Logo of the Project Beyond Matter

BEYOND MATTER is an international, interdisciplinary project on the revival of past landmark exhibitions, the documentation of current exhibitions and the dissemination of documentation along with actual artworks – both materially and immaterially present – in innovative ways.

The partner museums and galleries will organize large and small exhibitions to measure and promote practice-oriented innovations as well as events to disseminate the project results. Artist-in-residency programs will invite artists to develop new works for these exhibitions to ensure that the project is in line with the latest contemporary trends.

Theodoulos Polyviou

Theodoulos Polyviou is an artist living in London. He studied Fine Arts and Visual Communication at Kingston University and the Royal College of Art London. In his work he explores the interfaces between VR technologies, performative and sculptural methods. He focuses on the architectural narratives of queer spaces and their translation into the digital world, in order to reveal new perspectives on the reciprocal relationship between space and gender. Theodoulos has worked as artistic director, filmmaker and visual researcher on projects for Sony Music, Dazed Digital and Tate London.

Beyond Matter Resident: Theodoulos Polyviou

Eleni Diana Elia

Eleni Diana Elia is an architect and designer. She uses creative means to question assumptions and ideas about the role of objects for specific social lifestyles. To this end she uses both physical and virtual space to develop what-if scenarios. Eleni studied architecture at the Royal College of Art in London and worked as a 3D and set designer on campaigns for Audi, Apple, Vogue UK and Pitchfork Magazine, among others.

Beyond Matter Resident: Eleni Diana Elia

During their two-month stay at ZKM, they will work together with David Kaskel, the founder of the London virtual reality studio Breaking Fourth, on the conception and implementation of a digital exhibition space. As the basis of a resulting online platform, this space will offer artists the opportunity to either develop completely new artworks for the digital space or to translate existing works into digital form. What conditions does digital space bring with it for such a project? What advantages and freedoms does it offer compared to physical space? Can future-relevant connections be derived for application in museum space?

Ami Clarke

Ami Clarke is an artist and writer working across multimedia such as video, data analytics and VR, within the emergent behaviors that come of human engagement with technology. She is interested in acknowledging and thinking through a subjectivity that emerges in synthesis with its environment, and hence prioritizes a complex intersectionality that includes the multi-temporalities and scales, as well as cognitive states, that coalesce around some new, and some very old power relations, in everyday assemblages such as »track and trace«.

Ami Clarke, a woman with long hair and glasses with a thick, square frame, looks at a screen. This screen is reflected in her glasses.

»The Underlying« (2019) expanded on her work on speculation in language and the economy, as a state of contingency becomes a modus operandi, not only via the churning of the markets but also across the media-sphere. The work considered how surveillance, rather than a rogue element of capitalism, enmeshes with the effects of market forces upon the environment happening at a molecular level. The extractive protocols of the meme that is capitalism; »platform«, »surveillance«, late, as well as »disaster«, converged in digital neo-colonialisms, as well as historical colonial practices that manifest today in aggressive tax evasion, as ongoing forms of oppression. 

Epidemiologists now advise government economic strategies, as existing inequalities come to the fore fast, facilitated by an unprecedented inter-connectivity that reaches across a neoliberal globalised workplace, the effects of which remain inflected by specific geographies and their socio-economic materialities. 

»The coronavirus is us: we live in an interconnected world, where borders are porous, more like living membranes than physical walls«[1]

During the residency she will be developing a »live apparatus« in VR that reveals the complex interdependencies between the unprecedented surveillance of »track and trace«, designed to »manage« risk, via modulating the flow of bodies within a viral environment, and how the accompanying data analysis informs the state and other players, as well as the markets. Questions relating to whether the current coronavirus pandemic is part of an increasing dynamic in animal-to-human virus transmissions have already revealed many underlying threads, not least xenophobic tendencies that have come to the fore. Drawing upon earlier work who’s title epitomized the era of the Great Depression »Low Animal Spirits«, and recent phenomenon, whereby, due to the absence of humans, a »cornucopia of animals« returns to the cityscape, she will explore how emergent properties within a VR environment, and their failure, might reveal something of the data analytics influencing them, as a critique of the new dynamics of post-pandemic power. 

[1] The Coronavirus Is Us. March 3, 2020. NY Times. Michael Marder.


Project Partners

ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe
Centre national d’art et de culture Georges Pompidou
Weiss AG
Ludwig Múzeum – Kortárs Művészeti Múzeum
Tallinn Art Hall
Aalto University
Tirana Art Lab

Associated Partners

École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, EPFL
HAWK – University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hildesheim

BEYOND MATTER Cultural Heritage on the Verge of Virtual Reality

Project Partners

Associated Partners

Co-funded by the Creative Europe Program of the European Union

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