Sylvia Eckermann and Gerald Nestler

An experimental art format that combines installation, XR, performance, soundscape, song, conversation, and film set, staged at Galerie Elisabeth und Klaus Thoman and simultaneously in virtual space and as a live stream;

PLANETARY SKINS connects virtual and physical space. Contrary to the common perception of VR as an abstract sphere simulating reality in a digitally networked world, the art project explores the materiality of our increasingly hybrid reality.

Contemporary natural science, philosophy, and the arts are forming an image of the world in which all matter, living and inanimate, are entangled across time and space. PLANETARY SKINS materialises these new understandings by bringing together cosmology and micro-organisms, quantum physics and Lucretius’s philosophical poem: ‘De Rerum Natura,’ atmospheres and soils, virtual architectures and socio-cultural patterns, biofeedback and poetic fictions. These post-disciplinary frameworks reshaping our view of nature and human are thus radically collapsed into a sensual experience of digital and corporeal presences.

PLANETARY SKINS turns the virtual into a membrane that interfaces real places, and people, across three continents. Local ambivalences, conflicts, and potentials resonate and react to phenomena caused by technological developments, social upheavals, and ecological crises worldwide. From the interaction of these perspectives emerges an imagination of collectivity that points beyond purely human forms of communality: aren't we all radical matter?

A project by Sylvia Eckermann and Gerald Nestler with Vera Bühlmann, Thomas Feuerstein, Johnny Golding, Barbara Imhof, Carmen Lael Hines, Marian Kaiser, Volkmar Klien, Martha Laschkolnig, Manu Luksch, Mukenge/Schellhammer, Thomas Nail, Markus Passecker, Anna Pompermaier & Cenk Güzelis (./studio3), Tanja Traxler, Wientaler Dreigesang.

After the event, PLANETARY SKINS will be on view as an exhibition at Galerie Elisabeth und Klaus Thoman from May 28 - June 3, and the livestream will be the part of the web series The Future of Demonstration. A panel discussion on May 28 19:00 will focus on PLANETARY SKINS’ artistic format and its interweaving of physical and virtual reality.

PLANETARY SKINS is the third season of The Future of Demonstration. In this art series, Sylvia Eckermann and Gerald Nestler with their collaborators and partners investigate ways of evoking the aesthetic, technological, and political forms of resistance offered by the term demonstration. Conceived by Eckermann and Nestler in collaboration with Maximilian Thoman, the first two seasons of the art series were realised as the Media Art Festival of the City of Vienna in 2017 and 2018.