Beauty in techno-expressive times

28. Jan '2014. Feb '20

For our first exhibition of 2020, we are pleased to present Beauty in techno-expressive times, an exhibition and interactive experience by Claudia Rafael and Moritz Tontsch in collaboration with Weserhalle, Vorspiel 2020 and CTM festival.

With technology we can alter the digital appearance of our bodies, which enables us to develop more personal and abstract interpretations of our physical selves. Using technologies to change circumstances, which are dictated by nature towards an individual approach to beauty has a huge emancipatory potential for self-realization. Digital tools and resources to learn how to use them never have been more available as they are today. Tools like augmented reality open up the possibility to develop a novel approach on beauty. By using these tools, we are able to alter our perception of what is considered beautiful and free ourselves from the current social norm.

Our understanding of physical beauty is changing. Augmented reality is inherently dependent on the physical world yet the physical world becomes more and more dependent on its virtual counterpart. Emerging approaches on beauty in these combined realities influence each other and therefore will change each other. The exhibition at Weserhalle aims to explore the following three statements:

Our virtual self is as real as our physical self. The way we experience beauty in virtual realities is influencing us as much as experiencing beauty in the physical world.

Otherness = Beauty The socially accepted norm of “beauty” is being substituted by strategies to become different. Alienation is used as potential for distinction thus turning socially normed otherness into a new way to create a differentiated beauty. Augmented Reality enables the relief of YOUR idea of beauty that lives in YOUR body and mind.

The naturalistic approach on beauty is over. While in the age of the natural, beauty was altered only to the amount to which it still seemed biological plausible. It was claimed that you look the same way you look in the virtual world as you look in the physical world. In techno-expressive times, altering beauty with the help of technology gets more expressive and digital bodies get more and more alienated from physically possible forms.

Claudia Rafael is a digital Artist and Creative Director. Her work focuses on issues of technology, extended and mixed realities. Rafael is interested in investigating how, “digitalism form new aesthetics” related to art, nature and popular culture. Moritz Tontsch is a motion based media artist researching in artificial nature and alienated bodies in extended realities. He works with VR, AR, grafix, animation and 3D printing.

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