Intersection Of Universes (IoU) is an artistic laboratory duo founded by Shu Isaka and Benjamin Efrati in 2019. In 2023, IoU took part in an artist-in-residency program at Dimensions Art Center, Chongqing (China). They conducted fieldwork in Chongqing and other surrounding cities, and produced an exhibition called “IoU : [Forbidden Zone]”.
In [Forbidden Zone], IoU explores the renewal of ancient Chinese spiritual practices and myths within the framework of digital technologies. Daoism, shamanism, as well as some Buddhist myths are implemented within the narrative of a VR piece, in which the viewer plays the role of a Cyber-Shaman. Through the media art installation surrounding the VR piece, IoU invited the audience to reflect on the notion of intersection.
The exhibition showcases shared the production process and enabled the duo to consolidate dialogue with local artists, curators, researchers, and a broader audience. By integrating not only the technical aspects of VR but also philosophical ones, the exhibition questioned the meaning of VR today. Through the residency process, the artists were able to engage in lively and productive exchange with the art scene in Chongqing, realizing the possibility of expanding the duo in different contexts, developing networks, and producing a wider variety of collaborative works. Also, through the residency, the duo was able to develop its understanding of Chinese cultural motifs and to get a deeper understanding of the transformations that occurred in China’s cultural evolution over the last millennia.
Intersection Of Universes
Intersection Of Universes A cross-disciplinary art project by media artists Shu Isaka and Benjamin Efrati, since 2019 IoU has involved fieldwork and document collection in Japan, France, and China. The duo specializes in the production of interactive and multimedia installations, VR works, and 3DCG films. They continue to be active on a global scale and to focus on the various meanings of “Cyber-Shamanism” in different cultural contexts, with the aim of establishing an intersection between digital technology, ecology, and the human need for spirituality.
Shu Isaka is an artist. Many of his works focus on the notion of “phenomena at gaps between urban societies and natural environments ”, through field investigations at sites such as Tchernobyl, as well as volcanic sites. As a PhD research fellow of the Tokyo University of the Arts, he directed the real-time 3DCG film installation “The Sprite”, collecting hypothetical discourses in the invisible region that was composed of legally defined space and electromagnetism.
Benjamin Efrati is a media artist and philosopher. His performance-based practice has led him to engage with, music and sound art, film direction, and graphic arts. He specializes in the intersection of digital technologies and the notion of prehistory, a theme he has been working on as an artist since 2014. He is currently a PhD candidate at EHESS (Paris), where he develops an anthropological approach to video game representations of prehistory.
Dimensions Art Center, Chongqing, China