Ars Electronica Gallery Spaces Garden

Rebecca Merlic – The City as a House

VENT gallery (AT)

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Vast amounts of pictures, sounds, videos and 3D scans are organized as environments in Rebecca Merlic’s The City as a House, in form of an interactive visual novel. A work about the experiment of a white European 30-year-old heterosexual human living in Tokyo without inhabiting a private apartment over a period of time. A speculative exploration of the possibilities of abolishing known forms of habitation.

Rebecca Merlic – The City as a House

In 1903 Hermann Muthesius said: “Japan is in many respects the country that comes closest to one’s dream of paradise.” The current situation in Tokyo allows for the emergence of a turbo-dense, capitalism-driven space generator for satisfying one’s personal longings and needs. Is a new form of nomadic living not only being constructed in digital and virtual space, but also in concrete space? Shifting privacy in non-domestic spaces can lead to different architectural consequences. The City as a House depicts an illusion of private ownership of a place we call home and transfers it into the cityscape where the human occupies a certain amount of space while moving or resting depending on time and need.
What does it mean to be freed from craving a nest? A strategy of successfully surviving without being bounded. It proposes a new form of society. The next self- improvement of humanity or going back to our roots. A visual novel built with a Game Engine to open up digital space for the human user to relive the experience and open up new spaces.


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Project Credits / Acknowledgements

​Processing: Vivien Schreiber
Sound design: Manuel Riegler
Artist talk: Manuela Hillmann, Rebecca Merlic
Curator: Manuela Hillmann, Philipp Pess​

VENT gallery

Vienna-based VENT gallery promotes international and local rising artists in contemporary visual arts, curated in solo and group exhibitions as well as performative formats. VENT gallery’s program is focused on researching the artificial meaning of media by implementing technologies from the late 20th and 21st centuries into the artistic process and analyzing their social potential. VENT gallery focuses on the artistic and curatorial exploration of futurality. Futurality describes incidents of the future that are already inscribed into the present as diffuse phenomena of so-called “hyper-objects.“

VENT gallery