“When Life Stopped: The Virtual Monuments” is an augmented reality land-art work that explores extinction, remains and memory through an interpretation of memorial monuments in the digital era and space. Sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic, it places a set of monuments at the meta-space of augmented reality in an attempt to honor the universal instinctive fear and the existential crisis of humans in the face of a deadly contagious virus and mass deaths. It attempts to create a contemporary memorial of the collective agony during isolation, that will have a “collective topology”; since the AR app is accessible to all human beings and can be placed at every place on earth, through the utilization of the camera filters of facebook and instagram. It was inspired by sci-fi films, brutalist monuments of WW2, ancient Greek scriptures, concrete poetry and archival or scientifically speculated vocalizations of extinct animals.
Vanessa Ferle is an artist, graphic designer and neuroscientist based in Athens, Greece. She has studied biology and neuroscience at the School of Science of the National Kapodistrian University of Athens (GR) and at the Medical School of Athens (GR), and digital arts and new media at the Athens School of Fine Arts (GR) and at the University Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis (FR). She is combining her interdisciplinary interests in art projects and artistic research. Her focus is on the representation of animals per se and their behavioral features in digital art, on the animal essence of automation, machines and smart technologies, which they introduce to art; and the distinct emotional response that this “animal-effect” triggers in humans.