Performance, Video Award Bremen
Inkjet on cardboad
500 × 220 cm

Sociial is a 17-minute performance presented by four protagonists and an announcer in a stage-like situation. The four “dancers” play tennis on a Nintendo Wii game console while every 10 seconds the announcer reads out descriptions a selection of 100 Web 2.0 services.

The Nintendo Wii game console, which came onto the market in 2006, has a new kind of user interface. In contrast to the usual couch potato playing modus, Wii players must exert themselves physically. A sensor can locate the position of up to four game controllers in the playing area. In the game Wii-Sports Tennis the players use the controllers like physical tennis rackets. The virtual ball can be hit with forehand, backhand or top-spin strokes. During the performance, the public does not see anything of the events on the game screen, rather their attention is directed to the actions of the players themselves. Removed from the virtual events, however, the players also seem absent, due to their high degree of concentration and physical action. In involuntary comedy, the movements contrast the difference between virtual area and physical action.

These almost remote-controlled seeming set movements are counterpointed by the announcer’s even rhythm as he reads out a short description of a selection of 100 Web 2.0 services from the so-called meta descriptions on their respective websites. Sitting at a typical computer work station, he recites the stereotyped advertising self-glorifications of the Web 2.0 industry. The public can look over his shoulder and follow the process from the screenshots of the internet pages. The name Web 2.0 has lately been replaced among web professionals by the term “social software”, software which connects countless individuals in social networks in the Internet. These free, usually advertising-financed platforms define a new not-to-be-underestimated virtual social area, in which the users exchange details of their private life for the attention and synergies of the great information stream. The quantity and similarity of such services indicates not only the absurd growth of these platforms, but also the need to examine this development more closely.

Can software be social? Where do these developments on digital levels overlap with or influence people’s physical daily life? In which form will the body meet the developments in digital space?

Aram Bartholl 2008





Thanks to Ingo Clauss curator of Weserburg, to the team of Weserburg, to Christian Meier Kahrweg and Klaus Becker of Filmbüro Bremen and to Marikke Heinz-Hoek curator and head of the Video Award Bremen.

Thanks to my team:
Speaker and microbutton design: Markus Angermeier a.k.a. Kosmar
Player: Clara Lena Schneider, Carlo Grabowski, Lea Kühn von Burgsdorff and Kai Stuch.
Camera and editing: Jan Freerk Heinz



Weserburg Art Museum Bremen,
17th Video Art Award Bremen

Aram Bartholl “Sociial”
Maximilian Moll “Keep the fire burning”
Stephane Leonard “The Bridges Song”

6.12.2008 – 4.1.2009
Opening 5.12.2008 7pm

Ingo Clauss / Curator of the Weserburg
Klaus W. Becker / Film-Office Bremen
Dr. Wulf Herzogenrath / Director of Kunstahalle Bremen
Anouncement of the Video Art Award winner of 2008
Guided tour through the exhibition by the Curator Marikke Heinz-Hoek on 7.12. 11:30 am.

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