Desert of Realities


22/09/2023 to 17/11/2023


22.9. from 5pm

Preview as Work in Progress

23.9. – 15.10. Tu– Su 2 - 7pm and by appointment

17.10. – 17.11., Tu– Fr 2 - 7pm and by appointment

29.9., from 6pm

Opening with artists, guided tour


Friday, 22. September 2023 - 17:00



esc mkl Desert of Realities Flavia Mazzanti

Welcome to the desert of the real.

[Morpheus to Neo in the film Matrix]

With this set piece by the media philosopher Jean Baudrillard, Morpheus introduces Neo’s preparation for his task when he reveals Neo to live in a dream world that exists only as part of a neuro-interactive simulation - a matrix - while he is in a destroyed, sun-darkened world ruled by machines: “Welcome to the desert of reality”.


In the film, the beginning of the Matrix is defined by the creation of the systems of AI. In fact, applications of AI have long permeated all areas of our lives, impacting our decisions and social relationships as well as influencing the economy, politics, and society.


Simulation dissolves the difference between the real and the imaginary, transforming it into indifference, a “hybrid reality.” Within the hyperreal, the real and the imaginary can no longer be distinguished; the physical and the digital merge, becoming “phygital.”


Likewise, the relationship between humans, nature and technology is changing towards a new configuration, a new web of relationships. Donna Harraway already referred to the transformative potentials in dense webs of relationships. If we can awaken from the simulacrum of the matrix, can we change the desert of realities with certain tools?


In the Desert of Realities exhibition, the use of technology no longer appears only as a dystopian model of a gloomy vision ofthe future or as a representation of the current state, but also as part of the solution that we should embrace: It makes a difference whether you only know a path, or whether you walk that path. [Morpheus]


Co-production with Constant VZW Brüssel, Immerea, kunst_@_werk, Mori Art Museum Tokyo; a cooperation in the frame of steirischer herbst ’23; co-operation with ORF musikprotokoll 2023