Andreas Angelidakis ‘Softwalks’ into the Digital Sphere

31 MAR 2021

‘Softwalks’, Athens-based architect-cum-artist Andreas Angelidakis’s first institutional exhibition in Norway at Oslo’s Fotogalleriet, explores the influence of the digital on physical movement. The ‘softwalk’ has long been the artist’s designation for the way avatars in 1990s simulation games traverse their fictional universe: an even, smooth step, unperturbed by the specificities of the environments they cross. In Angelidakis’s installation, this digital attitude is transposed onto the real world.

Three screens, placed in a circle, display variations of the same hybrid, audio-visual collage and are surrounded by objects and posters relating to the videos. The video footage depicts a rotating carousel on which different items – some 3D-printed, others seemingly antique – are continuously exchanged by a hand that moves in and out of the frame. Accompanied by a meditative trance soundtrack, we see nondescript ‘softwalkers’ of various sizes crossing the visual field in all directions; Google Street View images of Oslo; a video call between the artist and the curator, who ventures onto the street to show Angelidakis the gallery’s surroundings; subtitles communicating a reflection on the nature of hybrid spaces; and a live-feed desktop screengrab showing web scrolling, videos being played and files being opened.

This variation of layers and movements is emphasized both through the physical placement of the screens – which, in facing each other, display these same planes of motion from different angles – and the materialized objects around them. Passing through the installation, you are confronted by the multiplication of fluid ontological orders. Your gaze shifts back and forth between them to the point where you are unable to say where, exactly, you find yourself and you pass through all of them equally: you softwalk.

Andreas Angelidakis's ‘Softwalks’ is on view at Fotogalleriet, Oslo, until 14 April 2021.

Main image: Andreas Angelidakis, Afterlife, 2020, installation view, Fotogalleriet, Oslo. Courtesy: the artist and Fotogalleriet, Oslo; photograph: Jon Gorospe