CPH:DOX 2023 reveals line-up for INTER:ACTIVE Exhibition

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of CPH:DOX, a record-breaking number of  seventeen immersive projects will be showcased at CPH:DOX’ INTER:ACTIVE  exhibition at Kunsthal Charlottenborg from March 15-26 2023, together with three  special performances. Under the theme ‘Breaking the Code’, the selected pieces  collectively question the dominant forces that colonise our imagination in an  algorithm-led world and offer immersive perspectives on creativity,  representation and social structures in our society.

Curated by CPH:LAB’s Head of Studies Mark Atkin, this year’s INTER:ACTIVE   exhibition for the first time ever probes the intersection of gaming and art, presenting  works that define the current era: game engines and AI, which are also the building  blocks of the emergent metaverse. The creators behind the works are for the most part  neurodiverse, non-binary, queer, marginalised and activists, subverting established  visual languages in order to address our existence between the physical and digital  realms from a non-heteronormative standpoint.  

Mark Atkin, CPH:LAB’ Head of Studies and curator of the INTER:ACTIVE exhibition,  says:  

“It’s been a privilege to work with such a diverse range of artists to present this year’s  INTER:ACTIVE exhibition. Each work is exploring the dominant media platforms that  define the present era: games and AI. As a collection, it presents a snapshot of the  current human condition with one foot on terra firma and the other in the digital realm,  and they hint at the opportunities and complications this entails. These artists are all  pioneering the use of the tools that will be used to create the metaverse, but as they are  also activists, provocateurs, or representing marginalised viewpoints, we have to ask  who is actually building the metaverse, whether these artists would find a place there,  and what we need to do now to make sure that they will.”  

Beyond data driven video installations 
Jake Elwes’s ‘Queering the Dataset’ video installation subverts male and female  representations that neural networks are usually trained with, highlighting the bias of our  data-driven society. In ‘Jungle People’, Eddie Wong uses AI to fill in the blanks where  there is no data, by combining neural networks with language processing models to  generate images from text to create a documentary when no archive material exists. 

Subversive and diversive realities  
Will the emergent metaverse become a purely transactional space or a place for artists  and activists where marginalised worldviews can also be accommodated? Amongst  other creative responses to this question, Lauren Moffatt uses AR in ‘Local Binaries’ to  showcase how people experience neurological states, making slowing down and  listening an act of rebellion, whereas Andrew and Eden Kötting’s ‘The Tell-Tale Rooms’  joyfully celebrates the life and unique experience of Eden, a visually impaired,  neurodivergent artist, encouraging discussion around neurodiversity and artistic  expression. 

Using embodiment as a radical tool to see the world differently, the VR experiences will  immerse the participants in the lives of a pro-life Christian mother suffering from  postpartum psychosis (‘I Took a Lethal Dose of Herbs’); an American civil rights activist  fighting against housing discrimination, racial profiling and voter suppression (‘MLK:  Now Is the Time’); or a man struggling with longing, loneliness and desire in a gay  sauna (‘In the Mist’). Each of these worlds are subversive, challenging the viewer to  reflect upon their own reactions when facing others’ experiences.  

Twisted games arcade 
In contrast with the often violent culture of video games, Danielle-Brathwaite Shirley and  Taylor McCue are offering a medium where historically, trans people have been  overlooked or have faced outright hostility. Karen Palmer uses interactivity, AI and  parkour, to explore how overreaching technologies can whittle away at our freedoms  with ‘Consensus Gentium’. Jakob Kudsk Steensen, Matajuegos, Superflex and Libby  Heaney use digital technologies to explore how humanity is at once becoming  enmeshed in both the physical and digital realms, as well as deeply entangled in the  natural universe. Meanwhile, Akihito Taniguchi and Reporters Without Borders are  exploring creativity and artistic freedom in the metaverse, culminating with Jake Elwes’s  fierce queer paradise in a game engine: ‘The Zizi Show’.  

