19/08 2021

Speculative Design Workshop and Exhibition ‘Augmented Authenticity’

Metamedia Lab, News

Metamedia Association in collaboration with the Design of Visual Communications department (Arts Academy Split) has organized speculative design workshop entitled ‘Augmented Authenticity’ that took place August 2-7, 2021 in gallery DAI-SAI in Pula. The workshop was led by Jasna Dimitrovska (Berlin) and pETER Purg (Nova Gorica)

The main objective of the workshop was critical thinking about the phenomena of staged authenticity, which resulted with three prototypes that were presented on group exhibition in gallery of Society of Istrian Architects DAI-SAI during 23rd edition of Media Mediterranea festival. Under the mentorship of Luis Rodil-Fernandez the exhibition hosted guest authors—the students of ArtEZ University of the Arts (Arnhem): Jippe Liefbroer, Sjoerd Mol and Eva van Boxtel. Sound background for the exhibition entitled Speculative Soundscape was mady by Branko Škara and Henry Marić.



Authors: Žan Bedenik, Milica Denković, Lazar Mihajlović, Tea Zbašnik

The soaring of mental disorders reveals the lack of psychologists and psychiatrists. With the modern way of life comes a lot of stress, less time for self and others, rise of the social anxiety disorders, depression, alienation and solitude, low level of empathy, the need for access to public mental health services becomes a high priority. People start to self-organize.They invent the MiddleMan database of human experiences. It comes in the form of scenarios, what-if interactive parts, and questionnaires, it is based upon altruist anonymous donation of specific real-life stories. The MiddleMan pods are located in all parts of town and are free to use. Naturally this idea gets appropriated by the corporation to make profit out of the public mental health crisis. They invent the digital currency emoticoin, which you can earn by sharing your story for the MiddleMan database, paying for different types of membership for using the application. You can also earn points by taking the test which is a part of the MiddleMan self-reflect and empathy experience. The amount of owned emoticoins indicates your emotional intelligence level and a certain amount of emoticoins is mandatory for applying for a job, renting a flat, downloading dating applications, university enrollment, etc.


Ousia Virtual

Authors: Deborah Mora, Roman Paxyutkin, Gaia Radić

Land in cities is a rare commodity, there is no space for graveyards and mortuaries. A truly post-humanist society depends on techno-scientific faith: human identity can overcome physical death by both being uploaded into the Cloud and consumed physically. The essence of a person’s identity is contained in her data, beside body and mind. One part of the essence goes up to the Cloud. Algorithms upload the person’s data to the virtual heaven where her essence keeps living an afterlife. The body material becomes subject to chemical transformation. To preserve another part of the person’s essence, the ashes are processed into powder, liquid or solid. Therefrom a variety of artefacts get produced to be consumed throughout the mourning ritual. Ousia Virtual redefines the mourning ritual, in a constant exchange between the Cloud and the people. Channel your loved ones back into yourself, before you let them go to virtual heaven.


The Shadow Harvester

Authors: Jungwon Kim, Sara Milić, Katrijn Westland

In the digital realm we exist as conglomerates of data. We willingly give that data away every day in exchange for comfort and convenience, but most of this activity is unconscious. The Shadow Harvester takes a ritualistic approach to this by focussing on the body in a state of rest, whilst the somatic data is being extracted. The service frees the user of the undesirable sides of their personality, thereby harvesting a part of their authentic selves, but in return providing peace and a sense of contentment. The shadows that emanate from the resting body of the user are a visual representation of mental obscurities often ignored but at the core of our authenticity. The service brings a sense of mindfulness to the everyday act of exchanging data for the ease of living. This data gets blended into the collective unconscious.

Guest authors

Kimmi’s Worst Nightmare

Author: Jippe Liefbroer

After rows and rows of smaller military vehicles, a colorfully dressed crowd comes into view, they cheer enthusiastically on cue. As the camera pans, a giant missile moves into the frame, carried on a portable launch carrier with a large number of wheels. Kim Jong-un has just unveiled his new giant mobile missile, the Hwasong-16. The authenticity of these missiles has been questioned by weapons experts, which see it as a parade of intimidation theatrics. Battles are fought through missile tests, parades, and TV cameras — as Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) prevents anyone from actually firing them. Propaganda may deter wars from happening, if the other side is persuaded by a masterfully created illusion. International media declare the Hwasong-16 to be “the world’s biggest mobile ICBM”, setting the stage for a competition that the world has been unaware of… the competition for the biggest  mobile missile. But to create missiles you need an army, a country and disposable income. Or do you? To enter this competition, Jippe Liefbroer has created an even bigger mobile missile, 31 meters long and 2.6 meters in diameter, to be precise. The work is presented in two locations. One for the physical missile and another where the missile can be experienced as a livestream, completing the illusion of a functional missile.


Digital Specimens

Author: Sjoerd Mol

At the beginning of the 19th century, humankind started collecting specimens that now help us to better understand the evolution of our planet. Samples of rocks, plants and organisms were brought back from historic ‘voyages of discovery’. These collections, which give us a lens through which to learn about our histories, are now stored away in museums and archives. Five years ago, a new kind of geological survey emerged. Highly skilled 3D artists, scouted by Quixel, began traveling the world to capture specimens as three-dimensional digital objects. This has resulted in the largest collection of objects, plants, rocks and textures, which is often used in game environments and film scenes. This collection exists only digitally, stored on servers and copied millions of times by users of the real-time 3D creation tool Unreal Engine. Digital Specimens is a collection of the most diverse sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks. Every rock, or ‘asset’ as digital artists call them, is embedded within one physical object, emphasising the uniqueness of a specimen that was translated from the physical to the digital realm.


The Selfie Factory

Author: Eva van Boxtel

Selfie culture has expanded into a whole new realm with the emergence of selfie museums, a relatively new phenomenon. This work highlights this shifting perspective about what is worthy to share online and what are the right things to take pictures with. Places like selfie museums pop up to give people a relatively cheap and easy way to reduce the effort to make a month’s worth of Instagram content and to replace the aesthetic worlds of influencers. The work engages with the way the online world of influencers shapes our reality in the physical world. In this exhibition the artist presents a reduced version of the original work in which she designed a selfie-friendly space following the aesthetics of existing selfie museums and increasingly traditional museums as well, as they try to appeal to new generations. “Narcissism is a global phenomenon, and it has no borders.” is a direct quote from Frank Karch, the founder of the Supercandy Pop-up Museum in Cologne who was interviewed during the research for this work.

Workshop mentors

Jasna Dimitrovska is a Berlin based creative producer working on the intersection of design, art and technology. She has MA in Digital Media at the University of Arts Bremen and diploma in Comparative Literature at the Skopje state University.  She has taught two courses of technology and design at the HFK Bremen, worked as interaction designer and creative producer in the field of creative technology and art and science. She has held talks and exhibited her projects in Belgium, Germany, Scotland, Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia and was a designer-in-residence at BUDALAB Kortrijk. www.jasnadimitrovska.net

Peter Purg currently leads the New media module in the Digital/Media Arts and Practices graduate//postgraduate programme at the School of Arts, University of Nova Gorica, where he acts as Associate Professor, projects coordinator as well as expert across realms of digital culture and media. Having obtained a PhD in media art, communication science and literature from the university of Erfurt (Germany), his scientific inquiries now include media arts pedagogy, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation, media art and media ecology. www.pleter.net

Speculative Soundscape




Photography: Eva van Boxtel i Paolo Valenti

Collaborators: Andrea Budić, Gea Rajić i Josipa Škrapić

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