Vom angeblich letzten Stück Kohle

(Trans.: On the allegedly last piece of lignite)
Site-specific VR-Lecture, 2017
Clemens Schöll

Framed as an on-site VR-lecture reflecting its own technology, this work was specific to the “Bautechnisches Denkmal Schacht Dölitz”, a now defunct lignite mine shaft in southern Leipzig. The site was 3D-scanned and 3D-modelled. In VR we see a reproduction of what immediately surrounds us: the old installations, initially constructed in the 1890s, the modifications done in the 1920s, 1960s, the demolitions of the 1970s.

First lignite mine shaft, then conversion in the GDR, then dilapidation. What historical authenticity can such virtual experiences develop in the auratic context of a real system? Is the logic of representation limited by the medium? How do different representations — rough 3D scans, clean 3D models, a talk, poetry — as different kinds of prosthetic knowledge alter our acceptance of its history, as a heritage, and its existence as a “memory”?

A polemic, drawing on Jorge Luis Borges’ 1947 short story El Inmortal (The Immortal).

Camera and 3D scan boom: Julie Hart
Sound: Leon Naffin
3D model template: Bernd Mörsberger
3D scan software: BundleFusion
Thanks to: Leon Naffin, Ortrun Bargholz