Exodus is a virtual tele-performance whose starting point lies in the Israeli desert of Negev. During Ars Electronica 1995 (June 20-23), I will be spending four days in the desert, and each day I will follow the biblical trail of the prophet Moses. Included in my equipment will be a portable GPS (Global Positioning System), which in turn will be linked to a modem and a cellular phone. The GPS will pick up data from several navigational satellites and send it to the nearest Internet server via the cellular phone. There many digital desert landscapes will be stored. These can then be accessed worldwide through the World Wide Web and it will be possible to follow my movements in real time.
The accessor will have the choice of viewing the situation from different points of view. Simultaneously, the GPS data will be sent to Linz (again via the Internet) where it will be displayed through a specially developed 3-D environment on a projection screen. Three times a day, at specific times, I will be in live phone contact with the audience in Linz for about ten minutes.
When Moses led his people out of slavery, nobody sensed what a radical impact this event would have on the development of human history. Man with his new consciousness was transformed into a new species both through his experience of liberation and through his acceptance of the Ten Commandments. I want to use this important event in mankind´s history as a metaphor for the newly developing man at the end of the twentienth century. Mankind´s emigration into the virtual net and the liberation from time and space associated therewith, changes our consciousness just like the experience of presence in absence. The new ubiquity, not only passive but also active, creates the "Information Man". The philosopher Vilem Flusser said in relation to this that the materialised terms like "soul", "spirit", "identity" "I” or "self" would have to be reconsidered.
My desert experience will put me in a new relationship with reality both through my isolation form the "flow of information" and through the awareness that the outside world is ever present through the Net and can thereby register my isolation. Maybe the constantly testified omnipresence of God is nothing other than the experience of the individual with the more highly developed consciousness of a crowd. The novelist Stanislav Lem, in his theo-fiction novel Solaris, described this as the Oceanic Consciousness. So it seems that the technology of the Net helps man to develop a new consciousness that will have both sociological as well as political consequences.
"Global Artworks offer an endless timespace in which we are always able to experience ubiquity in a new way. This experience enables us to percieve not only one reality, but it offers us a selection of realities".
"Information technology doesn't produce material objects anymore, only immaterial ones."
"The network artists may be in Siberia, New York, Tokyo, Berlin or elsewhereand they all are part of an organism which is constantly developing its own unique dynamics and which has won effects on their creative efforts."
"The museum of the future will be able to be everywhere: at home, at the North Pole, in the desert, in a dance club, in prison, or at one's deathbed. All we'll need to visit the museum of the future will be a portable computer and connection via telephone, perhaps through radio or satellite."
Internet Programmers: Ariel Sindermann, John Trnka
Internet Design: Amy Doli, Ariel Sindermann
Project Coordinator: Amy Dolin
Sponsors: Ars Electronica Linz; Silicon Graphics, Israel; Motorola Communications, Israel; Landrover, Israel; Ben Gurion University, Israel; Expert Service, Prague; C & I Software, France; Lapidot – outdoor equipment, Israel
Special Thanks: Alon Adler, Dana Barnea, Oliver Billard, Michael Cilek, Shimon Horev, Gadi Moskowich, Avi Oren, Dudu Rashty, Victoria Ranzer, Mali Ranzer-Dorner, Francis Wittenberger