In July 2017 the interdisciplinary exhibition “Limits of Knowing” focussed on “alternative ways of understanding ” and works on engaging in the concept of unknowability (agnoseology) as being opposed to gnoseology (theory of knowledge). At the Gropius Bau in Berlin one installation connected especially well to these concepts focusing on various forms of technology and the immediate experience and participation of the audience. Before entering this part of the exhibition that was spanning across several rooms, all participants were asked to wear an overall with vibrating actuators that ended up being located all over the body. In my experience, one of the most alienating and intriguing factors however were the goggles covered with a milk glass surface obscuring my view. After entering the exhibition rooms with my overall, I experienced vibrations and illumination on my body as well as various lights pulsating in different areas of the room at the same time. In addition to my obscured view the combination of sensual influences made me feel like I was walking through a dream or even entered another planet. During that experience I found the encounters with other visitors especially intriguing. With all these vibrating and glowing technological devices attached to our bodies the encounters naturally felt special and the need for the usual socially acceptable introductions using body language or verbal language were pushed somewhat aside. In connection to LOoW this experience made me aware of how technology can help the participants to obtain different ways to connect or change our experience as a human being. After I left the exhibition, I realized my perception of time and space must have changed immensely since I experienced the time I spent in the exhibition shorter than expected. In addition, once I took of my goggles for a short time, I realized the rooms felt much bigger than they actually were, an eerie surprise that I will be remembering for a long time.
Other sources: exhibition website and exhibition brochure https://www.berlinerfestspiele.de/en/aktuell/festivals/immersion/programm_immersion/immersion17_programm_limits_of_knowing/immersion7_programmliste_limits_of_knowing.php
For more information please see the attached video focussing on a similar exhibition in Shanghai.