3-Channel Videoinstallation, screenprinted Wafers, Wafer Storage Boxes,
(Colour, Dolby Surround, shot in 4K, Aspect ratio 2:1, Loop, 21 min 15 sec)
Exhibition: Diploma Show at Academy of Fine Arts Munich 2023

The multidimensional, three-channel video installation FRACTAL BREEZE reflects on the transformation process of humankind in the digital age through the materialization of the virtual. Embedded in the visual and acoustic aesthetics of the science fiction genre, Justin Urbach traces the boundary between reality and virtuality in his in-progress video work and creates a metafictional, transhumanist depiction of our technological future. Surrounded by industrial architecture and a recurring symbolism of water, two black-clad characters move across the screens in the midst of a dystopian vision of the future. Throughout routine sequences of action, the figures interact symbiotically with a technical apparatus which they use to repeatedly polish and clean an iridescent material in a concentrated, methodological manner. This material is pure crystalline silicon, one of the most important raw materials in our present and future digitalized society. In its elemental form, silicon is not only non-toxic but also found at a concentration of 20 mg/ kg body mass in humans. Outside our bodies, silicon can be found naturally in many minerals and sands, often as quartz, or synthesized artificially by reducing silicon dioxide with carbon in smelting-reduction furnaces at temperatures of approximately 2000 °C. The metalloid surrounds us every day in a highly pure state, since silicon is one of the essential materials for the semiconductor industry, being used in computer chips, memory systems and transistors. So-called silicon wafers are thin, round, reflective discs that serve as the basis for microchips. In the analog space of the exhibition, sculptural silicon discs can be found expressing their function as data carriers. Throughout the video work, the wafers regularly become the precious center of action for the two characters, who activate the round disks in different scenarios and set them in motion. This symbiosis between man and machine is illustrated by the independent creation of metadata. With the help of technical systems, such as MRI‘s, 3D scans, cameras, and motion capture technology, the figures continuously collect data about their own bodies. An intimate, digital blueprint of the two characters is created – a posthuman transformation is about to take place. During the video work, the character‘s gaze is repeatedly lost on the smooth surfaces of the wafers, which don’t only function as a mirror into virtuality but also as a source of energy. Peering through the orange window panes of the old factory building, one can imagine how the two actors, using the energy generated by routines and physical force, create virtuality in the form of a sandstorm. In the metafictional sci-fi narrative, the silicon found in the computers, extracted from quartz sand, acquires an artificially created physical materiality thanks to human action and is stylized as the essential resource it already is in today‘s society. Dagmar Fink, a literature and cultural studies scholar, describes science fiction as a valuable imaginary resource for political struggles. The narratives assigned to the genre of science fiction can be read on the one hand as visions of a technological modernity and on the other hand as dystopias about the end of humanity. In the last century, our recurring confrontation with the end of the world has simultaneously led to popularization and questioning of the impact of human activities on our environment. In the video installation FRACTAL BREEZE, the fluctuation of silicon between the real and the digital world comes into focus and raises the question: How should we sustainably deal with (virtual) resources? This is a topic that we must address with regard to both the digitalization of our society and the existing climate crisis.

Julia Anna Wittmann
1 h ttps:// lizium/ (24.01.23)
2 Dagmar Fink, Cyborg werden. Möglichkeitshorizonte in Feministischer Theorien und Sci ence Fictions, transcript Verlag, Bielefeld, 2021, S. 151.


with Emma Herrschmann Hannes Borgmeier
Producers Nele Urbach Michaela Mederer
DoP Till Dose
1. AC Lara Fritz
Gaffer Felix Hecker Henri Nunn Christoph Schaller
Creative Advise Tatjana Vall
Sound Daniel Door
Production Design Luzia Ehrmann Maxine Weiß
Costume & Make-Up Emma Herrschmann
Soundtrack & Sounddesign Jonas Yamer
VFX Artists Janik Valler Philipp Sajnovits
Science Coordination Julius Mutschler
Set-Runners Franka Breckner Eva Herdieckerhoff Vroni Dudek Robin Pollmer

Special Thanks
Anja Tita, Jan Singh, Nico Schwarz, Josef Moosreiner, Rebekka Schug, Kirsten Wehr, Anna Wank, Marcus Schwemin, CarMotionService, Sugar Mountain, Chris Breirenfellner, Team OuttaSpace, Julia Anna Wittmann, Antonia Bose Supported by Siltronic AG, CNP+, Sparks, Igus Gmbh, Star Effects, XR Hub Bavaria Laser Scanning Europe, Department of Sportmedicine TUM, Neuroimaging Center Munich TUM

Created by Justin Urbach