The grand finale of Exponuevo.de

Publication date

In the 4th blogpost about Exponuevo.de I reported on the very last preparations for the vernissage.

Now the decisive day had finally arrived.

15 December. After more than five months of fiddling, testing and adjusting, the time had come. Our anticipation was as great as our nervousness. We didn't know if our concept would work, if everything would work as planned - and how many visitors would come at all. We set up several devices to follow the events from different perspectives and to keep an eye on the different event rooms at the same time. Again and again we checked the connections just to be on the safe side. Almost at the last minute we also remembered that we should record the session to document it later. Hectically, we set up the Open Broadcaster Software OBS Studio for a recording.

Shortly before the opening at 3 pm, the first guests trickled in. Soon more and more came. Some initially had difficulty finding their way around the painted quick guide, so I jump-started them here and directed them to the foyer.

Social interaction

As soon as two avatars in WorkAdventure get close to each other or stop next to each other, a kind of bubble opens and an immediate video connection is created via the conference tool Jitsi, so that both can talk spontaneously via microphone and camera. Since these "circles" are limited to a maximum of four people, we had set up additional areas where many more Wokas could exchange and communicate with each other. We defined such areas, for example, in front of the speaker's podium, at various bar tables or in the "cinema room" in front of the screen. Actually, we were also supposed to be able to enter a room with live music, but the artist Olla was unfortunately ill with Corona and had to cancel at short notice. That's why we couldn't have her singing directly from her living room, but instead we streamed her YouTube channel.

In the entrance area, Friedel had welcomed the guests at the beginning and then led them into the hall. In the background, a soundtrack was playing (with a babble of voices and distant piano sounds) that he had recorded himself in autumn at the Documenta in Kassel. As a participant, you really had the impression of being in the middle of a lively audience. At the "standing desk" he gave a speech and told about the whole process. Afterwards, everyone could fan out and have a look at the exhibits. One could go off on one's own, but one could also follow someone else directly, i.e. move around in pairs and remain in dialogue.

Audio-visual communication

Since the exhibition was laid out like a maze - with crossroads and dead ends - you couldn't just scurry through quickly, of course, but needed time to make your way between the "walls" and walk along the picture frames "hanging" there. These were each linked to a work of art, so that the files opened up at these points for closer inspection.

And other locations opened up. Installations could be seen in a demolition house. Films were shown in the projection room. On the way, you also came across funny surprises - like carnivorous plants that snapped at you as you walked by, or elephant statues that boisterously trumpeted when you approached them. There was even a toilet whose door audibly slammed shut as soon as you entered or left it, and which - in contrast to its surroundings - was completely calm, a "quiet place". So there were always things to discover everywhere and it never got boring.

We sat in front of the screen until late at night and Friedel met old acquaintances again, but also lots of new people who came to the website by chance or by word of mouth. I assisted with technical complications and had the opportunity in between to listen to conversations and explanations about the pictures shown. In fact, at the end, one had the feeling of having had many real contacts and encounters, even with strangers, just like in an analogue exhibition.

Learning by doing

Conclusion: My first project as a new apprentice had many learning effects. And by taking on very practical tasks, I inevitably also acquired a lot of basic theoretical knowledge.

First and foremost, I would like to thank GzEvD for giving me the chance and the confidence to take part in this project so independently and responsibly. The team was always ready to help me when I got stuck or lost the thread.

My thanks also go to the artist, who showed a lot of patience and trust and involved me in a project that was so important to him.

For me, the time was not only very instructive from a technical point of view, but also on a social and human level. I had a direct exchange with a client and experienced how much communication is important despite all the technology. I also learned a lot about the art scene :)

And now I'm already looking forward to the next challenge at GzEvD!

If you want to know more about our technology stack or need IT support for a similar project, get in touch at kontakt@gzevd.de!

Feel free to have a look at the Exponuevo.de homepage!

The next exhibition will take place there on 15 May 2023, a Monday, from 7 to 9 pm. You are all cordially invited!