The Transient Shadows

Web Virtual Reality Experience, Virtual Sculpture (Model still)

The Austrian duo Depart was founded in 1999 by Leonhard Lass and Gregor Ladenhauf. Deeply rooted in the digital, their approach to multimedia creates unique moments characterized by a formally rigorous and profound aesthetic. A combination of precision and emotion leads to a multifaceted and abstract whole, which reflects fragments of the audience’s own experience. Depart’s works are sometimes mysterious, often deliberately dark and dazzling, containing a highly concentrated mixture of virtual mechanics, poetic moments and hermetic symbolism. They move between text, image and sound and span from interactive installations and net-based applications to expansive performances and A/V live shows.

“The Transient Shadows” was created by DEPART for the 2020 Ars Electronica Festival in Linz and is now adapted for the Area for Virtual Art as a virtual web experience. 
When DEPART were invited by the University of the Arts to create an audiovisual artwork for the main square in Linz, they were inspired to take a closer look at the 18th-century Baroque plague column.

With this new artwork they want to address several topics in light of the state of the world in 2020, i.e. a virus that mainly manifests itself as a respiratory disease, but also the fleetingness of human life per se and how to deal with it in times of plague or pandemics. At the same time, “The Transient Shadows” recalls the history of the industrial city of Linz and modern developments in technology such as cloud computing.
The plague column with its bulbous shapes resembles a column of smoke solidified in time. The audiovisual sculpture oscillates and behaves like a breathing circuit, just ike a lung it expands and collapses while forming lithoidal structures and fractal entities. The constant visual paradoxes of ephemeral substances looking like heavy solids and the fluid movement of apparently rigid bodies result in a micro-dramaturgy about a kind of abstract evolutionary struggle.