Miriam Mone, Andreas Pils, Michael Hackl (AT)
ARGEkultur, hall | free admission
A boxing match with Andy Candy & Hackl the Knuckle. Ring announcer: Mimu Merz.
Reality, which turns into a comic strip. Three-dimensional images of the hits in the boxing ring print an afterimage in the eyes of the audience. The spectacle of a real fight is as close and real as can be. Mechanically exaggerated and over-dramatized, it jerks the viewers into immediacy. There is no way to miss a punch because all you can see is the successful hits. For the fighters, it is one of the most radical immersions to be experienced. The moment the lights go off and the deafening music starts, technology enforces the rules.
"You are standing there in the pitch-black darkness and know that at every moment, you could get hit in the face, and while you are thinking this, the opponent's fist could be only 10 cm away from your nose."
The only way of escaping the powerlessness is by striking. And this gets rewarded; with every successful punch, an immediate flash of light restores some sense of direction. And forces you to follow up. This sense of direction is only temporarily valid, it needs to be put to use immediately, the next hook has to follow. When the set of highlights ends, the illusion of orientation ebbs away. If technology influences perception, it also influences action. Immersion, the act of delving into this artificial perception, is the important thing here. Boxblitz creates this immersion into an artificial reality by using simple means, but very radically so.
The possibility of punishment (pain) and the deprivation of sight and the ability to assess the situation puts the fighters in an emotional state somewhere between panic and aggression. A dystopian image of the media culture is brought to life.