From one story to another, Athens by Night, an immersive environment by Greek artist Andreas Angelidakis transforms a journey through the remnants of the ancient city into a sensory and virtual experience, querying the history of Athens against other possible futures.
All-over engravings of ruins cover the walls where screens – like the windows of a car driving through the city – show a myriad of orphaned images found in free access on Creative Commons. Described by the artist as ‘post-ruins’ or ruins of the digital age, thousands of data, images and stories fade into the meanders of a collective digital memory.
Like so many archaeological fragments of Greek marble, foam cushion modules are multiplied into copies of themselves as if they obeyed “a language of computer construction code”. Playful, these blocks are movable, stackable and lend themselves to the free interpretation of visitors who can rest, discuss, daydream or take part in a collective construction game on a human scale aiming at rebuilding a common world.
Born in 1968 in Athens, Greece. Lives and works in Athens.
Trained as an architect before turning to art, Andreas Angelidakis freely describes himself as “an architect who doesn’t build”. He sees his practice as “architecture by exhibition”, halfway between the tradition of paper architecture and participatory artistic practices.
Presented as immersive installations co-constructed with the public, his Soft Ruins modules can be assembled infinitely, and transformed into new and fun living spaces. Fascinated by the ruins of the Athenian urban landscape, both ancient and recent – contemporary buildings abandoned as a result of the crisis – he invokes the notion of ‘post-ruin’, telescoping different temporalities into an ultracontemporaneousness.
Using design software and the Internet, he builds virtual worlds to foster the emergence of other forms of sociality in the age of social media – digital architecture to reconfigure in the exhibition space.
In his videos and 3D animations, he addresses the issue of the specific nature of archaeological sites in the age of digital ubiquity, anticipating the ruins in the making of our contemporary era.