Tag Archives: video installation

Live smart, cook healthily: The “Smacoo!!” installation

I’ve built a fully fledged tranquil fantasyland of endless gadgetry and enjoyment into the catacombs of a defunct flagship building of the municipal housing company of the city of Vienna, Austria. A commission by the Soho-in-Ottakring foundation for the 2016 edition of their biennial art festival, the piece comprises a three-channel video installation with sound, myriads of smartlife equipment, organic food, all sorts of drinkable liquids, and a considerable amount of interior design craftwomanship.

People entering the “Smacoo!!” installation – the title is a blend of the words smart and cooking – barely found out if they had immersed into a video program, or into the land of free milk and honey, or into a smart laboratory of the future, or into a modern version of Pieter Breughel’s “Luilekkerland”.

All things were interwoven with each other, and while some visitors just fell into trance by watching a looped version of my film “Another ordinary pre-view day at Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte”, others settled on the large sofa where they could screen the one-hour runtime video “The influence of alcoholic drinks on the social intercourse of the intelligentsija”, while their children quickly found out about the super organic meals and dairy everywhere in the room (and also about the trampoline-like qualities of the sofa suite).

Another group of participants seemed to be waiting in front of an apparent oven for the lasagne to be ready and served, although that moment never happened – “Lasagne TV”, an extra-short loop of seventeen seconds on the tiny kitchen-class flat screen.

A series of private-style events poored beautiful people into the installation, and besides all the food processing and cooking, the cool drinks and the hot discussions, there was also time for intense quantify-yourself-activities and video-surveillance aka film-shooting. Results? Soon!

Of battery-powered chainsaws, Franz Kafka, curating, and the Art-Free Territory

I’ve sent an image scientist through my latest exhib in Austria, “Home Alone”. Here is what she brought back from the tour:

“Home Alone” is a fifty meter wide media installation, staged at the “Ausstellungsbrücke” (english: “Exhibition Bridge”) in Sankt Pölten, Lower Austria. It involves a “fitness zone”, a “living room”, a “museum”, and a “bar”. Each of these areas provide different levels of involvement to the visitors.

The show starts with a huge wall painting, depicting the exhibition’s intro text and a dozen company logos. Next to it resides the participatory video work “Get Fit With Dr. Lapschina”, which asks the visitors to work out. Stuff for engaging in the vigorous physical exercises is provided – as well as a bunch of museum benches, for people who prefer the lean-back mode.

The living room part of “Home Alone” has a comfy sofa suite, a large screen, several framed pictures on the walls, three lightboxes, a couple of books and catalogues on a coffee table, a hammock, and a bottle of wine to offer. The pictures don’t show anything though. They are only reminders. Also these aren’t regular lightboxes. Their role is to provide a distinct atmosphere to the place. And while the TV presents a 3′ loop version of Lena Lapschina’s video piece “Runtime”, it’s just the camo jacket for the smart home components everywhere in the room.

So, why not spend some time in the museum? Meticulously arranged vitrines give an impression of life in Lower Austria, in Manhattan or in Brooklyn, or elsewhere on this planet. It’s about dreams and nightmares, art and artists, battery-powered chainsaws and Franz Kafka, curating and the “Art-Free Territory”. It’s not immediately clear if the assemblage should be entertaining or disturbing. Like all museum stuff, in the first place it is educating, and that is what visitors find out during extended conversations in the bar and kitchen areas built into the flow of the “Home Alone” installation.


“Runtime” is a two-channel video installation with sound. It oscillates between the topics of time and tension, energy and inner strength. The two projections, which are placed at right angles, seem to be influenced by context. Watched in the daytime or in the nighttime, tonalities vary. I’ve been installing “Runtime” for the first time in the course of a private view in Kunsthalle Kleinbasel (Switzerland). There’s also a limited photo series of “Runtime” available.

New additions to “Get Fit With Dr. Lapschina” video series premiered in the Americas

The MUTE – Museo Municipal Tecleño – is currently presenting my very new video installation “Get Fit With Dr. Lapschina”. I had the chance to transform three halls into a parade ground (or a gym, depending on your point of view). Visitors are bewitched by the possibility to grab simple tools or fancy stuff and reenact in realtime what they are seeing on the screen.

Meant as a comment on the zeitgeist, the videos discuss public health and literacy, gadgets and glamour.

The series, which has significantly enlarged since a first preview at Zorzini Contemporary in 2012, currently consists of seven channels. Requirements for showing: a silent projector or a big plasma TV, good stereo speakers and a subwoofer.

Flow. Just Flow.

“The visual rhythm of the work is subtle and complex,” curator N. Elizabeth Schlatter wrote about my three-channel video installation “trance_siberia”. It creates a flowing experience for the viewer, that, “at times encourages daydreaming and relaxation”.

The psychological concept of flow is at the heart of the exhibition “Flow, Just Flow: Variations on a Theme”, which is on view in the Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art, University of Richmond Museums, VA, from January 29 to June 28, 2013.

“trance_siberia”, a piece which lasts for 3 hours, initially was shown with live sound at the MAK in Vienna. It experienced a spectacular outdoor screening at the Peristil in the ruins of Diocletian’s Palace, in the course of the Split Festival of New Film.

Addendum: Lena Lapschina’s artist’s talk at the Harnett Museum of Art, on Monday, March 4, 2013, noon to 1 p.m., has been made possible with a grant from the Austrian Cultural Forum, Washington, D.C.