name: eastern sin
format: video game/vr installaton
genre: interactive virtual audio-video installation
The work is based on the 1920 drama “Eastern Sin” by the Yugoslav avant-garde zenitist author Ljubomir Micić. It was created as a critique of the “old world order” in the light of the aftermath of the WWI. The “old, decadent, Christian Europe” was to blame for setting the stage for “its logical consequence” – “the bloodbath of war”. The solution Micić saw in the “raw Balkan energy”, unspoiled by Christian values as understood by Nietzsche, where this “authentic, uncolonized man” was to “give rebirth” to a new, vital European culture. Stanko Gagrčin’s aim is to show that this transition from academic, elitist, bourgeois art to a democratized, dynamic, popular art did indeed happen but not through Yugoslav influence but – American. Pop art, expressionism, rock, jazz, soul, Hollywood have blurred the lines between popular and high art and created a truly global mass culture. The allegory of Adam and Eve’s exodus from Eden is the ultimate story of how Abrahamic God treats body – as a dirty vessel, meant to be tamed in order to be “saved”. This view has spread through war and conquest throughout the whole world during the past, but during the 20th century the West has experienced a significant shift from the protestant Apollonian principle to a more Dionysian – that global melting pots of New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles have given birth to, standing firm on centuries of European culture.This hybrid work wants to juxtapose all those influences that created the contemporary global monoculture. The videos are supposed to provide the wider context of the planet Earth in its variety (kaleidoscope of landscapes, architectural styles, events). The music is supposed to be the ultimate symbol of vitality – a high energy, Eros-fueled, powerful display of the joy of life – a blend of alternative and mainstream music: electronic sounds, pop melodies and Middle Eastern/Balkan elements. The actors and their physical transformation is supposed to be a symbol of the universality of the archetypes that they represent – “the first people” – such representation of these archetypes gets a new layer of meaning in a globalized world where big Western cities are melting pots of cultures on a never-before-seen scale. The process of creating a hybrid work of art "Eastern Sin" will be a process of searching for new aesthetic languages, relying on both main and alternative currents of art from the present and past. Exploration of the influence of the Abrahamic religions of man in Western civilization. This fresh and original questioning of points of contact and common values of the USA, Europe and the Balkans has an emancipatory potential for artists, not to shy away from "Eastern" or "Western" heritage in their own culture but to use them as their freely and incorporate them into their work. The process of creating a hybrid work of art "Eastern Sin" will be a process of searching for new aesthetic languages, combining procedures and principles from disciplines such as spatial and sound installations, video art, musicals, opera, theater, film, video games, etc. Dancing along the thin line between experimentality and likeability of pop culture. Discovering the expressive potential of new technologies, he encourages artists to use it in their art. Exploring through the use of cultural references – what is a Global identity, European identity, Western identity, Balkan identity. This project seeks to connect the most modern streams of music production with the language of interactive virtual audiovisual installations, all in the narrative framework of the virtual drama "Eastern Sin", This work uses probably the greatest power of video and film: the raw feature of documentary and persuasiveness - and introduces them to a virtual, artificial space, thus emphasizing their feature.A new approach is being introduced in the way art is distributed: the work will have its own web address, where it will be accessible as a video game in an Internet browser or with a virtual reality headset. In this way, work becomes part of the Internet, therefore - accessible to more than half of the human population. In this way, the work exceeds the limitations of physical exhibition spaces, which makes it very safe to consume during the corona virus pandemic.
The shock and appeal of some new technology and media does not in itself hold attention for too long. For that reason, a good story never goes out of style. The dramaturgy of the work largely relies on the dramatic text of Ljubomir Micić. All technical, directorial, musical and scenographic solutions are subordinated to draw the viewer as much as possible into the story itself and its layers of meaning.
The ability to move through space and explore it significantly contributes to the feeling of immersion in work. It will be used in some scenes as a tool of Brecht's "alienation", ie the presence of interactive menus and interfaces will remind the viewer to be in the game / virtual drama, to awaken the critical distance, and then immerse himself in the action again.
The space in certain scenes will be designed according to the logic of the theater stage (with a clear center and focus of the action but with the difference that it will be able to move around it), while in some scenes the space will be such that the viewer can wander through space. through individual videos and sounds in space (as an artistic audio-visual installation). In some scenes, the space will be abolished, that is, completely two-dimensional, filled with interfaces, menus, numbers, in order to evoke the entry into the futuristic world of codes and machines.
The impression of the authenticity of certain videos can be enhanced by placing them in a virtual, surreal space, where we contrast the "raw" nature of the video with the "artificial, constructed" nature of the virtual space. In this way, the video in the virtual space can be experienced as a kind of "window into reality", which results in greater persuasiveness of the story.
Another way in which the power of documentary (in order to enhance realism) is used in this work are the scenes that are filmed with 360 'cameras, so the viewer is inserted directly into the center of the action.
The visual identity of this work rests on eclecticism. In accordance with the most modern musical production of the musical, the visual poetics will rely on the sensibility of internet subcultures that see beauty in the endless postmodernist mix of styles, epochs and aesthetics.
In terms of genre, the music production in this work is inspired by dream pop, IDM, deconstructed club, glitch-hop, trip-hop, experimental electronic music. The use of new expressions creates a special kind of position towards the past, where certain things are retained and / or transformed, and some are rejected (which is in line with the philosophy of the whole paper).
The medium of virtual reality unites all previous disciplines of art in itself and as such possesses great unexplored aesthetic potential.
for a video walkthrough with English subtitles (14min) (1,4 GB)
to download the artwork in the form pf a video game for Windows (subtitles available in English, German, Serbian, Rusyn, Hungarian, Slovak and Romanian) (size: 1,6 GB)
1. Download the files
2. Extract the files using WinRAR/WinZip, if needed
3. Run the file named "WindowsNoEditor.exe".
4. In the game, you can move using buttons A, S, D, W, or the Up, Down, Left, Right arrow buttons and MOUSE.
5. You can exit the game by pressing Alt+F4.