Alexander Schubert - GENESIS
Virtual Real-Life Computer-Game
7 days / 24h

A trailer summarizing the project in three minutes:

Project Description:
Genesis is an experiment, which lasts over seven days, in which the audience participate, according to their own ideas, in creating a space, a community, a world. Genesis is a social simulation that unites in itself, ideology and criticism. Thereby virtual communication, the maximum open setting, its social components can transform into one another. The project starts in an empty industrial hall. The empty space can continuously be transformed and cropped with the help of a contingent of material. Through the participants’ selection of material the setting is continuously developed and redesigned over the time of seven days. The audience is invited to create the space according to their own imaginations.
Each participation leaves a trace - the sum of these changes and interactions will make up the entity of the work. The entirety is characterized by the personal experience of the individual as well as by the documentation of the entire process.
Genesis is a participative concert installation that takes place in an industrial hall and several separate small control rooms. The installation will be a continuous durational performance over seven days, 24 hours without interruption, in which the space will change through the active and independent reconfiguration of the visitors. There will be two possible options to participate. Firstly visitors will be able to shape the genesis process from what we call the the control rooms. They will be the guide for one of the "avatars", which are the performers inside the hall and have the possibility to choose out of different material, which they get proposed, to make their world appear. Their task is to guide their performer ("avatar") through the building process. Each visitor will be briefed before entering the control rooms about all possibilities by members of the decoder ensemble. Equipped with VR glasses they receive the perspectiv of their avatars, which are also equipped with VR Glasses and a camera This Camera continuously transmits the vision from a first-person perspective to the control room, from where the visitors have the opportunity to give instructions. The avatars appear as yourself, through whose eyes one can look and whose bodies can be instructed. In addition to the interaction out of the control rooms, it is also possible to communicate and instruct from outside via the Internet. The perspective of the audience inside the control rooms, can also be accessed with a browser. The participants will receive an online ticket for a time window and can therefore interact just like the visitors on site.
The other possibility is to overview the entire event through a 24-hour livestream, which records from a bird's eye view independently and in documentary form. To look at the synthesis again from the outside. Like in a VR setting or a computer game, the audience can influence the happening. This interaction can take on a wide range of social forms of communication and smooth a widespread way of possible actions in the hall.

Full Documentation:
Full documentation on the project:

Alexander Schubert - Concept, Room, Artistic Head
Heinrich Horwitz - Performer Coaching, Production, Artistic Assistance
Carl-John Hoffmann - Video, Artistic Assistance
Carola Schaal, Yana Eva Thönnes, Max Pross, Fabian Oehl - Performers / Avatars
Lisa Clemen, Juliette Krauss, Julian Sippel - Set Design
Jacob Sello - Arm Interface
Luca Befera - Transcription and Ethnographic Protocol
Christoph Lohse (Büro für Exakte Ästhetik) - UI + UX
Dominic Osterried - Web Development
Gerhard Kühne, Christian Frank, Kai Lietzke, Cedric Johanson - Documentation
Francis Wernecke, Vitus Stoiber, Felix Stoiber - Inventory Handling
Tâm Phạm, Rica Zinn, Yuri Akbalkan, Miguel Retamero - Inventory Photography
Clara Braun, Thordis M. Meyer, Helena Krey, Chiara Lüssow, Lucie Trittmann, Carlotta Bauer, Lina Lev, Sarah Ernst, Zwang Starkowski, Yuri Akbalkan, Victor E. Gutiérrez Cuiza, Pedro González Fernández, Tâm Phạm, Michael Brailey, Orestis Papaioannou, Bas Hendrickx, Irini Aravidou - Rehearsal Avatars

Lecture / Presentation:
Online Lecture and Group Presentation of the project (95 minutes):

Radio Features:
Radio Features (in German):

Alexander-Schubert · Genesis Radio Feature(Leonie Reineke @ SWR II JetztMusik)

Alexander-Schubert · Genesis - Virtual-Reality-Musik-Computerspiel des Komponisten Alexander Schubert

Audio Examples:
Audio examples of vocal instruction given by players while playing Genesis (and thus controlling their avatar):
Audio Example 1
Audio Example 2
Audio Example 3
Audio Example 4
Audio Example 5
Audio Example 6
Audio Example 7
Audio Example 8
Audio Example 9
Audio Example 10

Book: Rise of a transcoded World
Luca Befera wrote a book about the complete project, which includes detailed descriptions, an analysis, questionnaires of participants, interviews with the team and a detailed outline of the events during the week.

Download the complete book as a PDF.

Book Abstract:
Alexander Schubert’s most recent artistic research develops a new approach to digital and human realities, merging them through interactive media. Therefore, his works evolve in a completely autonomous manner, almost detaching themselves from the original authorship. The interactive installation Genesis is an online video game in which players control human avatars in a predefined and aseptic world. The performance has the social experiment goal, implying autonomous space development through a hierarchical relationship between gamers and avatars. The present analysis, entailed in the project’s documentation, shows a comprehensive overview of the interactions that occurred in the empty hall. It also questions the author’s prescriptive role: the explicit purpose of establishing an aseptic space results as a setting itself, influencing space definition. The environment develops its own rules and dynamics through recurrent patterns, strongly depending on digital mediation, emerging human behaviour, selectable items, stage connotation, and gaming dynamics. Human involvement – of gamers, avatars, authors, and staff – results in single participants’ and emerging communities’ complex behaviour. People redefine their knowledge, shaping new forms of interaction through digital encoding. In turn, they transfer their experience into real- life through personal or shared memories. Thus, space becomes not just where digital and physical perspectives flow into but also a gravitational pole expanding beyond given borders.


Visual Material and Screenshots:

Poster with the complete inventory: