Grotowski Institute, Laboratory Theatre Space / May 13, 6:30 PM

Watch online in the Media Library.

Replay: watch it, play it, feel it again.

Entangled in the soothing mechanisms of replaying and repeating the same things over and over again, we overanalyze the actions we take, seeking unattainable perfection. However, the real desire to press the REPLAY button only comes when the picture suddenly turns black and white, and on the screen appears the red sign that says “wasted”.

In the world of video gamers REPLAY allows for insight into the strategy of given gameplay, searching for bugs or missed items, and completing additional tasks needed to get gold in a mission. It allows for free and deeper exploration of the game’s setting, often in the form of disobedience and deserting a pre-programmed story quest. REPLAY is a major source of user-generated content based on glitches, bugs, and spectacular mods, creating digital mythology around on-screen action rendered into a video format that goes viral on youtube with fiber speed. A space for remix and appropriation opens up, where actions and narratives are taken over by a broadly defined #community that, like a router, spreads the signal to individual users.

At work m h y t n i x these users are digital natives immersed in digital mythology – Millennials who consume content while advocating digital detox. Low-fi meets high-tech, and the vaporwave a e s t e t i c s fuses VHS glitches with a smart refrigerator interface. Submitted to the extremes of digital appropriation Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, remixes scenes from the 15th century Ghent Altarpiece in a meme-like style. How to Disappear searches for boundaries and limitations in the picturesque landscapes of Battlefield V, following the path of digital desertion.

But REPLAY also links to repetitive rituals of guilty pleasures and an attempt to reclaim the senses in a time of pandemic isolation. When online activity almost completely replaces physical presence, users compensate for sensory experiences through the screen, freely drifting through social media from one audiovisual comfort food to another. ASMR is a phenomenon of global user-generated content, a digital REPLAY for the senses dulled by the pandemic, it deflects fears of global climate catastrophe, it is ultimately a guarantee of earthly survival, as the title of the Post-Bio-Internet Collective’s work suggests. Followers of ASMR, Soft Poachers, celebrate this state of loss in a digital loop of whispered monologues and the binaural sound of kinetic sand chopping. The aesthetic experience becomes a source of physical sensation, and the screen is no longer a barrier for them. REPLAY is a defence mechanism that, by playing with the senses, aestheticizes and tames, both the global and the very personal disasters.

Dagmara Domagała

Zoom out

How to Disappear

Adoration of the Mystic Lamb

Soft Poachers

ASMR for Earthly Survival

m h y t n i x