ANKE SCHIEMANN
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aWaiting




“Awaiting” is a spatialised archive in VR documenting our encounters with the Anthropo-/ Techno-/ Capitalo-cene. Waiting on decisions, actions, changes, we find ourselves in a perpetual transitory state.

Fantasies of human-centric sustainable futures defer their visions to a time-to-come. In the meantime we are stuck, near-exhausted, waiting. Our time is a waiting room for this anticipated “cleaner”, “greener” future-bound fantasy. An era in-between, condemned as undurable, yet — geological time aside — here to stay within the foreseeable real-time of our human lives. What can we make of a transition that prevails in spite of its inherent contradictions?


With Awaiting we dwell on and in this transitory state. In tackling issues like climate change, visions of a destination are illusory; the phantom points A and B that we envision ourselves to be moving between are far beyond our horizons, outside our graspable scale. The wait in-between is the human experience of our aspired futures of the environment. More-than-human concepts like the Anthropo-/ Capitalo-/ Techno-cenes that are shaping these futures can only be grasped in partial glimpses that adorn the wait.


Moments of waiting expose a tension between urgency and patience, reminding us of the limits to our individual agency. Think for example of all the eager, excited and anxious children urged to wait patiently by their guardians each day. Waiting often feels like little more than a waste of time, made bearable by distractions like the toys in a doctor’s office, coffee table books and golfing magazines or, perhaps at best, our own selection of podcasts or news articles. Yet, we stick through it for our own and others’ sake; we wait on, with and because of others.


Waiting is an incremental, collective process. It underlines our coexistence in the world. In a time of looming doom and urgencies, our project serves as a spatialised archive documenting our encounters with realities of waiting.

(text by Alexandra Barancova)








Link to the Mozilla Hubs Room here:
https://hubs.mozilla.com/FDDCttp/awaiting

Background
“aWaiting” is a VR space, a series of 13 rooms, designed in Mozilla Hubs, which is a web-based social VR platform.
The project was conceived as part of the “Speculative Playrooms” program  by Kara Agora in collaboration with the designer Arthur Gouillart and researcher/ writer Alexandra Barancova under the mentorship of Nicolay Boyadjiev from the Strelka Institute in Moscow. 


About Specualtive Playrooms
“Speculative playrooms is a virtual, interactive and immersive 3D environment presenting the vision of possible future in one or several aspect. It could be a virtual room, office, street, city or even planet with pre-made models and other multimedia assets that helps player/players get an idea of this future scenario. Comparing to video games about future, Speculative Playrooms putting more focus on a testing the concept of future than game mechanics. It’s not about winning or finishing the game, it’s more about getting into the situation of future presented by creators and interaction, observation, discussion, testing the concept of this future so that it could be better understood, evaluated, criticised or/and developed.”


Nikita Khudiakov (curator)