Marija Avramovic & Sam Twidale
The Zone is probably the creepiest and most liberal use of the term exhibition we’ve come across. It’s a 3D ‘zone’ which you navigate with your cursor to uncover strange and mysterious objects, based on a book called ‘Roadside Picnic’ by Arcady and Boris Strugatsky. I’ve never played animal crossing, and I’ve only watched the first half hour of the twilight zone, but I imagine ‘The Zone’ to exist somewhere between the two.
In the zone, strange, alien structures tower around you and react to your clicks in odd ways, like jarring noises, or pop up boxes with abstract text & images. Pacing figures mumble disjointed sentences, which make little sense. And small, floating books act like exhibition texts, feeding you the plot of ‘Roadside Picnic’ & explaining your surroundings. I love objects with mysterious and unknown agencies (lol), and so I found navigating really fun. You sort of feel like theres no way to fully explore the site at hand, which I think is the point.
The Zone is decoded by accompanying essay, ‘Becoming Scavenger’, by Amy Jones. Here she reads alien objects through theories of the sublime, where the brain fails to comprehend the immensity of something other, and sort of short circuits. It strikes quite a moralising tone, asking the reader to reach new levels of understanding on issues like climate change. The text is comprehensive but lucid, and gives you just enough theory to chew over the zone you’ve just explored without didactically decoding the exhibition, which is nice.
Would deff give this a read (watch? play?). Link is here.