Andreas Angelidakis, "Future Paris", c-prinT

According to Andreas Angelidakis, the internet “started out as a mirror, precisely reflecting what went on in this world” stuff like commerce, news and communication. The first ever website, by Tim Berners Lee, the founder of the internet featured the internal phone book of Cern in Switzerland. Slowly though we have started seeing stuff on the internet that does not exist in out world, like with which virtually (sic) anybody can become a super-merchant, selling to any part of the world, and Google News a robot newspaper that is auto-generated by the hits to news-sites around the world. So, theoretically, if there is an important football match in China, that receives millions of local clicks, it gets automatically featured in Google News. Therefore Google News is something that could not exist in our offline society. Angelidakis claims that the mirror has started producing its own version of reality, and the question is whether the offline world will also start to reflect the life online.

On this premise Angelidakis has worked over the years on a series of projects, almost predicting current reality. In one of these, he was asked to build a Diner in Stockholm's' Fargfabriken, that reminds of The Diner in Brooklyn where artists hang out. Instead of designing a diner in Fargfabrikens exhibition space, he designed it in the virtual world Chelsea, itself a mirror copy of the real world, and invited the online visitors hang out there for 2 months before the opening of the show in Stockholm. When the time came to build something in Stockholm, he just instructed the crew to “copy the virtual Diner”. The project was renamed “TeleportDiner: From Real to Virtual to somewhere In-between” and it effectively introduced the built work as a representation of the virtual, the mirror backwards. In other projects Angelidakis designed a space based on a windows computer desktop (Electronic Orphanage), created an internet-native environment for the Hedi Slimane curated issue of Visionaire #34, a future Paris made up of the essential characteristics of the city: Light, shadow and reflections.

The elliptical Future Paris project was part of his first solo show at the Breeder Projects in Athens, in a commanding 72x24 inch C-print where you could study the endlessly reflecting landscape, and enter into its depths even with a magnifying glass, while your face was reflected in the dark glossy surface inhabiting a dreamlike livable space.

In an other instance he showed what appeared to be plaster models of possible buildings, albeit strange ones. When we met, Angelidakis corrected me by saying that they are not models, because they are full-scale physical reproductions of virtual buildings that exist in the online community Neen World. These where fabriceted using a rapid-prototyping technique called stereolithography, where a computer generated 3-D model is printed using a kind of plaster based dust. Fragile structures / buildings are placed on plinths with mirrors reflecting a township of its own. These sculptures remind the paper cut work done with accuracy and precision. The uniqueness and fragility of the production makes the little buildings even more precious. The designs of the buildings themselves where based on websites created by artists or on the discussions that Angelidakis had with them, and it almost seems that the internet mirror has gone full-circle, reflecting itself.

That is exactly what happens in the centerpiece of his show at the Breeder projects, Mirrorsite. Mirrorsite is a project that consists of animations and prints, where digitally constructed mirrors reflect themselves, and sometimes mysteriously a black tree. In “mirrorsite (build)” a mirror flip-flops through space, leaving behind it copies of itself that start to form a city of mirrors. “Black Trees” is a discussion between a mirror building and a black tree and the way they are endlessly projected in this virtual space. More interesting is the gracefulness of the mirrors, in the other animations, as they swept across a landscape that offers them nothing to reflect upon but their own shiny emptiness.

Sofia Tournikiotis

Athens, Greece