A Wunderkammer review

Wednesday 28th July, 2021 - Bruce Sterling

*Those 3D environments are hard to write about.



The wwwunderkammer does more than house information about history, politics, art, and cultural values. The work itself is performative. In this way, the wwwunderkammer performs the archive, not merely exists as one. This distinction is important. As we wander around the wwunderkammer together, Gannis clarifies how she thinks of each of the collections, which have their own locations, as places rather than spaces. “Spaces are more functional and serve a utilitarian function,” Gannis muses. “I feel that these are more places: they have a specific intent and cultural resonance.” Objects dance and jiggle in place, music pulsates, hyperlinks flash: all as if electrified by the material contents of the built environment’s infrastructure. The wwwunderkammer radiates an energy unique to the internet: an everchanging, dynamic place of cultural knowledge, both represented by the archivist and the archived. This is also advanced by the collaboration between Gannis and other artists and thinkers who’ve curated their own wonder chambers and given expert interviews with one of Gannis’s alter ego avatars. This phase of the project is about expanding the cabinets Gannis initially conceived based on the scholarship and expertise of others through interviews conducted by Gannis’s AI-controlled avatars, which are accessible from the main gallery. Charlotte Kent reflects on humor and the absurd; Leah Roh addresses the importance of sex positivity, and Regina Harsanyi discusses digital preservation. Gannis has plans to include additional chambers and interviews to increase the depth and breadth of cultural information offered through this evolving project….