International Biennial of Contemporary Art Ljubljana,
23 June - 24 September 2000
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Cankarjev Dom
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Darij Kreuh
  *1961, lives in Ljubljana

Barcode - III. Immersion, 1999, installation

Barcode, an interactive installation by Darij Kreuh, developed in cooperation with Iztok Bajc and Rainer Linz, is a project of "second-generation cybernetics" according to Janez Strehovec. As such, it belongs to the trend of cybernetic art which is primarily concerned with the organisational and control processes of the human community. This is already suggested by its basic premises, such as autopoesis, self-application and self-organisation. It belongs to this group not only due to its technological groundwork, which enables it to be upgraded on the Internet, but primarily thanks to the possibilities offered to the user. By identifying himself with his avatar (a symbol of remote presence in the synthetic environment), the user takes part in the life of a complex community of virtual agents (clones). In it, he is given a chance to live three or four cycles of an artificial life. He can either adapt to the community, or eliminate himself from it. In short, he has the option to survive or perish in an intelligent environment founded on self-organisation and systemic balance. A special feature of the avatar in this installation is its definition in terms of the user's body weight and height, which means that the mass of the user's body is applied as his identity in cyberspace. "Kreuh's virtual sonic community may not be based on social Darwinism, but it does create space for the simulation of today's relations between nature and culture, or perhaps even cybernature and cyberculture". It is reminiscent of the self-preservation system in which the introduction of each new user alters the interrelationships in the community, requiring adaptations (alliances, mergers, divisions) by other members, which is nothing less than cultural action and reaction.

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