Rebecca Merlic
Artist Statement
IN THE VISUAL NOVEL I ERASE THE PRIVATE HOME AND FOCUS ON MY INDIVIDUAL LIFE WITHOUT RENTING A PRIVATE APARTMENT IN THE CITY OF TOKYO. TheCityAsAHouse is a visual novel which is built with the Game Engine Unity to open up digital space for the human user to relive the experience one has created and open up new ones. An artist seated on the tatami mat in front of a screen uses a game controller to navigate forking paths of her past experiences of living in Tokyo without a permanent place to stay. Vast amounts of pictures, sounds, videos and 3d-scans are organized as environments in a form of a visual novel and used by the artist as stimuli triggering recollection and thus allowing her to compose an impromptu narrative. Rebecca Merlic’s work is about being at home without being bound. As a speculative exploration of the possibilities of abolishing known forms of habitation understood as an attempt to possess a certain amount of private space, it suggests appreciating the limitless forms of comfort abundantly available in the contemporary metropolis. It proposes fearlessly embracing and cultivating the here and now of the digitally mediated self as an alternative to desperately seeking stability in permanent, inert, recurring order of anything that can be owned.
The CityAsAHouse is a subjective experience-based piece of frozen moments. TCAAH is an utopian thought of urbanism translated into a re-livable digital sequence of scenes. I want you to call your imagined Tokyo based on my experiences - a home of yours. Translating data gathered in Tokyo while not having a private apartment, the subject, me, experienced different Stilleben-motifs which were captured through gathered data and translated with a game engine. The five scenes are Stilleben of contemporary city life reflecting our time now. The user can experience the moments by navigating and finding different scenes. The main focus lies not on replicating the real world but creating a parallel world from memories of the subject - me. It is a collection of frozen moments which are pleasant, awkward, scary, powerful, dull, interesting, intriguing. The user/player has the ability to see everyday life scenes from different perspectives. The game can be played on Windows and also be implemented as a Web GL to be played online.
Artist Bio
*1989 in Germany, retreats between Tokyo and Vienna. She recently graduated with distinction at the Academy of Fine Arts, where she studied under Wolfgang Tschapeller, Francois Roché and Michael Hannsmeyer. In her studies she specialized in analogue and digital art as well as architecture. Her work is strongly influenced by alternative ways of society and transgression in socio-economic conventions as well as new forms of architectural production employing new technologies. During her masters she was able to study at Atsushi KITAGAWARA Lab at Tokyo University of the Arts GEIDAI. In Japan, her work was exhibited at TAPERED Gallery in Tokyo and at the foreigners’ exhibition at Tokyo Geidai in 2017 and 2018. Currently she is a holder of the merit scholarship of the city of Vienna.