Player of Cosmic Realms

There is a new Interactive installation that opens 19th January -27th March at Aspex Gallery from Keiken and marks the artists first exhibition on the South Coast. Artist collective Keiken invite you into their interactive installation, Player of Cosmic  Realms.  The exhibition contemplates the future of gaming environments and human relationships through CGI  film and hands-on experiences.

 Keiken present two works in this exhibition, the first being The Life Game, an interactive CGI film series; and the second Bet(a) Bodies, a wearable technology designed to stimulate empathy and a physical simulation of the experience of pregnancy.

Speaking of their collective work, Keiken said “We’ve been thinking about creating gaming experiences that consider how we physically interact with the metaverse in a holistic way – using our whole bodies. We’re interested in what kind of worlds we want in the metaverse and because the metaverse is a digital space we need to think about nurturing our physical bodies, our minds, and our consciousness when we enter that space…

…The show has two works which are interactive and playful. The gallery will be fully immersive and turns the whole space into a different world – into a game!”.

The exhibition is the artists’ first solo show in the South of England. The collective are the winners of the 2021 Chanel Next Prize, and have exhibited nationally and internationally including in Berlin, Thailand, Yerevan, Barcelona and Liverpool. They will be 2022 residents at Somerset House Studios.

 Keiken said “The residency at Aspex was a crucial time for us developing the architecture of the metaverse and collaborating with people from different disciplines to exchange ideas. We had a lot of freedom and flexibility to develop the work at an early stage and with collaborators. You can’t just think about the Metaverse on your own. During the residency we also worked with local women, helping them upskill in tech. We think it’s really important for more people to design different types of technologies that can activate different parts of the body and brain. Technological tools really affect our consciousness, our relationships, our day-to-day and society, it’s important to us to explore and imagine a broader spectrum of technologies that can take us to cosmic realms.”

The name Keiken comes from the Japanese word for experience and is a collective of artists from mixed diasporic backgrounds (Mexican/Japanese/European/Jewish) based in London and Berlin, who have been collaborating since 2015.

Their work traverses media including moving image, installation, gaming, performance, and more recently NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), to test-drive alternative futures and reflect on how we currently live in the real and digital realms. Many of Keiken’s recent works are created inside a fictional Metaverse, an imagined world built with gaming software, where digital avatars explore extraordinary ‘natural’ and built environments and contemplate their existence.

Keiken’s exhibition follows on from an extended residency with Aspex at the beginning of 2020, during which they also ran a six-week course in creating Augmented Reality filters. Find out more about the Collective Futures course by watching this video on the PONToon exhibition website

An artist talk takes place on Wednesday 16 March, 6–7.30pm with Keiken and Aspex Curator Vickie Fear.