INTER:ACTIVE Live Specials 
Alongside the seventeen pieces at Kunsthal Charlottenborg, three Inter:Active Specials  will be presented throughout the festival. In ‘As Mine Exactly’ a mother and son revisit  the medical emergency that reshaped their lives, and the remarkable fragments that  remain of that time, in an intimate one-on-one experience that blends virtual reality and  performance film. Commissioned by Serpentine’s R&D Platform, ‘Hivemind’ is a  knowledge game for artists to navigate the inner workings of their practice where the  participants can follow along a labyrinth with Artist Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, whereas  Me The Drag Queen and Jake Elwes present a unique show about queerness, cabaret,  deep-fakes and AI technology, in ‘Zizi and Me’.  

INTER:ACTIVE off-site 
An off-site VR experience will be exhibited during the festival at Khora for a preview of  Paul McCarthy’s newest virtual reality artwork: A&E. This challenging and disturbing work by this groundbreaking and influential artist invites a questioning of our way of life and is included when purchasing a ticket to the main exhibition. 

Practical information  
The INTER:ACTIVE exhibition runs during the entire duration of the festival March  15-26 from 12:00 to 19:30 and is open to both the public and accredited guests with a  valid ticket. A single ticket gives 90 min access to the exhibition. 

Read more about the exhibition, ticket reservations and purchasing here. 

CPH:DOX’ INTER:ACTIVE line-up in alphabetical order:  

AQUAPHOBIA by Jakob Kudsk Steensen, USA, 2023, Game, World Premiere ATUEL by Matajuegos, Argentina, 2022, Game  

BLACKTRANSARCHIVE.COM/WE ARE HERE BECAUSE OF THOSE THAT ARE NOT  by Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, UK/Germany, 2020, Game 

CONSENSUS GENTIUM by Karen Palmer, UK, 2023, Interactive film, European  Premiere 

ENT- (MANY PATHS VERSION) by Libby Heaney, UK, 2022, Game HE FUCKED THE GIRL OUT OF ME by Taylor McCue, USA, 2022, Game IN THE MIST by Chou Tung-Yen, Taiwan, 2020, VR  

I TOOK A LETHAL DOSE OF HERBS, Yvette Granata, USA, 2023, VR, World Premiere 

LOCAL BINARIES by Lauren Moffatt, Germany, Spain, Denmark, 2022, AR,  International Premiere 

MLK: NOW IS THE TIME by Limbert Fabian, USA, 2023, VR, European Premiere PARALLAX by Akihiko Taniguchi, Japan, 2021, Game 

PSYCHOPLANKTON by Superflex, Denmark, 2022, VR  

THE JUNGLE PEOPLE by Eddie Wong, Malaysia, 2022, Digital video 

THE TELL TALE ROOMS by Andrew & Eden Kötting, UK, 2022, VR, European  Premiere

THE UNCENSORED LIBRARY by Reporters Without Borders, Germany, 2020, Game THE ZIZI SHOW by Jake Elwes, UK, 2020, Interactive performance ZIZI: QUEERING THE DATASET by Jake Elwes, UK, 2019, Digital video 

INTER:ACTIVE Live Specials line-up: 

AS MINE EXACTLY by Charlie Shackleton, UK, March 18 – 26, 30 min individual slots  – Kunsthal Charlottenborg 

HIVEMIND with Danielle Bathwaite-Shirley in association with Trust and Serpentine’s  R&D Platform. UK/Germany, March 19, 16:00 – Mezzaninen, Kunsthal Charlottenborg 

ZIZI & ME by Jake Elwes and Me the Drag Queen, March 19, 17:30 Mezzaninen,  Kunsthal Charlottenborg 

About CPH:DOX 2023 
Marking the 20th anniversary of the International Documentary Film Festival CPH:DOX,  the 2023 edition will offer an outstanding programme of 200 films by both established  and emerging filmmakers as well as talks, debates, performances, exhibitions, parties  and much more from 15-26 March 2023. In addition, a selection of the official 2023  programme will be available from March 24 – April 2 at the festival’s streaming platform  PARA:DOX (geo-blocked to Denmark). 

CPH:DOX’ industry events will include the financing and co-production event  CPH:FORUM, CPH:CONFERENCE and INTER:ACTIVE Symposium. The industry  programme runs under the banner “Business as Unusual” between March 19-24. Read more about the key dates and events in the industry programme here.

Further information:
Sune Blicher, Head of Communications CPH:DOX, +45 3122 2661, *****