Art Exhibition

10 THE MULTIPLE LIVES OF WALTER B.

10 THE MULTIPLE LIVES OF WALTER B.

Hartmut Koenitz
Physical Installation, Screen, 2015. ASAPS Authoring Tool, RFID Tags

The Multiple Lives of Walter B. is an artwork realized as a physical installation. It invites participants to explore how the fragments that constitute a life are connected through number of interrelated decisions. The participants change a character’s biography by physically interacting with objects and locations.

Inspired by motives from the life of media theorist and philosopher Walter Benjamin (1892-1940), the work is simultaneously an exploration of history, through the lens of an individual character. Benjamin’s multifaceted life provides ample motives for an interactive treatment. The many junctures in his biography open up a
space for speculation – what would have become of him, if he had taken a different turn? At different points in time, he could have stayed in Sweden, in Ibiza or in Moscow. And what would have happened as a consequence? If he would have chosen Moscow, would he have returned to Germany as a Communist party functionary and ended his life as Minister for Culture? If he would have stayed in Ibiza, would he have been known as the first Hippie and a symbol of counterculture later? It is this kind of questions the project explores. And the fragments are not wild speculation, they are plausible fragments of alternate paths.

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