Magic becomes reality as microfibers compile their way into our everyday lives. In the experience of the total installation “Pandora’s Ecstasy” at Onomatopee, humans are invited to take a leap into a future world where they have become extinct.
“Pandora’s Ecstasy” is an installment of the Synthetic Times series: a collaborative and iterative design project that critiques and reimagines human and nonhuman time in relation to modern and future technologies. The installation gives human visitors an ecstatic glimpse into their own extinction, one which lacks the apocalyptic anxiety and insistent doomsday rhetoric that has become commonplace in the Anthropocene discourse. Instead, human visitors to “Pandora’s Ecstasy” are summoned by a companion species from the future. As visitors listen to the unfolding of the myth, they are also encouraged to play among the interactive elements of the space, to employ their hands, arms, and legs and join in the rituals that honor the sacrifices of the ancestors: humans.
Entering “Pandora’s Ecstasy,” you step out of yourself–your ego, your mind, your present–and enter an ecstatic state. Ek-stasis means, “to stand out, aside,” and refers to any type of displacement. The state of ecstasy, or “being outside oneself,” suggests moments of feeling deeply touched, lifted out of yourself. Historically, humans have found ecstasy in religion, but also poetry, music, dance, sex, drugs, or sport. “Pandora’s Ecstasy” suggests that mythology, too, is ecstatic.
“Pandora’s Ecstasy” is conceived by NON+, consisting of Conny Groenewegen (designer/developer), Maurizio Montalti (design researcher and hybrid designer), Adam Nocek (philosopher and design researcher), and Stacey Moran (feminist philosopher and writer). Special guests contributing to this installation: Silvia Neretti, Wim van Egmond, and Hanna Valle.