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Joscha Steffens – NEXUS
In these sequences we are facing young professional gamers on their return from a trip. They return from a big collective high inside a specific virtual space, where they are moving as auratic avatars. A space that means everything for the cohesion of their community. They are stepping out of a server generated reality of pixels, that represents much more than the simulation of a landscape, a virtual geographical area. What comes after the high are moments of sheer soberness, of reawakening and of resignation. The most basic tasks become essential: packing your bag with the holy gaming equipment, returning to the backstage, waiting, standing, taking a taxi, going to the hotel or directly to the airport on the way to the next big event, that unites the followers of the gaming cult. The mass that is celebrated by this community ist not held in churches made of stone but in gigantic event centres filled with the latest models of high-end machines. The prophets of this techno-religion are by far not what people understand under the term nerds but highly gifted young hybrids. While performing their skills they are spreading a spiritual power, moving within trance and suffer martial pain to eventually be taken away by the awareness of their death or by the one of immortality. The moment of transcending into another dimension, the unification and the melting into the avatar is following a strict rule set guiding the payer step by step. Whereas the undocking, the exit, the reawakening out of the transcendental depth happens like a sudden crash into the here and now. My images are zooming into the very moments of reawakening, into the dyke behind the giant LED screens, that are orchestrated as a winged altar. The time I am spending together with the players in their world, feels like living in a sci-fi novel, a mix of movies like Tron, Total Recall and Ready Player One.