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Seminar: Cartes Blanches (2021–23)
Andri Stoisser

Switzerland is considered one of the safest countries in the world. Violent crimes occur very rarely. Extreme atrocities such as murders are rare, making them almost unimaginable. Nevertheless, streaming providers like Netflix offer many documentaries and series about that topic for our consumption. In countries like the United States or Australia however, serial killers like Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy or Aileen Wournos are up to their mischief and rob innocent people of their lives. These mass murderers attracted huge attention then and now and were often interviewed. Shockingly, in their public interviews, these individuals seem like ordinary people.

The goal of my project is to create a feel in a virtual Switzerland that is not as "safe" as it actually is. Is it possible to create an oppressive atmosphere that is actually unthinkable? With the help of 3D scans, audio recordings and a virtual reality, places that seem "safe" such as a Swiss train station, a staircase or even the own apartment are to become an oppressive place of atrocious crime.

The feeling of "Swiss security" is relevant to every viewer and to some extent enables us to consume these documentaries so easily. But what happens when this feeling is disturbed and places that are actually well- known no longer seem safe? Do we begin to question this sense of security? Netflix and other streaming providers are releasing a constant stream of documentaries that focus on violent criminals and deal with their actions. For a long time I have been interested in the human abyss and their “devilish” personifications.

Research is considered a central element of the project. Finding the right interviews is enormously important to generate the tonal atmosphere I am looking for in the project. With the tool "TouchDesigner" I want to visualize the 3D scans of the "safe" locations and modify them audio-reactive. Each spatiality is altered by the voice of a different killer and the locations are stitched together to create a "world" that can be explored through a tracking shot using VR goggles.

The project is intended to convey a dark atmosphere, so an appealing visual transformation of the point cloud scans should be the main objective. In addition, the viewer should thereby question the "Swiss sense of security" and the work should be considered as food for thought.