O.B.E. Ego Passages

Ego Passages is a six scene augmented reality dance performance about the nature of consciousness with its premiere at the Performing Arts Festival, 2020

Dancers: Roberta Pupotto, Melli Müller
Music: Jean Delouvroy
Programming: Leonid Barscht, Anke Schiemann

map  to view locations of markers for augmented scenes at Holzmarkt 25

A site-specific app was developed for the event at the Holzmarkt 25, one of the main locations of the Performing Arts Festival 2020.
O.B.E. Ego Passages was also presented at the Extended Reality Code and Materiality in Art and Culture at the Humboldt university Berlin 2021. map  to view locations of markers for augmented scenes at Holzmarkt 25

The project was developed with the AURORA School for ARtists, HTW Berlin funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) with the support of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe.

“O.B.E. - Ego Passages“ is an augmented reality installation consisting of six scenes about the nature of consciousness. Augmentation takes place through smartphone or tablet at six different locations on the at the Holzmarkt 25 ground. O.B.E. is based on some of the ideas of the contemporary philosopher Thomas Metzinger. Consciousness as a reality generator is the central theme of my work. The dancer in my installation (the ego machine agent, short EMA)  is the agent who smoothly moves in between realities, whose task is it to show how fragile our reality model actually is. The EMA shows the cracks, points out the moments when the reality simulation is breaking down.

With my work, I want to create a living, detailed, hallucinogenic world that explores our phenomenal ego through the appearance of the world.

AI is the new and old Buzzword. Der Futurist Ray Kurzweil predicts, that artificial intelligence will pass a Turing test and therefore reach the level of human intelligence by the year of 2029. But what about the consciousness? Is consciousness even possible in artificial intelligence? What actually means consciousness?

Consciousness is the appearance of the world. The ability to shift the first-person perspective actively inwards, exploring our emotional state and to steer our attentions towards thinking processes. The human consciousness differs from other biologically evolved phenomena fundamentally, that it makes a reality to appear in itself. „The conscious brain is a biological machine, a reality generator, that tells us what exists and what not. “ (Metzinger, Der Egotunnel)

The fundamental idea of modern consciousness research says, that the contents of our consciousness are the contents of a simulated reality in our brain and that even the feeling of our existence is part of this simulation.

The pale lilac colour of the seeng sun is not a quality of the evening sky but a quality of the inner model of the evening sky, which is generated by our brain. The evening sky is colourless. “Out there in front of your eyes exists nothing but an
ocean of electromagnetic field, a wild billowy mixture of different wavelengths. Most of them are invisible for you. And can never become part of your conscious reality model.“

Is therefore reality as we experience it every day just a mental stage set, a representation of the world itself? Are we living in a virtual reality already?