Omsk Social Club and Joey Holder, Memeplex™, 2021, Seventeen Gallery, London, video still: Stateless Studio
Omsk Social Club / T(())MB
Jun 7 – Jul 29, 2023
Kunstraum Niederoesterreich
Wien, Austria

Worlds emerges by being put into words. When humans communicate, play “language-games,” as philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein put it, they are staking out the limits and possibilities of their relation to the world. That language not only represents world(s) but rather creates it can be observed every day in the arenas of social media. Wittgenstein’s “language-game” is common practice: cancelling, platforming, in-feed censorship, etc. – all these techniques follow the principles of gaming. But the games on Facebook and co can quickly take a serious turn. Once out in the world, fake news can become reality, alternative facts turn into truths, and hate speech culminates in manifest violence.

With its participatory immersive installation T(())mb, Omsk Social Club formulates a response to these mechanisms of digital worldmaking. A walk-in space, T(())mb manifests as a postdigital language-game world that plays with elements from adventure and live escape games. The collective provides a set of tools (a “linguistic crash-course survival kit,” in their words) that enables visitors to experimentally unravel the connections between worldmaking, gamification, and language.

Omsk Social Club is a Berlin-based collective founded in 2016. Their immersive practice focuses on the creation of shared experiences and speculative fictions. In their works, they devise alternative modes of perception and encounter, from traditional observation to more pervasive durational experiences, which they call “real game plays.” These living installations weave virtual egos, pop cultural and political phenomena into dematerialized hybrids of contemporary culture and the participants’ personal interpretations.

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