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The Digital Uncanny - Das Digitale Unheimliche

Group exhibition Guest curator: Brigitte Felderer
23 February 2012, 14:00 - 20 May 2012, 14:00
Opening: 22 February 2012, 19:00
Presstalk: 21 February 2012, 14:00

The uncanny eludes clear definition. What is perceived as uncanny depends on the individual and on the social and technical-historical context. Something uncanny remains hidden, not revealed, and yet it is repeatedly evoked through images and motion, through motifs or formal aspects that turn the familiar into something unrecognizable and yet somehow memorable, appearing to turn the securely familiar into something ambiguous. The “dangerous vibration of the secretive” (Hélène Cixous) breaks through to the surface of the consciousness.

Bogomir Doringer, Hospitality, 2011

It seems to overcome the perception of presented and trusted realities, positing a supposed reality behind shown images. The irrational consequences of advanced technological enlightenment are revealed in the uncanny. For example, a computer screen actually seems to reveal a mere excerpt, a segment of something “that can reach out forever into the universe” (André Bazin) and may trigger a sense of intellectual disequilibrium.

David Moises, Ultimate Machine aka Shannons Hand, 2009
(Peter Sedlaczek, Technisches Museum Wien, Archiv

Media uses fiction to build dimensions – imagined faces, disembodied voices, virtual architecture, objects brought to life. We act in these imaginary realms; we build relationships, make decisions, develop emotions or exhaust ourselves – in the real world. The self that we project to media consists of selected bits of information that nevertheless remain fragmentary and beholden to technical conditions. These medial doppelgangers are merely the manifestation of technical possibilities, documenting neither truth nor authenticity; they approach us in the guise of revenants that might disclose our secrets, reveal our intimacies, disclose obsessions and other hidden desires or fears. Their shadows and silhouettes encounter us in the empty spaces and gaps within familiar, homey surroundings whose real coordinates offer us a sanctuary from the Internet and an apparently solid base from which to act.

Bernd Oppl, o.T., 2010

In short: The uncanny may be revealed in the form of
- shadows that have become independent,
- objects that take on the confusable characteristics of the living,
- interfaces that lead into and not out of real space, 
- mirror images in which we no longer recognize ourselves,
- or – last but not least – as virtual doppelgangers and fragments, all of which disclose their vulnerability.
The exhibition evokes secret fears both visually and acoustically and – for the duration of the show – turns the EDITH-RUSS-HAUS for Media Art into an uncanny space where the appetite for the hidden horrors of technology can be constantly re-experienced and reconsidered. Because, as Stefan Germer said, “To know an object better does not at all mean to make it less terrifying.”

With works by:
Peter Campus (*1937, USA)
Cordula Ditz (*1972, GERMANY)
Bogomir Doringer (*1983, SERBIA/NETHERLANDS)
Torsten Lauschmann (*1970, GERMANY /GREAT BRITAIN)
Bjørn Melhus (*1966, GERMANY)
David Moises (*1973, AUSTRIA / GERMANY)
Bernd Oppl (*1980, AUSTRIA)
Liddy Scheffknecht (*1980, AUSTRIA)


23 February 2012
Scary Songs?
School workshop (from 8th class)

23 February 2012
To hop over the shadow, how does it work?
Workshop for children between 5 to 8 years

23 February 2012, 18:00
Media Education Lounge
Exhibition tour / workshop with Barbara Loreck

24 February 2012, 19:00
Bogomir Doringer - Unwanted Story
Lecture Perfomance within the theater festival "Go West"

15 March 2012, 19:00
Die Gesellschaft zur Förderung von Medienkunst presents: Fear 1
Filmscreening and cocktails on the subject of "gohsts and vampires"

17 March 2012, 17:30
What´s so spooky there?
Guided tour with flashlights for children and brave parents

12 April 2012, 19:00
Fear 2
Filmscreening on the subject of "Angst-Räume"

14 April 2012, 17:30
What´s so spooky there?
Guided Tour with flashlights for children and brave parents

30 April 2012, 17:30
What´s so spooky there?
Guided tour with flashlights for children and brave parents

03 May 2012, 19:00
Fear 3
The uncanny in the film

20 May 2012
International Museum Day 2012
Darsha Hewitt - Electronic-Bell-Choir

23 May 2012
The Space-Sound-Machine
Elektronic-Sound-Workshop with the artist Darsha Hewitt

26 May 2012, 11:00
Alternating current-orchestra
Workshop with the artist Darsha Hewitt

Funded by

Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art, Katharinenstraße 23, D-26121 Oldenburg, Tel.: +49(0)441/235-3208, Fax.: +49(0)441/235-2161
Opening Hours: Tuesday - Friday 14:00 -18:00, Saturday - Sunday 11:00 - 18:00, Monday closed
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