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Surrogate

Single Project

Supervised by Hannes Stiefel

Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, 2017

Surrogate deals with the japanese social phenomena of Hikikomori, which describes the behavior of adolescents or adults who withdraw from social life. This group of people disconnect themselves from the reality trying to define a new personality in a virtual world: the cyberspace. A liquid “space” whose inside is nothing more than data; showing up in the physical world as a volume - a transformable skin able to expand in form of a third space between reality and virtuality. A tumor inside a body. which is in a constantly transforming and dealing with the changing structure.

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With its 13,5 km² and 38 million inhabitants, Tokyo Yokohama is the world biggest metropolis currently existing. The city works like a huge machine, a network defined by rules and systems where the inhabitants sustain its ongoing transformation and development. The people can be seen like binary processes in a city which is understood as a computer. The city is not only a physical build structure, but also a system of data, a working network of reacting processes which is not only providing the physical state of a ground with objects but rather a platform of multiple layers, subcultures, people or social groups which are not fitting in the system and perceive it in a completely different way.

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The cyberspace: a liquid space where the inside is nothing more than data. Showing up in the physical world a transformable skin able to expand in the form of a third space between reality and virtual. It is the opposite of the physical space. As more people are leaving the physical world as more the cyberspace is growing, stretching apart and triggering whit the physical one. This structure is a surrogate (ein Vertreter), for this social phenomena of Hikikomori - a manifestation of a hidden non material world inhabited by virtual figures. As consequence the space is appearing as an organism structure which is expanding through the city. It is docking on the buildings like a sponge on a tree, creating a kind of metabolism between them both. This scenario can be brought further till the whole host is invaded by the parasite. This liquid “blob” is surrounded by a machinery shell which is able to grown according to the transformation. The shell is connected to the liquid to input the data and generate the inside world. The Surrogate is deforming the environment like a gravitative and antigravitative force. It is expanding the space and merging together with the building, so that the border between machine and structure gets blurry. The structure becomes part of the machine, the machine becomes the structure.