— n o w h e r e  ein welt raum spiel 3D gamemod

Beijing Cubic Art Center / 11.ART.COM, Beijing, China | April 8 - May 7, 2006
media@terra International Art + Technology Festival, Athens, Greece | October 4 - 8, 2006 
3rd International Digital Art Festival (CICDAF), Changzhou China | Sept 27 - Pct 1, 2006
aut.architecture and Tyrol, Innsbruck, Austria | March 3 - April 22, 2006
Exhibition Center of the University of Applied Arts, Vienna, Austria | Oct 20 - Nov 20, 2005

screenshots: n o w h e r e

Sylvia Eckermann: GameArt, concept
Gerald Nestler: concept, research

Oliver Irschitz: production, interface design
Christof Cargnelli: sound architecture, composition


Voice over: Frédéric Lion, Marcin Glowacki
Additional programming: Alois Kozar


Commissioned by thecrystalweb°

text / images: downloads >
Installation view Beijing Cubic Art Center >




Sylvia Eckermann
n o w h e r e – ein welt raum spiel

I treat Wittgenstein's propositions more like axioms. When I negate the axiom,
'We make ourselves a picture of the world' and say, 'We make ourselves a world
from a picture' then I create the whole of Constructivism.*
Heinz von Foerster


n o w h e r e  is a gamemod, a modification of the Egoshooter Unreal,
in which the player can move freely in any direction in virtual, three-dimensional space.
Architecture, sounds, spoken text and pictures support the immersive effect of this medium.
The choice of free flight through space and time as a metaphor reflects the world of thought
of the group of artists and architects that came together in the Gläserne Kette (The Crystal Chain)
correspondence [initiated by Bruno Taut in December 1919] to share ideas.

Mere depiction was not the aim of our work, neither the transfer of the two-dimensionality
of the sketches, designs and drawings into the third dimension, but rather the enticement of
the viewer into a "dream world" of utopian ideas and their simulation. Thus, in  n o w h e r e
Wenzel Hablik's outer-space painting Sternenhimmel [1909] appears as a dense, sometimes
concave, sometimes convex cosmos of worlds moving in an unknown system with satellites,
suns, conglomerations of stars, flying machines and airborne colonies. Some of these celestial
bodies are taken from text fragments from Paul Scheerbart's Glasarchitektur, a work by the
man of letters who died in 1915 and who very much influenced the proponents of
the Gläserne Kette: "Paradise beetles, lightfish, orchids, shells, pearls, diamonds and so on—
all of this together is the most magnificent on the surface of the earth—and this is all to be found
in glass architecture. It is the highest — a pinnacle of culture." (in: Glass Architecture, 1914)

A planet cluster beams the visitors, as navigating cosmonauts, into the contemporary architecture
shining in many colors quoted by us. "Happiness without glass—how dumb is that!",
"What would construction be without reinforced concrete? "These sentences formulated by
Paul Scheerbart penetrate the consciously fragmented architectural extracts that appear
like dazzling spots and fade away again.

As in all parts of the work  n o w h e r e  one will also be able to discover a crystal here,
in whose faceting the cosmos is reflected in its entirety. This crystal functions as a transition
like a wormhole—as a link up to the starting point. Crystal, an important form to which not only
our protagonists related, penetrated by light, unifying outside and inside, simultaneously
form and spirit, an inorganic material growing similarly to a biological organism, is penetrable
in  n o w h e r e — a relationship of reciprocal transmissions and penetrations of form just as of meaning.
And—as if one were inside a multi-faceted macrocosmos — the polygons that delineate the inside
become an immersive kaleidoscope.

A particular crystalline form is assigned to Wenzel Hablik, Bruno Taut, Wassili Luckhardt,
Hermann Finsterlin, Hans Scharoun and other proponents. Like a chain, link after link lines
up on invisible threads. They seem to be enclosed in this form that appeared so important to them —
like the insect caught up in resin that has become stone. Where they twinkle like inclusions in the light
of the stars there are other links and invisible portals.

One enters a prismatic lucent cylinder in which mountain panoramas revolve through fog. This place
is dedicated to Alpine Architektur [1917-1918] by Bruno Taut, the spokesman of the Crystal Chain group
of artists and architects. His drafts become real in the mountain chains— crystal cavities adorn the
crevasses, chrysocolla, amethyst and bismuth tower upwards like futuristic buildings competing with
the mountain tops. Here too, the previously mentioned crystal again leads back to the cosmos.

The area dedicated to Wassili Luckhardt does not tell of the vastness of the starry sky
but of the stronghold of fortress construction. His designs for buildings of worship [around 1920]
are external views of crystalline-formed glass architecture that are interpreted as a possible
interior view in the virtual architecture  n o w h e r e.

The sparkle around Wenzel Hablik's crystal is the transition to his Schöpferische Kräfte [Creative Powers]
— a series of etchings [1912] that tell of the becoming and being of crystal, of birth, becoming and death.
The cosmonaut — the visitor — in  n o w h e r e  will be able to discover this and much more as he flies on his
freely chosen path through the cosmos of the Gläserne Kette.

Come and see Utopia and start out from  n o w h e r e !


*Translated from: Heinz von Foerster, in: Teil der Welt, "Zweiter Akt: 'Ich bin Teil der Welt'", page 115, 2002.

          screenshots: n o w h e r e