Patricia Detmering

"Aporia comes from the Greek term 'Aporie' and is a state of perplexity. Plato introduced the aporetic dialogue to assist his students in a state where they don't know something they believe they understand. Through the aporetic dialogues, they come to realize their lack of knowledge. In Aporia, one immerses themselves in the (virtual) environment and contemplates this world and its dynamics. Essentially, they discover something that we have in the analog world outside, but we can't fully comprehend it because it may be far too complex."

Quote by Patricia Detmering published at the VR art exhibition "Resonance of Realities" translated by the contributer via www.vrkunst.dkb.de

APORIA is a virtual world that combines digital simulations, paintings, and sculptures to explore the sociological dynamics of closed and open societies. Inspired by Elias Canetti's book "Crowds and Power," the project involves 60 individuals represented by unique artificial intelligence (AI) avatars. These AI avatars inhabit APORIA and are programmed with complex algorithms that allow them to explore the virtual environment and make individual decisions. The work designs a virtual space where power dynamics interlace and overlap, change and dissolve, yet seem to balance out organically. The inhabitants of APORIA are divided into two groups: one group tends to be close-minded, building walls and following strict orders. In contrast, the other group is more open-minded and unrestricted in their actions. Despite their differing tendencies, all individuals in APORIA follow daily human routines until a "disturbance" occurs in the form of a stranger. The inhabitants can react to this stranger in various ways, leading to the formation of groups and the emergence of leaders. The dynamics that unfold within APORIA when faced with the stranger become the central focus of the project. It aims to examine the power struggles, social hierarchies, and collective behaviours that arise within the virtual world. By transferring Canetti's analysis of human behaviour to AI avatars, the project aims to shed light on the complexities of societal dynamics and the negotiation between closed and open systems.

Manuel Gruber