating Buddhas continually change shape: sometimes looking friendly, sometimes monstrous, and sometimes dissolving. The images were generated by a machine learning model previously trained with a collection of commercial Buddha motifs. The training data is the learning basis of the algorithm to independently produce new images and thus new knowledge.
The video work takes a critical look at the appropriation of Eastern religiosity and its practices used in Western societies for physical and mental self-optimization. Today, meditation techniques are used to improve performance or simply to keep up with the demands of post-capitalist society. For example, the U.S. Army has its own mindfulness training for soldiers.
The monitors are clamped into three gymwheels, reminiscent of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting The Vitruvian Man. In the soundtrack, a voice whispers names of drugs newly approved in the United States. The collection of poetic, mystical-sounding neologisms reads like an encyclopedia of modern biotechnology.
Voice by Elizabeth Gerdeman
Recording by Sebastian Geist
Kind support of Industriekultur Leipzig e.V. and ESV Lokomotive Zwickau e.V.