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Live Coverage: Hito Steyerl and e-flux Book Launch at the Guggenheim


Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s VR piece Carne y Arena recently won accolades at Cannes for its attempt to produce empathy for border crossers with an Oculus Rift headset.

Chun asks Steyerl what topic she is currently working on. She responds that virtual technology is one subject she is tackling. Instead of considering Jaron Lanier (the best known Silicon Valley progenitor of VR), Steyerl is going back to 1938 and Antonin Artaud and his The Theater of Cruelty. Steyerl suggests that the VR experience produces something unlike empathy. “You can put yourself in a refugee’s shoes, but it [VR] is something more like empathy as Airbnb.”


Now the Q&A with all of the participants.
“My text is about somebody who could not be an artist,” says Gillick.

A question from an audience member, “If beauty is dangerous then can one wage a revolutionary beauty?”
Steyerl nods yes and “that’s a good question.”

They all agreed that this was a great place to end. Thank you!


Thanks for posting about the event, I saw it live and was looking for Hito’s quote on VR and empathy. Do you know if there is a recording of the event online?