L.A. Raeven

Courtesy L.A. Raeven / EDB Projects


In 'Vastum', the artists' duo L.A. Raeven portray the fear of ageing and degeneration that pervades our society. The work shows a woman, actually still a girl of 11 years old, with progeria: a disorder that causes premature ageing. As far as we know, there are only 45 people worldwide who suffer from this hereditary disorder. With the help of Mao Lin Liao from Replica we gave this girl the movements from a laboratorium rat. The viewer watches the girl through a tiny hole of a giant box and can hear and feel her banging against the walls of the box where she is captured in. (there is a sound and banging machine in the box).

The viewer thinks he sees a real girl, but the girl doesn't exist in reality and is only a virtual human being. It is a scary image which is intended to scare the viewer. Vastum means 'waist' in Latin, and that is what this virtual human being is, waist from genetic experiments as described in the book from Harari '21 lessons for the 21st century. It is supposed to be a specter for the future, where poor people are exploited for genetic research and the rich people have all the benefits. But what must be done with the underclass individuals who don't fit in this society anymore? It is our fear for a future upper class with 'perfect' people who can buy intelligence and knowledge to stay young and the poor who have to die young.

Vastum was on view in 2020 (Bonnefantenmuseum, Beating around the bush) and in 2022 (Brutus, Obsessions) and has won the price ‘Honorary Mention 2021’ at ARS ELECTRONICA (Computer Animation)

logo prix ars electronica

This installation is made possible by the Mondriaan Fonds, Mao Lin Liao (Replika) and Anything is Possible